Irfan Pathan offered Twenty20 contract by Leicestershire

Leicestershire have offered India all-rounder Irfan Pathan the chance to play for them as their second overseas player in this season’s Friends Life t20.

Though money remains tight at Grace Road, Leicestershire have saved on not having an overseas player for the first six weeks of the season while Australia all-rounder Andrew McDonald has been involved in the IPL.

Leicestershire intend to use those funds to bring in another high profile overseas to beef up their Twenty20 Cup side and have started negotiations with Pathan, who already has county experience with Middlesex.

Pathan, 26, has played 26 Tests, 107 one-day internationals and 16 Twenty20 internationals for India and has IPL experience with Delhi Daredevils and the Kings XI Punjab.

He has yet to commit to a deal with Leicestershire, who failed to qualify for the quarter-final stages of last season’s Twenty20 competition when they did not win a match at Grace Road.

Former Australia batsman Brad Hodge was a disappointment on his return to county cricket and McDonald missed most of the group matches because he was called up by Australia A.

McDonald is set to play his first game for Leicestershire this season in the County Championship match against Gloucestershire at Grace Road starting on Wednesday May 18. McDonald has been unavailable so far because of his IPL commitments but he was due to arrive in England on the eve of the match.

Leicestershire’s squad for the Gloucestershire match includes batsman Kadeer Ali who is likely to face his former county having been released by them during the winter.

Kadeer, who is trialling with Leicestershire, made a half-century on debut in the Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Warwickshire on May 15 and is set to replace James Taylor who is away on England Lions duty.

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