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County Championship 2022

How are Pakistan’s stars faring in the County Championship?

by Conor Hicks 4 minute read

The 2022 County Championship has benefitted from an influx of Pakistani talent, with a whole host of Pakistan internationals taking part in the opening rounds of the competition.

Here’s how the 10 Pakistanis have fared so far:

All statistics are accurate as of May 17, 2022.

Hassan Ali – Lancashire

24 wickets @ 18.50

With two five-wicket-hauls already under his belt, including 6-47 in a comprehensive victory over Gloucestershire, Hassan has had a dream start to the season with Lancashire. The 27-year-old seamer leads the division’s wicket-taking charts, and his strike rate of 41 balls per wicket is bettered only by the two Overton twins among bowlers with more than 12 wickets so far this season.

Haris Rauf – Yorkshire

15 wickets @ 31.53

Playing for Hassan’s Roses counterpart, Rauf’s season has not been straightforward. The right-arm quick is Yorkshire’s highest wicket-taker this season, with figures of 5-65 against Kent the highlight. However, after suffering a side injury against Kent he missed the tie with Essex, before producing figures of 1-103 on his return against Lancashire.

Mohammad Abbas – Hampshire

22 wickets @ 17.81

Abbas has made an impressive start to his second season at Hampshire. With both the most wickets and the lowest bowling average in a strong Hampshire bowling attack, the 32-year-old also ranks as the joint-third highest wicket-taker in Division One, only two scalps behind his fellow countryman Hassan.

Naseem Shah – Gloucestershire

1 wicket @ 41

After picking up a shoulder injury after only 11 overs on debut, Shah is yet to appear for the Gloucestershire first team since. Although Mohammad Amir has been signed as his replacement, there are promising signs for the teenage sensation as he featured in a T20 friendly for Gloucestershire’s 2nd XI last week, picking up two wickets in an over including that of highly rated English youngster Will Smeed.

Mohammad Amir – Gloucestershire

6 wickets @ 28.33

Signed to replace the injured Shah, Amir returns to a competition in which he last appeared for Essex in 2019. Having taken the ball in three innings he has picked up six wickets, although both his bowling average and economy of only 2.53 runs an over are the best of any bowler for Gloucestershire this season.

Zafar Gohar – Gloucestershire

11 wickets @ 45.63
125 runs @ 15.62

Gohar has had a difficult start to his return to Gloucestershire. The left-arm spinner has been short on wickets with a best return of 4-135 offering little amelioration. Although contributing 53 and 40 with the bat against Northamptonshire and Yorkshire respectively, he was replaced by Amir when Gloucestershire travelled to Hampshire. On his return to the side against Somerset, he took one wicket for 121 runs and was dismissed for nought in both innings.

Shan Masood – Derbyshire

826 runs @ 118

Having played last played for Pakistan in January 2021, Masood has done wonders for his chances of a recall with his blockbuster start to the season. The left-hander has racked up the most runs of anyone in either division at a canter, with a strike rate of 72.7. Only failing to pass fifty once in his seven innings, his scores against Sussex and Leicestershire made him the first Derbyshire player to score back-to-back double centuries in first-class cricket.

Shaheen Afridi – Middlesex

14 wickets @ 25.42

Afridi has returned to Pakistan before their upcoming white-ball series against the West Indies in order spend some time with his family.  In the 22-year-old’s three games before doing so, he played a crucial role in guiding Middlesex to the top of Division Two, with only Toby Roland-Jones taking more wickets for the county. Afridi dismissed Australia batter Marnus Labuschagne twice in Middlesex’s fixture against Glamorgan.

Mohammad Rizwan – Sussex

136 runs @ 27.2

Wisden’s T20 Player of the Year has had a tough start to life in county cricket, scoring only 26 runs in his first three innings. The wicketkeeper-batter showed signs of improvement scoring 79 against Durham before missing their most recent fixture due to a family bereavement.

Azhar Ali – Worcestershire

274 runs @ 30.44

Suffering similarly at the start of the season, former Pakistan Test captain Azhar scored only 34 runs in his first six innings for Worcestershire. However, things appear to be improving for the 37-year-old, as he has passed fifty in each of his three innings since, with a best of 92 against Durham.

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