T20 Blast 2022: Jason Behrendorff, Chris Green replace Shaheen Afridi, Mujeeb ur Rahman at Middlesex

T20 Blast 2022: Jason Behrendorff, Chris Green replace Shaheen Afridi, Mujeeb ur Rahman at Middlesex

Several counties have been forced to make changes due to players' international commitments.

Jason Behrendorff
Jason Behrendorff. (Photo: Sandeep Mahankal/IANS)

Middlesex roped in Australian pacer Jason Behrendorff as a replacement for Shaheen Shah Afridi in the T20 Blast. The Pakistani pacer left the side owing to his international obligations with his home side Pakistan and thus, the club stated that he will not be making a return this season. Additionally, his fellow teammate Chris Green will also return to the club as a replacement for Mujeeb ur Rahman, who is set to play against Zimbabwe for his national side Afghanistan.

When Australia defeated England in the group stages at Lord’s during the 2019 World Cup, the 32-year-old had registered his career-best figures of 5/44 despite having only played 12 ODIs and nine T20Is in his career. He’ll join Middlesex once he completes his stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the IPL 2022. RCB has qualified for the playoffs and will face the Lucknow Super Giants in the first Eliminator.

“We are delighted to have added Jason and Chris to our T20 squad for the forthcoming Blast campaign. With Shaheen heavily committed to international duty with Pakistan we needed to bring a quality seamer into the attack for our Blast campaign, and in Jason, we have a left-arm seamer of proven international class,” Alan Coleman, Middlesex’s head of men’s performance cricket was quoted by ESPNCricinfo.

Chris Green can play a match-winning role for us: Coleman

The 28-year-old Green was a standout player for Middlesex in last summer’s Blast campaign. He appeared in seven of the club’s South Group matches. Green has also lifted a Big Bash League trophy for Sydney Thunder in the year 2015-16.

“With Mujeeb also leaving on international duty, we were keen to ensure that we were covered in the spin department, and we all know what Greeny is capable of in the short form of the game. He fit in brilliantly last summer and can play a match-winning role for us, so we’re really looking forward to welcoming him back into the dressing room,” he added.

The timing of the Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe has been worrisome for various counties. Rashid Khan is expected to return to Sussex following the completion of the tour, for their ninth match of the tournament. The overseas players’ spot is filled by Mohammad Rizwan and Josh Phillipe, till Rashid marks his return from the IPL.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Rashid’s IPL teammate at the Gujarat Titans, will also miss the majority of the Blast, with Leicestershire getting New Zealand’s Hamish Rutherford as a replacement. Naveen-ul-Haq and Qais Ahmad, the two Afghan cricketers who will be a part of the Blast, have flown to the UK for their assignments with the Leicestershire and Kent, respectively.