How are the 2019 Premier League overseas professionals doing back home?

After starring in the Robinson Services Premier League last season, the majority of overseas professionals have returned home and are right into another busy campaign.

It’s always interesting to see how they get on in their respective countries and leagues, so with the help of ESPNCricinfo we look at the performances of the Class of 2019.

Obus Pienaar

Pienaar won’t be returning to CIYMS, who he helped win four trophies in 2019, after it was announced he will be plying his trade in the Lancashire League with Lowerhouse CC next season.

The South African scored 858 runs for the Belmont side last season at an average of 53.62 and also took 38 wickets, which put together a very solid season that perhaps went under the radar.

Back in his homeland, he has played six matches so far for Northern Cape, with four of those being Twenty20’s, one First Class fixture and the other List A.

The highlight so far was an innings of 107* in a losing effort against Eastern Province at Port Elizabeth, and he followed it up three days later with 41 against the same opponents.

Three of his innings have ended in single figures while he has only bowled in two matches, picking up figures of 0/17 and 0/19.

obuspienaar
Obus Pienaar bowling for CIYMS

Jacques Snyman

Snyman took the NCU by storm in 2019, smashing his way past the 1000 run mark and ended the season with 1085 runs, which he scored at an average of 54.25.

The 25-year-old will be returning to Carrickfergus again next season after scoring five centuries for the Middle Road outfit, and he has wasted no time in showing that sort of blistering form again for Northern Cape – the same team as Pienaar.

He scored 117 on September 14 from just 58 deliveries with eight four and nine sixes – the sort of form we are used to seeing him in here in the NCU.

Another half-century came on Sunday as he scored 59 in a List A fixture against Eastern Province as his side successfully chased down 221 with six wickets in hand.

He tends to bowl more back home than team-mate Pienaar, with Snyman picking up five wickets in the five matches he has bowled in.

snyman
Jacques Snyman. ©CricketEurope

Andre Malan

Malan has been consistently brilliant in the NCU over the past two seasons for CSNI and he topped the run charts in 2019, hitting 1238 runs at an astonishing average of 65.16.

While it is still unknown if the South African will return for a third campaign in Belfast, he continues to perform at a high-level back home for Western Province.

In the four T20 matches scored on Cricinfo, Malan registered three half-centuries (53*, 52, 82*) in games against Border, North West and Limpopo, which were all played at Potchefstroom.

Malan is one of the best bowlers in the NCU – as shown by his 41 wickets in 23 matches last season – but he didn’t bowl at all in those four matches in September.

It seems to be a regular occurrence for Malan not to bowl, but his First Class batting statistics are top notch as he averages 42.53 and has scored 2467 runs in 69 innings.

malan
Andre Malan. ©CricketEurope

Haseeb Azam

Azam enjoyed his first NCU campaign with the ball but it was clear his ability with the bat was well below what was required at Waringstown.

He still played some important innings, like the one that got the Villagers over the line in the Irish Senior Cup semi-final against CIYMS, but undoubtedly Waringstown will be looking elsewhere for someone more in the mould of Shaheen Khan, who had to depart The Lawn in 2018.

Back in Pakistan, the 33-year-old has played two matches for Bloch 2nd XI, starting with 13 and bowling figures of 1/25 against Centr 2nd XI in Lahore.

His second match went much better with the bat, following up a first innings score of 8 with a knock of 45 while also taking three wickets in the match.

You’d think it’s extremely unlikely he will be back in the NCU when the 2020 season rolls around despite picking up 37 wickets in 20 matches – a tally which put him 5th in the standings.

azam
Azam got Waringstown over the line against CIYMS with Kyle McCallan. ©CricketEurope

Faiz Fazal

Indian international Fazal is another that was very impressive in his first NCU campaign and will be back in 2020 with Lisburn already confirming his return.

The 34-year-old has been extremely busy back home playing for an India Green side as early as August before moving on play for Vidarbha in seven List A matches.

He started the season where he left off in Northern Ireland, hitting 72 against Punjab on October 5 and followed it up with further scores of 30 and 38* in the following days.

Another half-century (92) came on October 11 against Delhi in Vadodara before two consecutive ducks on the 12th and 14th.

Tuesday brought a return to form for Fazal after that blip, notching 58* against Baroda.

faiz fazal
Fazal batting for Lisburn. ©CricketEurope

Fahad Iqbal

Iqbal struggled throughout a large majority of the 2019 season with Muckamore, scoring 523 runs and taking just 14 wickets in 19 matches.

He has been playing for the same Bloch 2nd XI side that Azam has been turning out for, with Iqbal playing six times for the outfit in various formats.

Iqbal has scored 203 runs in nine innings so far this season with a high score of 80 coming in the second innings against Kyhber on October 8.

It has been a leaner time with the ball, picking up three wickets in the six occasions he has been introduced into the attack, but with figures such as 1/6 and 1/11, it suggests he hasn’t been given many overs.

The last game he played was on October 14, where he scored two in a T20 fixture against Sindh.

iqbal
Fahad Iqbal. ©CricketEurope

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