Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said Mir Hamza is a perfect replacement for fellow left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Shaheen has been out of action for a couple of months as he is recovering from the knee injury he suffered in the final of the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Shahid noted that Hamza is just like Shaheen as he swings the ball and gets good bounce. On top of this, he has been knocking on the selectors’ door for a few years now as he has consistently performed well in domestic cricket.
In the recent Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, he took 16 wickets in four matches for Sindh at an average of 24.
The 30-year-old followed that up with five wickets in five Pakistan Cup games for Sindh at an average of 19.60.
Given how well he has fared at the domestic level, Shahid said Hamza’s “inclusion will be worthy” for Pakistan.
The Karachi native was handed the opportunity to feature in the two-Test series against New Zealand, but only managed to pick up one wicket.
Nonetheless, Shahid wants Hamza to be retained in the side in the event that Shaheen gets injured again or needs to be rested due to a heavy workload.
“In [the] absence of Shaheen, we needed a left-arm pacer. His inclusion will be worthy for us,” the former interim chief selector was quoted as saying by Cricwick.
Hamza will now represent the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), while Shaheen is expected to make his comeback and captain the Lahore Qalandars.
The Qalandars, who are the reigning champions, will face the Multan Sultans in the opening game on February 13.
As for the Kings, their first match will be against the Peshawar Zalmi on February 14.
Karachi Kings Squad for PSL 8: Haider Ali, Imran Tahir, Matthew Wade, Imad Wasim, James Fuller, James Vince, Andrew Tye, Mohammad Amir, Shoaib Malik, Aamer Yamin, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Akhlaq, Sharjeel Khan, Tayyab Tahir, Irfan Khan Niazi, Qasim Akram, Mohammad Umar and Tabraiz Shamsi, Ben Cutting, Musa Khan and Faisal Akram
Lahore Qalandars Squad for PSL 8: Fakhar Zaman, Rashid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, David Wiese, Hussain Talat, Haris Rauf, Abdullah Shafique, Liam Dawson, Sikander Raza, Ahmad Daniyal, Dilbar Hussain, Harry Brook, Kamran Ghulam, Mirza Tahir Baig, Shawaiz Irfan, Zaman Khan, Jalat Khan and Jordan Cox, Ahsan Bhatti, Sam Billings, Shane Dadswell and Kusal Mendis