Shoaib Bashir joins Worcestershire on short-term loan from Somerset

England
Shoaib Bashir, the England Test offspinner, has joined Worcestershire on a short-term loan that includes five Vitality Blast appearances, starting with Friday evening’s clash with Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, and a County Championship match against the table-toppers Surrey.

Bashir, 20, enjoyed a breakthrough winter with Ben Stokes’ England team, claiming 17 wickets in three appearances against India in February and March, including two five-wicket hauls.

However, his selection had come off the back of limited playing time at his home county of Somerset, for whom he had claimed just 10 previous wickets in six matches since making his professional debut in June 2023.

The knee injury that curtailed Leach’s involvement on the India tour meant that Bashir played as Somerset’s premier spinner for three County Championship matches in April. However, he took just four wickets at 74.75 in the early-season conditions and has not featured since.

Most recently, he has been playing alongside Leach in the county 2nd XI T20 competition, but now he has a chance to add his five senior T20 appearances – most recently Somerset’s victory in last summer’s Blast semi-final over Surrey, in which he didn’t bat or bowl.

“We are delighted to have Shoaib Bashir join us on loan,” Alan Richardson, Worcestershire’s head coach, said. “Shoaib is a player of immense talent and potential, and we believe his presence will significantly strengthen our squad for the Vitality Blast and our next Championship fixture against Surrey.”

“We’re confident that he will make a positive impact from tonight’s game against Northamptonshire. We’re excited to welcome him, and we are looking forward to seeing him in action.”

Worcestershire are currently fifth on net run-rate in the Blast North Group, albeit with the same number of points as the teams above them, after two wins and a loss in their first three games. In the Championship, they have yet to win any of their seven Division One matches, and their most recent match at New Road was abandoned as a draw after three washed-out days.

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