Pakistan's Azhar Ali bags county deal with Somerset as replacement for Matt Renshaw

Waseem Ahmed 15:44 16/07/2018
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Azhar Ali has signed a seven-match deal with Somerset.

Pakistan Test opener Azhar Ali has been roped in by English outfit Somerset in a seven-match County Championship deal.

The package, which will last until the end of England’s first-class cricket season, was materialized after an injury to Australia opener Matt Renshaw.

In what will be his maiden stint in county cricket, the Pakistan man has been signed as an overseas replacement for Renshaw after the Australian broke his finger.

The 33-year-old had been eyeing a deal in county cricket ever since Pakistan toured England for a two-match Test series in the summer. The right-hander endured a frustrating time in England after scoring a half-century in the first innings of the opening Test at Lord’s. He was dismissed for scores of 4, 2 and 11 in the remaining three innings during the series.

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur had then talked up the possibility of Azhar and Asad Shafiq securing deals with county outfits for the rest of the summer. Seamer Mohammad Abbas is currently undergoing a stint with Leicestershire.

Azhar was not picked in Pakistan’s limited-overs squad which is currently undergoing a tour of Zimbabwe.

Pakistan will not be playing any Test cricket for a few months with their next assignment being a home series in the UAE against Australia in October.

Azhar has so far played 65 Tests for Pakistan where he has scored 5, 202 runs at an average greater than 44, including 14 centuries and 28 fifties.

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