Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali in line for county stints

Azhar Ali Asad Shafiq

Pakistan’s two most senior batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are set to get county stints to tune them up for the eight Test matches Pakistan are set to play in the next eight months, described by head coach Mickey Arthur as ‘welcoming.’

Both Azhar and Asad do not play Twenty20 internationals while only Azhar is part of the ODI squads, leaving them with long breaks at the international level.

Azhar Ali, who played international cricket after a long break looked rusty and could score at an average of around 12 runs on the tour. Whereas, Asad Shafiq was also not impressive against England.

Surrey and Somerset are in negotiations with both the Pakistan players as the two counties need replacements for Virat Kohli (Surrey) and Matt Renshaw (Somerset) for the rest of the season.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed and head coach Arthur stressed county stints will help the two senior batsmen to get tuned up for Test matches.

Pakistan’s pace bowler Mohammad Abbas, who was deservedly named man-of-the-series in the 1-1 drawn series with England on Sunday, will resume his stint with Leicestershire.

Three players Usman Salahuddin, Sami Aslam and Imam-ul-Haq will return to Pakistan on Wednesday.