A number of players from Pakistan will be a part of the upcoming County Championship and T20 Blast in 2022 – from the experienced stars to some of the newer faces, here’s a look at where each player will be featuring this county season.
Azhar has endured a slightly indifferent run in Test cricket lately. There have been mammoth scores but they have been sandwiched between poor outings. When Pakistan toured England for a Test series in 2020, his shortcomings against the moving ball were exposed. However, with a few more runs under his belt, he will be expected to provide solidity to Worcestershire at the top and churn out a mountain of runs. The Pakistan batter will be part of the side for the entire County Championship 2022.
The pacer has set pulses racing in the past couple of years with his searing pace. He was brilliant as Pakistan stormed into the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in 2021 and will be expected to provide similar wicket-taking thrust for Yorkshire. Rauf is slated to be available for “some period” of the 2022 domestic season.
Hasan hasn’t been at his best in international cricket in recent times. He didn’t set the world alight in the Test series against Australia and was far from impressive during the T20 World Cup too. However, with conditions expected to aid his style of bowling, he could be a crucial cog in the Lancashire wheel and help them go a step further than last season.
The seamer has signed for six games during the County Championship and will be available for their opening fixture against Kent from 14th April.
After breaking onto the scene in the late 2010s, Abbas’ career graph has dipped significantly in the past couple of seasons. He wasn’t a part of the Pakistan Test side that faced Australia in March and is not in the reckoning for a white-ball spot either.
At Hampshire, though, he has been immensely successful. Last time out, he teamed up with Kyle Abbott and proved to be a menace throughout. There is no clarity on how many matches Abbas will play but he is expected to be available for at least the opening two months.
Rizwan, who is one of the best wicket-keeper batters in the world, will turn out for Sussex this season. He will come into the county season in a rich vein of form and will provide a counter-attacking edge in their middle order, having done something similar against Australia in different formats.
He is expected to be available for both the County Championship and the T20 Blast until mid-July.
Naseem was the talk of the town a week ago as he caused Australia plenty of problems. That particular performance was a renaissance of sorts, especially after struggling with form and injury in 2021. At Gloucestershire, he is primed to provide pace and movement.
He has signed up for the County Championship and for the T20 Blast as an overseas player.
Like Rauf, Shadab will be donning Yorkshire colours in the upcoming English domestic season. Shadab, however, will only be available during the T20 Blast. That, though, wouldn’t worry Yorkshire, considering T20 cricket remains his strongest suit, and his variations could be vital as Yorkshire search for T20 glory in 2022.
Shaheen Shah Afridi
Arguably the best young fast bowler on the planet, Shaheen will be representing Middlesex in the 2022 domestic season. He has the ability to swing the ball around corners and is very useful with the old ball too, meaning that Middlesex will expect him to bag a truckload of wickets.
The Pakistan seamer will be available until mid-July 2022, and will participate in the County Championship and the T20 Blast.
Masood has been acquired to play the entire County Championship season for Derbyshire. He was recently replaced as the first-choice opener in Pakistan’s Test squad and he might have a point to prove, especially with Abdullah Shafique distinguishing himself in his absence.
A solid player with a good technique, Masood will bank on his international experiences in the country to produce a steady season at the top of the order.
Gohar, who last played an international game in January 2021, will return to Gloucestershire for the 2022 campaign. He picked up 20 wickets at 14.35 in four County Championship games in 2021 and the left-arm spinner will be hoping to have a similar impact this year as well. He has been signed on a ‘pay as you play’ basis from April, with him committing to a full contract for August and September.
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