TAUNTON: Pakistan star batsman Babar Azam will rejoin Somerset for this year’s domestic Twenty20 Blast, the English county announced on Saturday.
Babar, the world’s top-ranked Twenty20 batsman, was the leading run-scorer in the 2019 edition.
Babar, currently captaining Pakistan in their T20 series in England after featuring in all three Tests earlier in the tour, had agreed to return to southwest club Somerset before the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic upended cricket schedules around the world.
But while Covid-19 has seen several counties cancel deals with overseas players, Babar will be back at Somerset’s Taunton base on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old is set to be available for Somerset’s final seven group matches plus the knockout stages should they qualify.
“For obvious reasons, this year has been very different from what we were all expecting, and I fully appreciate the challenges the game has faced globally as well as here in England,” Babar said in a Somerset statement. “We have all had to adapt and I’m just really pleased that we could find a way to make this happen. I hope that I can help to contribute to success on the field for Somerset again.”
In his first season with Somerset, Babar compiled 578 runs at an impressive average of 52.54 and an astounding strike-rate of 149.35.
“He is a great player, is so easy on the eye and fitted brilliantly into our environment last year,” said Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry. “We consider Babar to be one of our own.”
Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2020