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Shaheen Afridi prepares for WI series

ISLAMABAD: Fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has left Middlesex to return to Pakistan ahead of the series against West Indies, reported on Thursday.

The 22-year-old left-armer, who signed as an overseas player this season, was due to leave Middlesex in early June to represent his country.

But he has instead left with immediate effect to rest and spend time with his family before the series.

Afridi has featured in Middlesex’s County Championship wins over Glamorgan, Leicestershire and Sussex.

He has taken 14 wickets at an average of 25.43, helping Middlesex to the top of the Division Two table.

Afridi, who has already played 42 Tests and made 70 appearances in limited-overs formats for Pakistan, is due to return to the county following his international commitments and will be available for the later stages of the T20 Blast.

“Shaheen has played international cricket in all three forms of the game already this year and came to Middlesex off the back of a busy playing schedule, so we are fully understanding and supportive of his request to go home and recharge ahead of him representing his country,” said Alan Coleman, Middlesex’s head of men’s performance cricket.”

Meanwhile, Mohammad Rizwan, Hasan Ali and Mohammad Amir are also sitting out their respective counties’ Championship fixtures this week but Haris Rauf is back for Yorkshire after a side injury, ESPNCricinfo reported.

Rauf did not bowl in the second innings of his most recent game and missed Yorkshire’s draw against Essex last week but was named in their XI for the Roses match against Lancashire on Thursday morning. Hasan has been rested.

Rizwan is unavailable for Sussex’s fixture away against Leicestershire due to a family bereavement. “The club would like to send our best wishes to Riz and his family at this difficult time,” a statement said.

Amir, meanwhile, has a tight hamstring and will miss Gloucestershire’s game against Somerset as a result. “He requires a period of rest after being away from red-ball cricket for a number of years and bowling a large number of overs in a short space of time since joining Gloucestershire,” a club statement said.

Gloucestershire confirmed that they are “exploring the potential” to select Amir in their Championship fixtures against Kent and Lancashire when Marcus Harris will be in Sri Lanka with Australia A.

Amir was initially signed as a short-term replacement for Naseem Shah after he injured his shoulder on his debut for Gloucestershire, and the club said he would play for their second XI in the coming weeks before returning to the first team during the T20 Blast.

Amir’s absence has compounded Gloucestershire’s injury crisis, with Chris Dent, Ben Charlesworth (both foot) and David Payne (ankle) all unavailable this week. As a result, they have brought in three short-term loan signings: Jacob Bethell (Warwickshire, one week), Brad Wheal (Hampshire, two weeks) and Zak Chappell (Nottinghamshire, one month). | YouTube Channel

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.