ALI KEEN TO CONTRIBUTE

New Somerset man looking to make an impact...

AZHAR Ali is already fully focused on helping Somerset to a first-ever County Championship title.

The 33-year-old Pakistan batsman, signed to replace the injured Matt Renshaw for the last seven four-day games, boasts an impressive record, having appeared in 62 Test Matches, scoring over 5,100 runs at an average of more than 46, including 14 centuries.

Having spent the whole of his first morning at the club in the nets, he talked about what he was hoping to achieve during his time in the West Country.

“I would love to contribute some good performances and help to get that title,” he said. “It’s a long way away at the moment, but we are in a good place and hopefully can build from there.

“This is my first experience of playing county cricket and I am very excited to be here. I scored a century at Taunton in 2016 in the first warm up game we had on tour, and it was lovely to play at the ground.

“Marcus Trescothick is a hero of mine. I have watched him playing for England and love the way he bats.

“I really like his style of play and will try to learn a lot from him. Marcus is an inspiration to everyone and it will be a real honour for me to bat with him.

“I have been made very welcome by everybody so I am feeling at home already and I’m sure I am going to enjoy it a lot here – not only the cricket, but Taunton as a town as well.”

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.