Babar Azam to make Somerset return for T20 Blast

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Pakistan’s T20I skipper Babar Azam will once again represent Somerset in this year’s Vitality T20 Blast. Babar, the world’s top-ranked T20I batsman, was the leading run-scorer in the 2019 edition.

The 25-year-old, currently captaining Pakistan in their T20I series in England after featuring in all three Tests earlier in the tour, had agreed to return to southwest club before the coronavirus pandemic upended cricket schedules around the world.

He will be back at Somerset’s Taunton base on Wednesday.

The talisman will be available for Somerset’s final seven group matches plus the knockout stages should they qualify.

“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,” Babar said in a Somerset statement. “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.”

In his first season with Somerset, Babar compiled 578 runs at an impressive average of 52.54 and an astounding strike-rate of 149.35.

“He is a great player, is so easy on the eye and fitted brilliantly into our environment last year,” said Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry. “We consider Babar to be one of our own.”