Shakib wanted to join Ajmal at Worcs

Worcestershire are still hoping to bring Shakib Al Hasan back to New Road as an overseas player this year even though he will be restricted to playing Twenty20 matches.

Shakib enjoyed a successful first season with Worcestershire last year and played a prominent part in helping them win a swift return to the top flight of the County Championship.

Worcestershire began negotiations with Shakib about a new contract in November but Bangladesh’s growing international commitments in the second half of the English season meant that his availability for county cricket would be greatly restricted.

Worcestershire have now signed Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal as their one permitted overseas player for the second half of the season including the Friends Provident t20.

But counties can sign two overseas players for the Twenty20 competition and Shakib remains very much in the plans of Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes.

“We are still in negotiations with Shakib,” Rhodes said. “Bangladesh’s international schedule is quite busy in the second half of the season but we are still hopeful that Shakib will be able to play as our second overseas player in the Twenty20 Cup.”

Ajmal, who has taken 33 wickets in nine Tests, will take over as Worcestershire’s overseas player from Australian all-rounder Damien Wright who has been recruited for the first part of the season.

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