Abbas returns to Ageas for second season

By Connor Steel

PAKISTAN fast bowler Mohammed Abbas has agreed to re-join Hampshire Cricket as their overseas player for the first two months of their 2022 LV= Insurance County Championship campaign due to start in April, coming after a similar stint at the Ageas Bowl last year following his move from Lancashire.

The 31-year-old seamer played an important role in Hampshire’s bowling attack last year picking up 41 wickets at an average of just 16. This included three five-wicket hauls with best figures of 6-11 against Middlesex at The Ageas Bowl in April, which was capped with a hat-trick in the first innings of this game.

Abbas also starred in two test matches between Pakistan and England at the Ageas Bowl in 2020, both of which were played behind closed doors due to Covid-19 restrictions. The bowler took two wickets and scored three runs combined during the two matches, which were both affected by the Hampshire weather.

In test cricket Abbas has played twenty-five games, has taken ninety wickets, and scored 110 runs with a high score of 29 runs; featuring heavily for many first class teams in recent years aside from the two English counties of Hampshire and Lancashire. More recently he has played for Southern Punjab in Pakistan, his last appearance being against Northern in which he took one wicket and scored seven runs in a huge innings defeat just weeks ago.

And alongside South African Kyle Abbott at the Ageas Bowl, the fast bowling pair hope to push Hampshire towards title glory in the red ball format after last year’s late heart-break. In a statement on the county website he said; “I’m delighted to be joining Hampshire again. I really enjoyed the environment and playing with this squad at a fantastic ground like The Ageas Bowl. I know there’s a big desire at the Club for silverware in the County Championship and hopefully I can play my part and contribute with the ball.”

Hampshire’s Director of Cricket Giles White further expressed his delight about re-signing the bowler, who will most likely be used as an opening seamer with the new ball following last year’s success in that position. He said of signing Abbas: “Mo showed everybody last year that he is a bowler of the highest quality. He’s an extremely popular member of the squad, so we are thrilled he’s agreed to come back and he joins Kyle Abbott as our second overseas signing.”

PICTURED BY ALARMY: Abbas celebrates after taking wicket versus England at the Ageas Bowl in 2020 wearing the Pakistan test whites