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    Shoaib might not play for Notts

    Counties to lose Murali and Shoaib

    David Hopps
    Friday January 14, 2000

    Lancashire are resigned to losing their spin
    wizard Muttiah Muralitharan because of
    his international commitments with Sri
    Lanka.

    Pakistan are planning a tour of Sri Lanka in
    June and if it goes ahead, Lancashire will
    have to tear up Muralitharan's contract
    and search for a new overseas star. The
    same tour could also mean that
    Nottinghamshire will drop the Pakistan
    fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar as their
    overseas player.

    Coincidentally both players have been at
    the centre of controversies over their
    bowling action.

    Murali is contracted to Old Trafford for the
    next two years after his sensational
    introduction to county cricket last season
    when he earned 65 wickets in six
    championship games. But the deal
    stipulated that he would have to be
    available for at least 10 championship
    matches - and the Pakistan tour, coupled
    with South Africa's visit to Sri Lanka,
    would make that impossible.

    "We are waiting for word from Pakistan,"
    said Lancashire's cricket secretary Dave
    Edmundson. Lancashire expect to make a
    decision over the weekend. A possible
    alternative to the 27-year-old Sri Lankan
    is the Australian leg-spinner Stuart
    MacGill.

    Nottinghamshire have approached their
    former overseas player, the New Zealand
    all-rounder Chris Cairns, as a potential
    replacement for Shoaib.

    "We are very concerned that Pakistan
    have now arranged three tours during the
    English summer - in addition to the one
    we already knew about - and we are
    awaiting confirmation from the cricket
    board about how this will affect Shoaib's
    availability," said Mick Newell,
    Nottinghamshire's assistant cricket
    manager.

    If all Pakistan's potential tours are
    finalised, Shoaib would be available for as
    few as five championship and six National
    League matches, which clearly would be
    unsustainable.

    Pakistan's three-Test series in the West
    Indies, which finishes in late May, is a
    long-standing arrangement. But that will
    now be immediately followed by the Asia
    Cup in Dhaka until June 5, and the
    potential tour to Sri Lanka until the end of
    July. The Sahara Cup, in Toronto, would
    also rob Nottinghamshire of Shoaib for the
    last week of the season.

    "If Shoaib is available under the conditions
    that we signed him, he remains our first
    choice, but we are obviously concerned.
    We have spoken to Chris Cairns but this is
    purely plan B, so that we are not left
    without an overseas player."

    Newell insisted that the dispute over
    Shoaib's bowling action, which the
    International Cricket Council's illegal
    deliveries panel will again scrutinise next
    month, had no bearing on the contract
    issue.

    #2
    It will be a loss for both parties concerned, i.e. Shoaib and Notts. I was hoping to visit Trent Bridge this summer and have a chat with Shoaib. Hope this will still materialise.

    Comment


      #3
      Although I don't live near Trent Bridge I was hoping to go there too.
      Insha-Allah he will do well in the future.
      GOOD LUCK TO 'SHOAIB'

      Comment

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