Shaheen Shah Afridi to make Middlesex debut against Glamorgan in latest Marnus Labuschagne battle

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan star Shaheen Shah Afridi is set to make his Middlesex debut tomorrow against Glamorgan, who have Marnus Labuschagne, the world’s best batter, in their ranks.

Afridi, 21, is ranked in the top 10 by the ICC in all three formats, and has joined Middlesex until July, having previously had a short county stint with Hampshire.

He is set to go straight into the XI for tomorrow’s fixture in Cardiff, where he will reprise the battle he had with Labuschagne in Pakistan’s recent Test series against Australia.

Middlesex have named a 13-man squad including Shaheen, but have suffered twin blows, with the loss of attack leader Tim Murtagh and No3 Stephen Eskinazi to injuries suffered in the season opener against Derbyshire.

Murtagh’s hamstring injury is not as serious as first feared, and it is hoped he will be back to face Middlesex at Lord’s next week.

Eskinazi scored a century in his first innings of the season, but broke a thumb fielding and will be out for the next couple of matches.

The good news is that skipper Peter Handscomb has arrived after the conclusion of the Australian season, and Sam Robson and Martin Andersson are back from injury, which will place a squeeze on batting spots. Josh de Caires and Max Holden are competing for Eskinazi’s spot at first drop, while spinner Thilan Wallalawita is in the squad for the first time this season.

Surrey yesterday suffered the loss of their overseas player Kemar Roach for the remainder of his five-match stint due to a hamstring injury, and will find him difficult to replace in a market made awkward by visa delays and the Indian Premier League.

He seems likely to be replaced in the XI for tomorrow’s game against Somerset – which will see the in-form Overton brothers go head-to-head – by Reece Topley.

Sam Curran returned to bowling after a stress fracture of the back with a five-over spell for the second team against Hampshire yesterday, while Daniel Worrall – an Australian playing as a local – arrives in the country this week after delays for family reasons.

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