T20 Blast 2019: No.1 T20I batsman Babar Azam to play for Somerset
Azam’s arrival will certainly boost the Somerset batting line-up this year.
Updated - May 3, 2019 7:21 pm
Talented Babar Azam is one Pakistan will be heavily relying on during the upcoming World Cup and he also knows it. The batsman is hence eyeing to make full use of his country’s tour of England which is currently underway. In three side games that Azam has played so far on the tour, he has slammed a hundred and an unbeaten fifty already and said that he is feeling “pretty good”.
Azam scored his first T20 hundred against Leicestershire on May 1
Having made his international debut just four years ago, 24-year-old Azam is currently the top-ranked T20I batsman and averages over 50 in the same format. In Tests too, he has been a prolific scorer since 2018 and has averaged 50 plus there as well. On Wednesday, Azam scored his first century in T20 by producing 101 off just 63 balls against Leicestershire in Leicester and helped Pakistan win by 58 runs. Earlier than that, he scored 68 not out against Northamptonshire at No.3, helping his side win by 8 wickets.
Azam got another boost to his confidence when county side Somerset announced in a tweet that the Pakistani batsman will be joining them for the T20 Blast tournament in 2019. The T20 Blast is a professional domestic T20 tournament which got its name since last year owing to the commercial sponsorships.
Somerset had won the T20 Blast long back in 2005 while last year, they did well to finish at the top of the South Division group, winning 10 out of 14 matches, but lost to Sussex Sharks by 37 runs in the semi-final. They were led by Lewis Gregory last year. Caribbean fast bowler Jerome Taylor had joined Somerset last year and did well in the semi-final by picking up four wickets for 20 runs but ended up in the losing team.
Azam’s arrival will certainly boost the Somerset batting line-up this year. Azam has played 106 T20s till now, scoring over 3,400 runs at an average of 40 plus with one hundred and 26 half-centuries.