Fakhar Zaman, the Pakistan batsman, is all set to return to England – where he rose to fame with scintillating performances in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, especially his man of the match innings in the final against India, which helped Pakistan become champions. The left-hander will replace New Zealand allrounder Corey Anderson in the Somerset squad.
The 27-year-old is expected to join the squad soon and will also be part of the county side during their final phase of the season. He will be coming in for Dean Elgar, who will be returning back to South Africa to prepare for the Bangladesh series.
Zaman had a prolific Champions Trophy in which he amassed 252 runs in four games and averaged 63. He has also played three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) and turned up for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League.
Matt Maynard, Somerset’s director of cricket, said: “It’s great to have Fakhar joining us and in addition we will have Dean Elgar back for the final three NatWest T20 Blast group stage games.”
Somerset are facing a battle to stay in Division One of the county championship, still 30 points adrift of the safe zone with six games remaining. Zaman, who averages over 60 in first class cricket, will be a good addition to the squad.
Meanwhile, Corey Anderson’s stay at the county side was a short-lived one. The New Zealand allrounder played four games in the NatWest T20 Blast before being ruled out of the tournament with a stress fracture to his back.
Anderson suffered a double stress fracture two years ago during New Zealand’s tour of England. At that time, he was sidelined for eight months from international cricket and has hardly bowled since returning to action.
He said: “I am grateful to Somerset for giving me an opportunity to play cricket in England and only sorry that I have been unable to conclude my stay with them. However I hope that at some point in the future when my back problem has been resolved that I will be able to return.”
Somerset are currently placed second in the south group in the NatWest T20 Blast. However, they have played an extra game. With five matches still remaining, Somerset are expected to make it to the quarterfinal.