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T20 Blast 2019: Mohammad Hafeez replaces AB de Villiers for Middlesex

Hafeez recently played in the Global T20 Canada.

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Mohammad Hafeez
Mohammad Hafeez. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan all-rounder, has signed for Middlesex in the ongoing T20 Blast. The veteran has been roped as the replacement of AB de Villiers, who finished his initial stint with the franchise with a victory over Surrey by 64 runs at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. However, he is expected to be back for the last two group games and the knockouts if Middlesex qualify that far.

AB has had a fantastic season thus far as he has scored 253 runs in five matches at an average and strike-rate of 84.33 and 191.66 respectively. He has notched three half-centuries, which shows the kind of form he is in. Middlesex are currently placed second on the points table in the South Group with 12 points. They are next scheduled to face Essex at the County Ground in Chelmsford.

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Hafeez recently played for the Edmonton Royals in the second edition of the Global T20 Canada. In the tournament, he scored 85 runs in five innings. He is expected to be a part of Middlesex’s upcoming encounter as per reports in ESPNcricinfo. This will also be Hafeez’s maiden stint in county cricket, though he previously plied his trade in the Liverpool League in 2004 and 2005.

Big shoes to fill for Mohammad Hafeez

Hafeez doesn’t play Test cricket these days after hanging his boots last year. However, he remains a part of Pakistan’s limited-overs team. He played the 2019 World Cup as well, scoring 253 runs, which included a match-winning 84 against England at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham. Recently, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) released a list of contracted players for the 2019-20 season.

The list was pruned from 33 to 19 and Hafeez didn’t get a contract, though he would be available for selection. It will be a challenge for him to fill De Villiers’ shoes as he was arguably Middlesex’s most dangerous batsman. The former South African batter had a couple of scores of 88 not out and a 40-ball 64 versus Surrey.

Hafeez has a truckload of experience in the T20 circuit. In 258 games in the format, he has scored 5413 runs at an average of 24.49 with two tons and 30 half-centuries. He is no mug with the leather either, having picked up 162 wickets at a rather frugal economy of 6.25.

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