Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has signed up with the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots for the upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Hafeez has joined the side as a replacement for South Africa’s Rassie van der Dussen who has made himself unavailable for the tournament due to his international commitments.
This will be the second stint with the Patriots for the Pakistan man who was also part of their squad in 2017 when they finished runners-up to Trinbago Knight Riders.
“I really enjoyed my time with the Patriots in 2017 and was very pleased to be asked to join them for the 2019 season,” Hafeez said in a statement.
“The CPL is a competition which has got better every single year and it is great to be involved again after a season off.
“The Patriots have a really strong squad this year and I am really looking forward to joining up with the rest of the boys.”
The signing of the experienced Pakistan all-rounder was welcomed by Robin Singh, the director of cricket for the Patriots.
“We are delighted to have someone with so much experience in T20 cricket joining our squad for the 2019 season,” Robin Singh stated.
“Hafeez is a fantastic player who has had experience of cricket all over the world. We are certain that he will be a huge success at this year’s event, and we are really looking forward to him joining us at our training camp ahead of the competition.”
Hafeez is currently due to represent Edmonton Royals in the second edition of the Global T20 Canada. The 2019 edition of the CPL is slated to run from September 4 to October 12.
39-year-old Hafeez represented Pakistan in the recent 2019 World Cup in England and the all-rounder is yet to indicate any plans of retiring anytime soon. Hafeez has so far played 55 Tests, 218 ODIs and 89 T20Is for Pakistan since making his international debut in 2003.
All eyes at Colombo will be on Lasith Malinga as hosts Sri Lanka take on Bangladesh in the first of the three ODIs scheduled between the two subcontinent sides.
The veteran pacer is playing his final ODI for Sri Lanka after a 15-year career that has seen him pick up 335 wickets in 225 appearances.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, are led by opener Tamim Iqbal after skipper Mashrafe Mortaza pulled out on the eve of the tour with a hamstring injury.
Will Malinga get a dream farewell at the R Premadasa stadium or will Bangladesh spoil the Sri Lanka icon’s party? Find out by following the ball-by-ball action from Colombo below.
While all eyes are fixed on the impending Test returns for Steve Smith and David Warner, Cameron Bancroft has pushed himself into contention for an Ashes spot following his match-winning unbeaten 93 in Australia’s intra-squad warm-up game.
The top-order batsman is bidding to return to international cricket after serving his nine-month suspension for tampering with the ball in South Africa last year and his innings on Wednesday will boost those hopes massively.
Bancroft’s gritty unbeaten innings of 93 on a difficult surface at Southampton led the Graeme Hick XII to a five-wicket win over Brad Haddin XII and he could now be the favourite to open the batting with Warner in the first Ashes Test against England.
In fact, Bancroft and Warner were the only batsmen to cross the 50-run mark in the warm up clash.
Australia skipper Tim Paine took note of Bancroft’s display in the second innings and praised the right-hander’s application at the crease.
“I thought Bangers (Bancroft) played unbelievably well. To get basically a hundred on that wicket was an unbelievable effort. I thought what it showed is Bangers’ toughness,” Paine said.
“The reason the guys were getting stuck on the crease a lot is because the odd ball was jumping up at them. That can play on a guy’s mind, and mix with a batsman’s feet, particularly when they are bowling the speeds the guys were.
“But that just shows the mental application and toughness that Bangers has got, to keep going forward, to keep wearing balls on the body. The boys think he has a bit of a screw loose but he seems to enjoy getting hit on the body, it seems to make him bat better. He was superb in that second innings.”
Australia’s selection committee is set to announce the squad for the Ashes series on Friday. The first Ashes Test between the two arch-rivals gets underway at Edgbaston on August 1.