ISLAMABAD, Mar 30 (APP): Yorkshire County Cricket Club has signed the talented Pakistan batsman, Saud Shakeel, as a replacement for the injured Neil Wagner for the early part of the County Championship season.
Wagner was ruled out of the competition due to a bulging disc in his back and a torn right hamstring that he sustained during New Zealand’s Test duty earlier this month.
The 27-year-old, who made his Test debut last winter against England and New Zealand, had a stunning start to his international career by scoring 50s in each of his first five appearances and averaging 72.5 in the process.
Saud might make his debut for Yorkshire in their first Division Two fixture against Leicestershire at Headingley on Thursday. However, the player’s availability was contingent on the processing of his visa, which may cause some delay.
Yorkshire’s top six would be bolstered by the inclusion of Saud, who brings additional strength to the team. However, there was a chance that the new club captain and Pakistan cricketer, Shan Masood, may not be available for the initial rounds of the Championship action.
Shan was a non-playing member of the Pakistan T20I squad that recently lost 2-1 to Afghanistan in Sharjah. He is also in contention for selection in Pakistan’s upcoming five-match home series against New Zealand in T20 and one-day internationals from April 14.
If Masood was not chosen for national duty, he would join the team in time for their first season outside of the top flight since 2012, quoted cricketpakistan.com.pk.
Interestingly, Yorkshire has opted to replace the departing Neil Wagner with a batter rather than a like-for-like replacement due to the early season availability of their other seamers.