Lancashire have made Naqaash Tahir a surprise and low-profile addition to their seam bowling options for the forthcoming season. Tahir, a 28-year-old from Birmingham who has been with Warwickshire for more than a decade, has signed a one-year contract.
“We’re giving him an opportunity,” said Lancashire’s coach Peter Moores. “He’s a skilful cricketer who hasn’t had a consistent run for various reasons, mostly injuries, but he takes his wickets in first-class cricket at less than 30 runs apiece which is exciting.
“If I’m honest our stable of seamers is also a bit low, because we’ve lost a couple of guys from last season, so Naqaash has the chance. Whether he takes it is up to him. It won’t be easy because he’ll be starting a bit late compared to our other guys, and he’s joining a very committed squad.”
As Moores said, Tahir’s 139 wickets have come at a healthy average of 29.94, making his tally of 56 first-class appearances since his debut as a 20-year-old in 2004 surprising at first glance. Even more striking is the fact that he has played in only 15 List A one-day games, and has not made a single Twenty20 appearance – although he was set to play more Clydesdale Bank 40 games this year even before joining Lancashire, having been lined up by the Unicorns.
Glen Chapple, Sajid Mahmood and Kyle Hogg are expected to lead the Lancashire seam attack again this year, with Oliver Newby also in contention as well as the all-rounder Tom Smith and a couple of younger pacemen pressing including Gavin Griffiths, who has already played for England under-19s.
But last season Farveez Maharoof played in five County Championship games and Junaid Khan one, whereas this year the overseas player will be Ashwell Prince, a batsman. In addition the club have released Steven Cheetham, another seam bowling option who is currently trialling with Derbyshire.