Babar Azam: Pakistan batsman joins Somerset for T20 Blast

Babar Azam in action for Pakistan
Babar Azam has scored 1182 runs at an average of 53.72 in 29 T20 international appearances

Somerset have signed Pakistan batsman Babar Azam for the majority of this season's T20 Blast competition.

The 24-year-old right-hander is top of the International Cricket Council's T20 international batting rankings.

Subject to a visa and receiving clearance, Azam will be available for all 14 group matches plus a possible quarter-final should Somerset qualify.

His availability for Finals Day would be dependent on his international commitments with Pakistan.

Azam, who hit a 63-ball century in a T20 tour match against Leicestershire on Wednesday, has scored 1182 runs at an average of 53.72 in 29 T20 international appearances since making his debut against England in September 2016.

"To be able to sign a player of the calibre of Babar Azam is tremendously exciting," Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry told the club website.

"He is a proven performer at the very highest level."

The T20 Blast starts on Thursday, 18 July, with Finals Day on Saturday, 21 September at Edgbaston.