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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 11:57 GMT
Sussex swoop for spinner Saqlain
Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain also took 208 wickets in 49 Tests, with 13 five-wicket hauls
County champions Sussex have signed former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq on a two-year contract.

The 30-year-old, beset by injury since 2004, married an English woman and can apply for a British passport in April.

He could then play as an EU qualified player, but will initially deputise for both compatriots Mushtaq Ahmed and Rana Naved, who will be at the World Cup.

"The option of two Mushtaqs bowling in tandem is a mouth-watering prospect," said Sussex head coach Mark Robinson.

Under the peculiarities of international rules, Saqlain, who played county cricket for Surrey between 1997-2004 and also turned out for the club against Bangladesh A in 2005, would be eligible to play for England in 2008.

Sussex captain Chris Adams was particularly pleased with the new addition to his bowling attack.

"This is a very exciting signing indeed," he enthused. "The last time I felt this excited about bringing a player to the club is when we signed Mushtaq Ahmed.

"If Saqlain can emulate even half of what Mushtaq has achieved, then not only will we have allowed him to rediscover his form and presumably his happiness with his game and his cricket, but I am certain that if that's the case the England selectors will be watching very closely."

Saqlain enjoyed rapid success with Pakistan in both forms of the international game, becoming the fastest to reach the 100 ODI wicket landmark.

He captured 288 wickets, including a hat-trick, but played the last of his 169 one-day internationals in 2003.

"I am very much looking forward to at least the next two years with Sussex with great ambition and determination having spent the majority of the last three years out of the game," he said.

England A call-up for county duo
19 Feb 07 |  England


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