Pakistan’s opening batter Abdullah Shafique and England’s county outfit Leicestershire have failed to come to terms on an agreement.

Leicestershire was set to sign Shafique to a six-match deal before he was replaced by Ajinkya Rahane for the rest of the season but an agreement between the two parties fell through at the last minute because of a possible injury to the batter.

“We have to cover ourselves,” Paul Nixon Leicestershire’s head coach said.

“He had a little niggle in his side which he’s been playing with. He’s having a bit of time away from cricket because it has been a bit full-on,” he continued.

Leicestershire has reportedly already found a replacement for Abdullah Shafique with Australia’s Peter Handscomb joining the team as an overseas player alongside South African allrounder Wiaan Mulder and Aghanistan’s Naveen-ul-Haq.

Shafique’s disappointment in missing out on a spot in the county championship squad should be mitigated by the fact that he will likely make his T20I return against Afghanistan in the upcoming series for the first time since 2020.

He enjoyed a prolific season 8 of the Pakistan Super League with 268 runs in 10 matches at a strike rate of 144.08 to not only help Qalandars defend their title but also earn a recall to the international team.

Pakistan will still have a strong presence in the upcoming English cricketing season.