Pakistan skipper Babar Azam
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam has stayed away from the summer cricket commitments in England to focus fully on the international commitments the country is facing.

A well-placed source told ‘The News’ that Babar though listed among highly prized overseas players for the Hundred Draft, never expressed his desire to be part of the show.

“Babar Azam never applied for the NOC for the English summer-that means he is not interested despite being one of the few overseas who are bracketed among the top category. He could have walked easily in any team as every English county was looking forward to luring him. Yet he preferred to stay away from hectic commitments more in order to concentrate fully on the national summer commitment,” the source said.

Pakistan has three ODIs against the West Indies from 8-12 June plus tours of Sri Lanka (two Tests, three ODIs) and Netherlands (ODIs) and Sri Lanka (ACC Asia Cup T20).

“Pakistan have busy summer and that is possibly why Babar has decided to rest and prepare and concentrate fully on these commitments. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has issued NOCs to the majority of the cricketers signed up for different counties in England.

“Azhar Ali (Worcestershire), Zafar Gohar and Naseem Shah (Gloucestershire), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Middlesex), Mohammad Abbas (Hampshire), Mohammad Rizwan (Sussex), Hasan Ali (Lancashire), Shan Masood, Saad Khan and Danish Aziz has also been contracted for leagues in England.

“In the women’s section, Alyia Riaz, Diana Baig and Fatima Sana are also set to play to play women’s competitive cricket in England this summer. All the men cricketers have been given specific days to fulfill their obligations and return back to perform their national duties,” the source added.

Among the big moves announced by The Hundred picked up Tuesday:

Kieron Pollard was selected by London Spirit as the first pick of The Hundred Draft. Welsh Fire announce they’ve snapped up England batter Tammy Beaumont from London Spirit to lead their women’s team while picking up Joe Clarke, Tom Banton and Adam Zampa in the draft.

There will be a West Indian feel to The Hundred this summer with Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine among men’s overseas stars picked up in the draft.

Australia’s World Cup women winners Meg Lanning, Rachael Haynes and Megan Schutt, Kiwi Amelia Kerr, South Africa’s Mignon du Preez and West Indies’ Deandra Dottin amongst new overseas signings in the women’s competition.

Lauren Winfield-Hill (Oval Invincibles), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Trent Rockets), Fran Wilson (Welsh Fire) and Liam Dawson (London Spirit) are amongst the big-name English players on the move.

This content was originally published here.

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