The attention of cricket lovers shifts to England as the world’s most prestigious domestic club competition begins on 6th April 2023. The 2023 county season will start with the LV County Championship, which will be followed by the Vitality T20 Blast, and the Royal London One Day Cup.
All the county clubs have finalized their squads ahead of the new campaign. For the next 6 months, we will witness raw domestic English talent in action with experienced overseas players. Among these overseas players, some prominent Pakistan players have also been picked up.
Availability of Pakistan Players for the 2023 County Season
The availability of foreign players is always under the spotlight whenever a foreign league begins. Such is the case with this year’s county season.
It is very difficult for permanent members of a national team to play throughout the entire county season as they often have to leave their respective counties and report for national duty. Pakistan players are expected not to be available for the majority of the 2023 county season as they have got a home series against New Zealand in April and an away series against Sri Lanka in July.
The following Pakistan players will be playing county cricket this season.
Haider Ali – Derbyshire
Haider Ali has been picked by Derbyshire for this year’s County cricket campaign. The hard-hitting batter will be available across all 3 formats. He reunites with the former Pakistan team head coach, Mickey Arthur. The 22-year-old will be hoping to regain his confidence and emulate Shan Masood by making a comeback into the Pakistan national team setup.
Zafar Gohar – Gloucestershire
Zafar Gohar had a stellar 2022 campaign for Gloucestershire. He picked up 60 wickets for them across all competitions. His performances earned him the Player’s Player of the Tournament award at Gloucestershire. Due to his consistent performances, the left-arm spinner’s contract was extended by 2 years by the county club.
Muhammad Abbas – Hampshire
Muhammad Abbas made his county cricket debut in 2018 for Leicestershire. And since then, he has developed a liking for the English conditions. The right-arm medium pacer represented Hampshire in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. The 33-year-old has troubled a lot of batters with his swing bowling during his time at Hampshire. He has picked up 91 wickets for them over the last two years. Like Zafar Gohar, his contract was also extended till 2024 due to his brilliant performances.
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Shan Masood – Yorkshire
Shan Masood will be captaining the Yorkshire side in the 2023 county season. The stylish left-hand batter had a phenomenal campaign last season. He scored 1074 runs at an average of 82.62 in the LV County Championship and 547 runs at an average of 45.58 in the Vitality T20 Blast.
His heroics allowed him to make a comeback to the Pakistan team. But he seems to have fallen out of favor again with the emergence of new talent. So, he would be hoping to replicate his form last season to make another comeback to the National team.
Shaheen Shah Afridi – Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire must be delighted by securing the services of Shaheen Afridi. The 22-year-old is one of the most lethal fast bowlers in the world right now. He will be available to the county club for the Vitality T20 Blast fixtures only. Shaheen has represented Middlesex and Hampshire in previous competitions.
Shadab Khan – Sussex
Another marquee Pakistan player that will be playing in the 2023 county season is Shadab Khan. Like Shaheen Afridi, he too will be available for the Vitality T20 Blast. The vice-captain of Pakistan’s T20 side played for Yorkshire last season. The 24-year-old has vast T20 experience under his belt and Sussex will be hoping that he can guide them to their second T20 title.
Hasan Ali – Warwickshire
Hasan Ali will be back in action in the 2023 county season for Warwickshire, after impressing with Lancashire last season. He has signed a four-month contract with the county club which means he can feature in both the LV County Championship and the Vitality T20 Blast. He would be hoping that his performances this season can earn him a spot in Pakistan’s ODI World Cup squad.
Azhar Ali – Worcestershire
Azhar will be rejoining Worcestershire after he had a successful campaign for them last season. He scored 665 runs in 11 innings at an average of 41. The 38-year-old would be delighted to be playing competitive cricket in England as he approaches the end of his cricketing career.