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Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Surrey to release 'rebel' Saqlain

By Oliver Brett

Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq has been associated with Surrey since 1997

Surrey are to release spinner Saqlain Mushtaq following a policy decision to have no players from the "rebel" Indian Cricket League in the 2009 season.

The move would allow Surrey to seek the services of India's star spinner Harbhajan Singh as an overseas player.

And they would also be able to talk to Indian Premier League franchises about staging Twenty20 matches at The Oval.

"We are not prepared to go into next season with an ICL player," chief executive Paul Sheldon told BBC Sport.

"Clubs are not being encouraged to be associated with ICL players and it's our policy not to be. We are talking to Saqlain about how we can come to some arrangement because he can't get out of his ICL contract."

Saqlain, 31, represented Surrey for eight successive seasons from 1997, and returned for a ninth last summer after a year with Sussex. He was the county's leading wicket-taker in the Championship, and is appearing for the Lahore Badshahs in the ongoing second season of the ICL.

Sheldon said the club have spoken to Harbhajan, who has had two stints at The Oval, but added that any link with the player was "one of logicality rather than fact".

He went on: "We would have to obtain a no-objection certificate from the Indian board to sign him, and the board would not provide one if we still had an ICL player."

Surrey are finalising a severance package with outgoing cricket manager Alan Butcher and will shortly be advertising for a replacement.

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see also
Paceman Tudor returns to Surrey
25 Oct 08 |  Surrey
Surrey rebuild with young stars
14 Oct 08 |  Surrey
Surrey future excites new chief
07 Oct 08 |  Surrey

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