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Yorkshire and Rafiq set to face big names

Friday 12th October 2012
Azeem Rafiq.

Barnsley lad Azeem Rafiq will take on some of the best cricket teams and players in the world next week in the Twenty20 Champions League in South Africa.


The 21-year-old spinner was part of the Yorkshire team that won their qualifying matches against UVA Next and Trinidad and Tobago this week. They are now through to the main draw where they will play four games over the next two weeks.


Former Barnsley CC batsman Gary Ballance smashed six sixes to win the second match for the Tykes.


Yorkshire's first game in the next stage will be on Tuesday against the Sydney Sixers who have Australian star Shane Watson as well as Mitchell Starc who played for them in the domestic tournament in England. Two days later they will face Mumbai Indians who have Sachin Tendulkar and Harabajan Singh. Completing the group are South African side Highveld Lions and the Chennai Super Kings.


Azeen said: "When we flew out to South Africa for the qualifying round, we knew the minimum we had to do was win our three-team group and get through to the proper tournament.


"We are now in a new group of five teams of which the top two will reach the semi-finals.I am delighted that we now get to test ourselves against the best teams and players in the world.


"I have been pleased with my performances so far. I got the wicket of UVA’s Australian international Andrew McDonald in the first match and have not been too expensive in either game. I have not had a chance to bat yet but hopefully that will come soon.


"It is a great experience to be part of this tournament. It is pretty big news over here and everyone is getting really involved in it. We have been looked after really well.


"I still don’t think we have played to our best yet so hopefully we will keep getting better and better. We are just taking each game as it comes but we are not here to make up the numbers, we want to get as far as we can. "