Fire Ready to Swap Pakistan’s Bowling Stars with Kiwi Duo


Welsh Fire is making plans to replace two of Pakistan’s fast-bowling stars with New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry in the upcoming week for the men’s Hundred tournament.

Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf have had an impressive start in the tournament, taking five and three wickets respectively in Fire’s first three games. Under the guidance of their new coach, Mike Hussey, the team has shown remarkable improvement compared to last year, where they lost all eight group games. They won their first match, suffered a narrow two-run defeat against Southern Brave, and managed to tie with Oval Invincibles.

Pakistan is scheduling Shaheen and Rauf to travel to Sri Lanka for their three-match ODI series against Afghanistan, with the first match set on August 22. They are expected to play before departing.

Fire has already identified Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry as the replacements and submitted the necessary paperwork to the ECB for confirmation. Ferguson will step in for Rauf, providing a similar style of bowling, while Henry will fill the shoes of Shaheen, predominantly bowling with the new ball.

Both Ferguson and Henry are part of New Zealand’s T20I squad for their upcoming tour to England immediately after the Hundred. Henry had already informed NZC that he would be unavailable for the UAE tour (August 17-20) to anticipate the replacement contract. They might withdraw Ferguson from the UAE tour squad to play in the Hundred.

Notably, Henry has been in excellent form, recently leading Somerset to victory in the Vitality Blast and finishing the tournament as the top wicket-taker with an impressive record of 31 wickets at 13.23. On the other hand, Ferguson made two appearances in the inaugural Major League Cricket season last month, taking three wickets for LA Knight Riders.

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