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The Hundred 2023: Six Pakistani players to partake in tournament

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(Clockwise) Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Usama Mir, Ihsanullah, and Zaman Khan. — Reporter
(Clockwise) Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Usama Mir, Ihsanullah, and Zaman Khan. — Reporter

BIRMINGHAM: As many as six Pakistani players including Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf will feature in this year’s edition of The Hundred tournament — 100-ball cricket tournament involving eight men’s and eight women’s teams located in major cities across England and Wales.

Sheheen and Haris will play for Welsh Fire, while Usama Mir and Zaman Khan are part of the Manchester Originals squad.

All-rounder Shadab Khan will be in action for Birmingham Phoenix and young pacer Ihsanullah will run in for Oval Invincibles.

All of them are set to make their debut in the tournament which is in its third year and will begin on Tuesday (August 1) at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge.

On the opening day, the doubleheader men and women squads teams of Trent Rockets will be up against Southern Braves.

Trent Rockets team is the current men’s champion, while Southern Braves were the winners of the men’s competition in the inaugural edition of The Hundred.

In the women’s fixtures, Oval Invincibles were the champions of both of the editions.

A total of 24 matches will be played in the tournament which will last for 4 weeks. This year the eliminator match will be played at The Oval in London instead of Ageas Bowl, Southampton while the final is set to take place at The Lords on August 27.

Although the tournament was originally planned to start in 2020 but due to covid pandemic it was postponed till 2021.

More than half a million people attended the matches during the second edition of The Hundred in 2022 including a record 271,000 who attends the Women’s fixtures.

Shaheen Afridi

Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen will spearhead Welsh Fire’s bowling attack in this year’s The Hundred.

The 22-year-old who has successfully led the PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars twice to victory was snapped by Welsh Fire in the £100,000 category at the players draft.

Recently, Shaheen represented Nottinghamshire Outlaws in the T20 Blast where he took 22 wickets in 14 matches.

In his last appearance for the Outlaws against Birmingham Bears, he took four wickets in the first over and created a new world record.

Although Shaheen was signed by Birmingham Phoenix in the inaugural edition of The Hundred, he pulled out of the tournament due to his commitments with the national team.

Haris Rauf

Experienced fast bowler Haris will join Shaheen in the Welsh Fire squad. The fast bowling duo who have been playing together in the national squad and also with Lahore Qalandars are set to make their debut in The Hundred tournament.

Haris was grabbed by Welsh Fire in the £60,000 category. The pacer, who is currently considered one of the fastest bowlers in Pakistan and overall, has taken more than 220 wickets in T20 cricket, including 83 international wickets.

Shadab Khan

The leg-spinning all-rounder Shadab is the second Pakistani player picked in the £100,000 category.

He is set to pay for Birmingham Phoenix in this year’s edition of The Hundred.

Earlier, Shadab, who leads Islamabad United in the PSL, struck a deal with Sussex Sharks for the T20 Blast tournament.

Although he missed the first couple of matches in the tournament due to an injury, in 12 games he played he managed to pick up 13 wickets and also scored a couple of quick-fire fifties.

But Shadab will only be available for Birmingham Phoenix till August 14 as he is set to return to Pakistan for national duties. So far, Shadab has taken more than 280 wickets in T20 cricket including 104 international wickets.

Ihsanullah

Oval Invincibles surprised many when they picked young pace sensation Ihsanullah.

Ihsanullah, who along with Haris is currently the among fastest bowlers in Pakistan, was picked up by Oval Invincibes in the £40,000 category during the players’ draft.

Hailing from Matta, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ihsanullah impressed everyone with his raw pace and accuracy to bowl yorkers during the PSL earlier this year.

On the back of some superb performances in the PSL for Multan Sultans, he earned a call into the national squad first in T20I and then in the ODI too.

Usama Mir

Mir is set to represent Manchester Oroginal in this year’s The Hundred.

The leg spinner who is now considered to be a reliable all-rounder due to his hard-hitting lower down the batting order has had a great run in form most recently for Worcestershire Rapids in the T20 Blast.

He was signed to play just the opening three games of the tournament for Rapids but he had such an impactful performance in those games that Worcestershire ended up signing him for the rest of the Blast tournament.

Mir played 11 games in the blast claiming 19 wickets at an average of 16.89 with an impressive strike rate of 13.39 conceding just 7.89 runs per over.

Mir who made his international debut earlier this year has so far played six ODIs for Pakistan.

He’s also featured for Karachi Kings and recently for Multan Sultans in the PSL where he was the fifth-highest wicket-taker and played a big role to help Multan Sultans to reach the final of the PSL this year.

Zaman Khan

21-year-old pacer Zaman Khan has been roped in by Manchester Originals as a replacement for Irish bowler Josh Little.

Zaman who is currently playing for Toronto Nationals in the Global T20 league in Canada will join Manchester Originals after August 16.

Earlier, he made an impressive start in county cricket while playing for Derbyshire Falcons in the T20 Blast.

Zaman played all 14 games for Derbyshire Falcons and ended up being the 3rd highest wicket after the groups’ stage.

He bagged 25 wickets at an average of 16.55 with a strike rate of 12 and an e-commerce rate of 8.28 runs.

Young pace sensation Zaman who’s also a product of Lahore Qalandars players’ development programme has recently made his international debut in the T20I series against Afghanistan.

Zaman from Chakswari AJK was also part of the twice PSL-winning franchise Lahore Qalandars.

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