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Page last updated at 14:13 GMT, Wednesday, 15 September 2010 15:13 UK

Owais Shah confirms contract negotiations with Essex

Owais Shah
Shah last played for England nearly a year ago at the Champions Trophy

Owais Shah has confirmed that Essex are one of four clubs that are interested in signing him, following his release from Middlesex.

The England batsman, 31, was told last month that his contract at Lord's was not being renewed next season.

"It's no secret I've been talking to Essex but also three other counties," Shah told BBC London 94.9.

"Nothing's been signed or anything like that, so we'll have to see what the counties offer me."

Coach Paul Grayson told BBC Essex last week: "We're speaking to him and we'd love to get Owais to the club. Hopefully we can come to some sort of deal.

"It's just a question of sitting down and agreeing personal terms because he's not a cheap player."

Newly relegated Essex also hope to tie England all-rounder Ravi Bopara to a new contract.

"He's been away with England and not managed to sign that yet," added Grayson. "But there's a two-year contract on the table ready to sign.

"And we're also looking to bring people in. There's quite a few players available and we're looking to bring in the right sort of characters. People that can make us improve."

Talking about his Middlesex exit, Shah added that he may have been made a scapegoat for the club's recent failures.

"There are certain things that need to be fixed for this club to move forward, to be honest it doesn't look very good in regards to what the club is trying to achieve until they change certain things.

"Sure they've changed the old fella at 31, whose been batting at three for the last 9-10 years, but there's more to it than that. I think the culture of the club needs to change.

"A few things need to be done if the club want too reach the heights of 20 years ago when Mike Gatting was holding trophies every other week.


"I certainly wish Middlesex the best in the future, there are certain things not for the world to know but for people who can make a difference at Middlesex to know. If they value my opinion then I'll be happy to share it with them."

Until last week, Shah had made just one County Championship ton this summer and his Middlesex place had come under threat following the signing for 2011 of Derbyshire's Australian opener Chris Rogers.

But despite his uncertain domestic future, and not having played for England for over a year, he still harbours hope of playing at international level.

"I still have a desire to play for England, whether that will happen I don't know, for me it's more important that I'm playing my cricket in a good environment."

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see also
Moeen keeps Worcs hopes alive
09 Sep 10 |  Counties
Shah set for Middlesex departure
31 Aug 10 |  Middlesex
Shah signs new Middlesex contract
24 Aug 08 |  Middlesex
Shah guides Middlesex to victory
04 Sep 10 |  Counties

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