~~We~~ll keep Razzaq for home series, then release him~~
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2002, 21:10 [IST]
Pakistan Test star Razzaq's availability worries Middlesex
Lahore: Flamboyant all-rounder Abdur Razzaq is unlikely to play the first few matches of the English season for Middlesex as Pakistan wants him for the home series against New Zealand next month, an official said on Wednesday. "We are carefully looking at how and when to allow Razzaq to play in the English season but we need him for our home series against New Zealand," national coach Mudassar Nazar said. London county Middlesex has sought urgent clarification as to how much of the season Razzaq is available for after Pakistan's home series against New Zealand, which has been rescheduled to April-May. The 21-year-old Razzaq is a key member of Pakistan's Test and One-day squad. "Razzaq's contract allows him 30 to 35 days away from county duties so we would sit down and work out how to utilise those days," Nazar said. Pakistan will play two Tests and three One-day Internationals against New Zealand between April 20 and May 12. The English county season begins in the third week of April. "Someone will definitely talk to Middlesex officials on Wednesday and work out the details," the coach said. Razzaq, who signed a two-year contract last year, was not immediately available for comment but may speak on the matter after consultation with the Pakistan Cricket Board. Pakistan is also due to play Australia in July and in the International Cricket Council Knockout tournament in September. If Razzaq appears in both, Middlesex will have to suffer. "We may not need him for the short one-day series against Australia so he would be free to play in England," Nazar added.