Afghanistan cricket star Rashid Khan thanked his Big Bash League team Adelaide Strikers and its fans for offering emotional support following his father’s death.

Rashid starred in Strikers’ win in their New Year’s Eve BBL clash against Sydney Thunder, despite the death of his father the previous day.

Rashid, the world’s No 1 T20I bowler, picked up two wickets in the match to aid the victory. His commitment to the team impressed his teammates and fans.

Rashid, following Strikers’ win against Renegades on Thursday, told that it’d been a tough week for him.

“He really supported us, he struggled a lot while giving up [a lot for us],” he said of his father. “He was always watching my games, he didn’t understand cricket a lot but he just was always asking my family how I had done.”

He added that his family back home motivated him to keep playing despite his father’s death.

“They were calling me again and again. They were like, ‘you have to be there, you have to play for us, you have to play for your dad.’” he said of his family, who were thousands of miles away from him.

Closer to him, were his Strikers teammates, who he thanked for their support. “They were in my room until late (after the New Year’s Eve game), encouraging me,” he said. “I really love that – that kept me alive there, fresh and fine. They were coming to me after five minutes and hugging me.”

“I didn’t feel like I’m alone here. The whole Australia is my family, everyone is looking after me very closely and very friendly and like a family member. They give me lots of love and I didn’t feel myself to be alone here. I just keep in a good energy.”

Rashid is likely to travel to Afghanistan during an eight-day break between matches.