Nottinghamshire sign Ben Lister, Fazalhaq Farooqi as replacement for Shaheen Afridi

Nottingham, March 20 (IANS) Nottinghamshire have secured the services of two talented left-arm seamers, Ben Lister from New Zealand and Fazalhaq Farooqi from Afghanistan as a replacement of Shaheen Shah Afridi for the T20 Blast 2024 group stages.

Shaheen took 22 wickets in his 14 matches for Notts last season, including four in a single over in a defeat to Birmingham Bears. With Shaheen unavailable due to his commitments with the T20 World Cup for Pakistan, Nottinghamshire turned to Lister and Farooqi, both renowned for their wicket-taking abilities and experience on the international stage.

Lister, despite not featuring in New Zealand’s World Cup plans, brings with him 13 limited-overs caps and a hunger to make an impact.

Farooqi, subject to approval from the Afghanistan Cricket Board, will make his county cricket debut after leading Afghanistan’s seam attack in the T20 World Cup.

Peter Moores, the head coach of Nottinghamshire, expressed confidence in their new signings, emphasising the importance of left-arm seam options in creating challenges for opposing batters. Moores praised Lister’s potential to make a difference with his consistent performances, while highlighting Farooqi’s expertise in handling pressure situations, crucial in the high-stakes T20 format.

“Given the success Shaheen had with us last year, bringing in left-arm seam options again made sense,” Peter Moores, Notts’ head coach, said in a press release. “It creates a different set of challenges for batters. In Ben and Fazalhaq, we have proven wicket-takers who can make an impact on the game in crucial moments, which is what we are after.”

“Ben is an exciting talent who is establishing himself on the world stage after consistent performances domestically. He’s made a difference in the teams he has played for, and has the potential to do the same with us. Meanwhile, Fazalhaq is a world-class player with experience on the franchise circuit and in international cricket, with a proven ability to bowl at the death. His knowhow under pressure will be important in our group stage run-in.”

Notts had finished fourth in the North Group last year and were beaten by eventual champions Somerset in the quarter-finals. The team undergoes a transformation this season with the departure of seasoned players like Samit Patel and Jake Ball. However, the arrival of talents like Jack Haynes, Dillon Pennington, and Josh Tongue injects fresh energy into the squad.

Additionally, Alex Hales will be absent in the latter part of the group stages due to his commitments in the Lanka Premier League, while Jack Haynes, Dillon Pennington and Josh Tongue have all joined from Worcestershire. New Zealand’s Will Young will feature in the T20 set-up, and Joe Clarke will take over as T20 captain.



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