Counties welcome Pak bowlers in bulk

Published: Saturday, April 24, 2004, 23:21 [IST]
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Islamabad:The recent drubbing by India has not dented the image of Pakistani bowlers as the English Counties signed nine of them for the new season, while shunning most of their batsmen.

The English County season will see leading Pakistani bowlers including Shoaib Akhtar (Durham), Mohammed Sami (Kent) and Shabbir Ahmed (Gloucestershire) in action for different counties and minor teams like Scotland and Ireland.

The Pakistani bowlers and all-rounders appearing for English counties and Scotland this summer also include Saqlain Mushtaq (Surrey), Danish Kaneria (Essex), Mushtaq Ahmed (Sussex), Shoaib Malik (Gloucestershire) and Azhar Mahmood (Surrey), local daily 'The News' said.

Interestingly, only one specialist Pakistani batsman has been signed by the Counties with Faisal Iqbal, who played in the Under-19 World Cup, joining Sussex.

Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis, who recently announced his retirement from cricket, may also turn out for his old Welsh county Glamorgan to fill in the vacancy left by Australian fast bowler Michael Kasparowicz.

Pakistan's young all-rounder Yasir Arafat is appearing for the Scottish Saltires after they failed to sign on Springbok batsman Neil McKenzie, the report said.

Arafat, a 22-year-old all-rounder who is a professional at Clydesdale, will play for Scotland in the One-day National League after being handed the secondary overseas role filled by South African Jon Kent last season.

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