Pakistan bowler Yasir Arafat has been rushed into the Perth Scorchers squad with it highly unlikely import Dwayne Smith will line up in the BBL this season.
The West Indian has remained at home because of personal reasons.
Arafat, a 31-year-old short-form specialist, arrived in Perth yesterday and is expected to be available for all remaining games of the season if required.
A decision on his inclusion in the squad for the Boxing Day Backyard Bash against Melbourne Renegades will be made by the match committee at a later date.
Arafat has played three Tests and 11 one-day internationals for Pakistan and arrives after a stint with English county side Somerset earlier in the year, where he played alongside fellow Scorchers death-bowler Alfonso Thomas.
Scorchers coach Justin Langer said the experience of Arafat would be crucial, particularly if spearhead Nathan Coulter-Nile was to be called upon for national duties.
“Yasir is a very skilled cricketer and offers something similar to what Alfonso Thomas brings,” Langer said.
“What we’ve found in the history of Twenty20 cricket is that bowlers who are able to execute their skills under pressure and bowl at the death are usually the first players selected.
“Having Alfonso and Yasir Arafat in the team to be able to execute those skills will be a huge bonus for us.
“We’ve also had to look at who might give us those skills in the absence of Nathan Coulter-Nile.
“Nathan is right on the fringe of Test cricket and he’s right in the reckoning of one-day cricket.”
Arafat arrives at Perth with 165 Twenty20s and 207 wickets to his name, bowling at the tight economy of 7.90.
He has most recently been plying his trade in the Pakistan domestic league with Khan RL and has taken two four-wicket hauls in the past two months.