London, Aug 29 (IANS) Pakistan batsman Babar Azam will be playing for Somerset in the ongoing T20 Blast competition, the club confirmed on Saturday. He will be available for the last seven group matches plus the knock-out stages, should the club qualify.
The 25-year-old is currently leading Pakistan in the three-match T20I series, the first of which had ended in a no result due to rain on Friday.
Babar, who was a sensation for Somerset in 2019 when he scored 578 runs, will be rejoining the club from September 2 to October 4.
After agreeing to return to Somerset, he said: “I really enjoyed playing for Somerset last year and I can't wait to get back to the club. For obvious reasons, this year has been very different from what we were all expecting, and I fully appreciate the challenges the game has faced globally as well as here in England.”
“We have all had to adapt and I'm just really pleased that we could find a way to make this happen. I hope that I can help to contribute to success on the field for Somerset again,” he added.
“We originally agreed terms and announced Babar's signing prior to the impact of COVID-19. However, since then there have obviously been revisions to the domestic and Vitality Blast schedules,” Somerset Director of Cricket Andy Hurry said.
“Since the confirmation of the 2020 fixtures we have been working collaboratively with the ECB, PCB, Babar and his management team to ensure that we could all make the necessary adjustments that would enable him to join us to fulfil the pre-existing agreement.
“Babar already being in England for the Test & T20I series against England has helped us significantly and we are very grateful to Babar and his management team for their understanding of the current challenges and their flexibility.
“He is a great player, is so easy on the eye and fitted brilliantly into our environment last year,” he added.
The T20 Blast competition began on August 27 with defending champions Essex Eagles taking on Middlesex at the Cloudfm County Ground in Chelmsford.