Babar Azam will play for Somerset in their County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston next month.
The club announced on Sunday that Azam, the No.1 T20I player on the ICC rankings who joined Somerset for the Vitality Blast season, would be its overseas player for the match, beginning on August 18th because of registration regulations which meant there was not enough time to de-register him and re-register fellow Pakistan internationalAzhar Ali.
Somerset head coach Jason Kerr said: “You can only have two overseas players on the books at one time and due to the regulations, there simply isn’t the necessary time frame to re-register Azhar Ali. Fortunately for us Babar Azam has agreed to play in our four-day game at Warwickshire, which falls right in the middle of the Vitality Blast. If he hadn’t agreed, we would have been without an overseas player for that match.
“He’s fitted in really well and we’re all looking forward to seeing him play. Our philosophy is to build a home-grown side with the addition of world class players, and Babar Azam certainly fulfills that criteria. He’s one of the game’s rising stars and to have him in our side for that one-off game and for him to be a part of our family for the Vitality Blast can only bode well for us.”
Azhar will return for the final three Championship matches.
“He’s an outstanding character and fully understands the situation. He wanted to put the team first and I have no doubt that he will make significant contributions for us at the back end of the season,” Kerr said.