BIRMINGHAM: All of the Pakistani cricketers playing in England’s T20 Blast competition this summer will be in action tonight for various county teams both in north and south groups, with the exception of Hasan Ali who is still waiting for his injury scan results.
Hasan, who signed a contract with Warwickshire CCC for this season, was supposed to be in action for Birmingham Bears in T20 Blast.
But just moments before the Bears’ first game of the tournament against Yorkshire Vikings, Hasan twisted his ankle doing some warm-up exercises at Edgbaston stadium.
Shan Masood, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Zaman Khan, Haider Ali and Usama Mir will star for teams in the North group Will Shadab Khan and Zafar Gohar will appear for the teams in the south group.
Fast bowler Naseem will be in action again as Leicestershire CCC take on visiting Birmingham Bears in their first home game at Uptonsteel County ground.
After their victory in their first match against Yorkshire Vikings, the Birmingham Bears batting squad has gained more strength with the arrival of Glen Maxwell.
The Aussie joined Bears Squad a couple of days ago after his stint with RCB in IPL.
Though Bears still wait for their regular captain Maoenn Ali whose playing for CSK in the IPL. With CSK in the final Moeen Ali is set to miss a few more games for the Bears.
Right-arm fast bowler Naseem who’s on a short-term deal with Leicestershire Foxes for the Blast in their first match of the tournament last night (Thursday) against Lancashire Lightning.
Naseem went wicket-less as Lancashire thrashed Leicestershire by 8 wickets within 12 overs chasing just 99 to win.
Pakistan’s premium fast bowler Shaheen is set to play his first game tonight for Nottinghamshire Outlaws against Derbyshire Falcons at Trent Bridge, a match dubbed as “East Midlands Derby”.
Shaheen will lead the attack for the home team and for the visiting team Derbyshire Falcons, it will be another young Pakistani fast-bowling sensation Zaman to lead their pace attack.
For Derbyshire, another young hard-hitting batter from Pakistan Haider will also be up against Shaheen as he will open the batting.
The match is also labelled as “Battle of Qalandars” as both quickies play for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League.
Shaheen has already praised Zaman and called him the best-emerging player he has seen in the PSL. Derbyshire’s head of cricket Mickey Arthur also lauded Zaman’s efforts in the inaugural match of the T20 Blast competition against Lancashire Lightning which the Falcons lost.
Masood will lead Yorkshire Vikings to their trip to New Road tonight for the match against Worcestershire Rapids.
The home team will be expecting their overseas Pakistani player Usama Mir to repeat his all-round performance as he did in their first match against Northamptonshire Steelbacks.
Mir who was signed by Worcestershire on a short-term deal made a huge contribution towards Rapids the 15 runs win over the Steelbacks.
He picked up 3 wickets for just 21 runs in his 4 overs and also scored a quick-fire 20 runs on just 7 balls he faced hitting 2 sixes and a boundary.
On the other hand, Masood’s Yorkshire Vikings will be seeking the first win in the Blast after their loss in the opening match against Bear.
Left-handed Shan is the first Pakistani player to lead Yorkshire CCC in history. Vikings lost their first game against the Bears at Edgbaston last Friday, Masood managed to score only five runs in that match.
Shadab will be in action for Sussex Sharks for the first time in the Blast. Sharks whore in the South group will be up against Somerset at their home ground in Hove for their inaugural match in the competition. Somerset has already won their first match comprehensively against Hampshire by 8 wickets.
Left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar who signed the deal again this year with Gloucestershire CCC will also be in action tonight against neighbouring Glamorgan.
He is not only part of Gloucestershire’s squad for the first-class matches but also for their campaign in the Blast.