Tuesday Jan 07, 2020 | By: Faizan Lakhani
Star batsman Babar Azam has re-signed with English county cricket side Somerset for the 2020 season.
According to a statement by Somerset county, Azam will be available for selection for the Vitality Blast between May 28 and July 3.
He will also be eligible for Somerset’s County Championship's four day-matches during that time, and is likely to play at least two first-class matches before joining the Pakistan Cricket team for the three-Test series against England.
“Babar Azam is the best T20 batsman in the world and his return will be a major boost for us. He played a significant role for us in the Vitality Blast last year and his stats speak for themselves," said Somerset Director of Cricket, Andy Hurry.
“He made a number of match-winning contributions and fitted seamlessly into the dressing room. You can’t ask more from your overseas players than that," he added.
Azam's stint with the county will also help him prepare for Pakistan's three-Test series in England this summer.
Pakistan are scheduled to play at Lord's from July 30, at Old Trafford from August 7 and at Trent Bridge from August 20.
Azam made a massive impact during his time with Somerset last year when he was the leading run-scorer in Vitality Blast, amassing an incredible 578 runs at an average of 52.54 and strike rate of 149.35.
His prowess with the bat saw him score a century and four half-centuries from 13 innings. He also struck 60 fours and 14 sixes during the competition.
Azam, at the time, had said that he enjoyed his time at Somerset, and was looking forward to coming back again.
"Somerset has a very good squad and the supporters made me feel very welcome. Hopefully, I can help the club reach the knockout stages of the Vitality Blast and contribute to winning matches in the County Championship.” Babar said in a statement released by the county team.