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July 2, 2012
Abdur Rehman, the Pakistan left-arm spinner, is set to join Somerset for the latter part of the season subject to being granted a visa. If the move is confirmed he will provide cover for George Dockrell who is due to be on international duty with Ireland.
Rehman has become a key part of Pakistan's Test attack, forming a spin partnership with Saeed Ajmal, and took 19 wickets in the whitewash against England earlier this year. The current Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo is his 17th but he is not part of Pakistan's Twenty20 set-up which should make him available for the remainder of the English season.
"Contracts have been signed with Rehman and a no objection certificate has been sent to us by the Pakistan Cricket Board," director of cricket Brian Rose told Somerset's website. "It just remains for Abdur to sort out a visa and, once that is done, we hope he will be with us in time for our championship game with Warwickshire at Taunton, starting on July 18."
"We looked at other possible targets, but he was always high on the list," he added. "He has an excellent first-class record, with a bowling average not dissimilar to Murali Kartik's. Rehman also bats reasonably well, going in around number eight, so that was also a plus point when it came to signing him.
"The other positive is that he is not currently in Pakistan's T20 side, so once he joins us he should be available for the remainder of our season."
Somerset have tried and failed to secure the services of a host of overseas players this season including Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Roelof van der Merwe and Faf du Plessis. They currently have the South Africa pair of Richard Levi and Albie Morkel for the Friends Life t20. Somerset will be crossing their fingers about Rehman as a number of players have struggled to obtain visas this season.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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