The Perth Scorchers Big Bash League championship hopes have taken a massive hit with international signing Yasir Arafat ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Arafat has gained a cult following in Perth in his first season with the T20 franchise and has also been outstanding on the field, particularly with his bowling at the death.
He has taken 12 wickets for the tournament, with only Brisbane's Cameron Gannon taking more (15).
But Arafat, 31, injured the thumb on his right hand – his bowling hand – in last Thursday’s win over the Adelaide Strikers when he dived to field a ball early in the innings. His thumb became caught in the turf, rupturing a key ligament.
Arafat will this week undergo surgery, ruling him out for the remainder of the BBL.
BBL regulations state that Arafat will not be able to be replaced by another overseas player as he was already a replacement for original international signing Dwayne Smith.
The West Indian big hitter remains unavailable due to personal reasons.
The Scorchers, currently second on the BBL table, with a game to come against the unbeaten Melbourne Stars, do have the option of adding a local player to their list.