Pakistan Test star Razzaq~~s availability worries Middlesex

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2002, 2:03 [IST]
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London: English county Middlesex said on Tuesday it was seeking urgent clarification as to how much of the season its overseas player Abdul Razzaq will miss because of Pakistan commitments.

Test all-rounder Razzaq signed a one-year deal, with the option of a second, last July. However, Middlesex coach John Emburey is concerned Razzaq's availability will be severely restricted because of Pakistan's expanding international programme. On top of One-day commitments in Australia and the International Cricket Council (ICC) Knockout event in September, Pakistan will host New Zealand's postponed Test tour in April and May. "We're desperately trying to sort out the situation with Razzaq and we can't seem to get hold of him or anyone in Pakistan who can give us an answer. "It's not the player's fault but we need some answers from the Pakistan board as to what their schedule is going to be during our summer," Emburey told BBC Sport Online. "Pakistan is now down to play Australia in July and we know they are negotiating with New Zealand at the moment (New Zealand has agreed to reschedule the tour, according to the PCB). Neither tour had been envisaged when we first signed Razzaq," the former England off-spinner said. "Then there's the ICC tournament in September. We reckon that most counties will lose their oversees players for that and Razzaq would certainly be there. "And we're hearing all sorts of other rumours. There is even talk of Pakistan playing a One-day tournament in Morocco. If that happens, pretty much the whole summer is taken out. We would then need to look in detail at our contract with Razzaq to see what could be done about it," he said. "The season isn't that far away and we need some answers now, but just getting through to Pakistan is a big problem at the moment."

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