PAKISTAN international batsman Azhar Ali is to return as Somerset's overseas player for the duration of the 2019 season.

Ali, who scored 402 runs in seven matches during the latter half of last season including a century on debut at Worcestershire, will be eligible for selection in the Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup.

The 33-year-old recently retired from one-day international cricket and told Somerset's official wesbite he is "really pleased" to be returning to Taunton.

Ali said: “I very much enjoyed my time with the club this year and I am really pleased to be going back. Somerset is a special club and it was a pleasure to play for them in 2018.

"There was a really good atmosphere in the dressing room and there are some very good players at the club. The supporters were excellent, and I look forward to seeing everyone again next year.”

Somerset Director of Cricket, Andy Hurry added: “We are delighted to have secured a player of Azhar’s quality and experience for the duration of the summer and having him available for all our Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup fixtures fits our needs perfectly.

“Azhar fitted in seamlessly during his time with us towards the back end of the 2018 season. Knowing the positive impact that he will have both on and off the field, alongside his availability all summer were key factors in wanting to secure him."