Thursday, October 6th, 2022


Alex Gidman has praised the all-round impact made by Worcestershire overseas player Azhar Ali during the 2022 season – and he has quickly been back amongst the runs after returning to Pakistan.

Azhar made a telling contribution with the bat and hit Worcestershire’s highest individual score of the summer with his 225 against Leicestershire in the LV=Insurance County Championship at New Road.

It produced one of the iconic images of the summer when, after his dismissal, he went straight across and signed autographs and had photographs taken with a posse of young fans.

But also off the pitch, Azhar made an invaluable contribution in encouraging and passing on invaluable advice to the young players in the squad.

He has already signed a contract to return to Worcestershire for next summer before flying home last Friday at the conclusion of the season.

Azhar quickly returned to action for Central Punjab in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and struck a century against Balochistan in the four-day competition in Rawalpindi.

His 107 off 196 balls contained one six and 11 fours as Central Punjab amassed 535-6 declared after bowling out Balochistan for 185. They closed day three on 137-1, still 213 in arrears.

Head Coach Gidman said: “I believe in having an overseas player that can play for the bulk of a season and really buy into what you are trying to do, not just on the pitch but off the pitch and the whole club, and Azhar has been amazing.

“He is just that rock solid person, and it’s a critical position in the team as well, batting at number three.

“He has offered us so much on the pitch in some of the trickier situations we’ve been in. He’s really helped us out when we really needed him.

“Off the pitch, he’s been brilliant with all the players, the younger players in practice sessions. He has been a wonderful man to have around.”