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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 11:55 GMT
Kent sign ex-Pakistan ace Mahmood
Azhar Mahmood
Azhar Mahmood should be a British citizen come Christmas
Kent have signed former Surrey and Pakistan star Azhar Mahmood on a two-year deal and expect him to be available as a non-overseas player.

The 32-year-old all-rounder, married to an Englishwoman, expects to receive confirmation of his British citizenship from the Home Office over Christmas.

Kent chief executive Paul Millman told BBC Sport: "We've done a lot of work on this and don't expect any problems."

Mahmood has experience of 21 Tests and 139 one-day internationals.

But having settled in Britain he has decided to give up international cricket and has applied for a UK passport.

"This is a big move for me in more ways than one," he said.

606: DEBATE

"I look back on my days with Surrey with great fondness, but the opportunity to utilise my British passport and join a county such as Kent is something I'm really looking forward to."

Mahmood first player for Surrey in 2002, albeit briefly, before playing in each of the following five seasons.

Kent captain Rob Key said: "We are thrilled to have secured Azhar's services. He is a proven cricketer of the highest level and will bring a vast amount of experience to our squad.

"He has been successful in all forms of cricket and, in our recent discussions with him, has shown a real desire to bring further success to Kent."



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