Warwickshire are closing in on former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf as a locum overseas player for the first six weeks of the new season.
Yousuf, 36, has agreed terms with Warwickshire but has yet to secure the necessary paperwork that he will require to play county cricket.
The fact that Warwickshire sit out the first round of County Championship matches starting on April 8 will give them a little more time to get Yousuf into the country before they begin their campaign at last year’s runners-up Somerset.
Yousuf has been lined up to replace his compatriot Younis Khan who left Warwickshire in the lurch when he decided to tour the West Indies with Pakistan having initially indicated that he would sit out that trip.
When Younis signed a two-year contract with Warwickshire last October he was not playing international cricket. He has since been recalled by Pakistan in all forms of cricket and his decision to put country before county is likely to cost him his overall Warwickshire contract.
Yousuf, who previously played county cricket for Lancashire, will be only a short-term signing for Warwickshire though he may end up spending the entire summer in Birmingham.
Before Warwickshire opened talks with him, Yousuf was linked with Smethwick, the Birmingham & District Premier League club.
Smethwick, who are captained by former Warwickshire and Worcestershire batsman David Banks, already have former Warwickshire and Derbyshire all-rounder Mo Sheikh in their squad and they also expect to have former Pakistan paceman Mohammad Akram in their ranks this season.