County news September 19, 2012

Mahmood let go by Lancashire

ESPNcricinfo staff

Lancashire have released former England fast bowler Saj Mahmood after ten years at the club. Mahmood, 30, spent the latter part of the season on loan at Somerset, after losing his place in the Lancashire side, and it has now been confirmed that his contract will not be renewed.

Mahmood, who has played in eight Tests and 26 ODIs, was a part of Lancashire's title-winning team last season, taking 35 wickets, but saw his opportunities this year limited by the arrival of Ajmal Shahzad from Yorkshire. He made just three Championship appearances in 2012 and didn't play again after conceding 42 from 2.3 overs - and 17 off his last three legitimate deliveries - in Lancashire's opening Friends Life t20 defeat to Derbyshire.

Lancashire's director of cricket, Mike Watkinson, said: "We would like to thank Saj for his contribution to the club over the last 10 years and we wish him well for the future."

After being spotted playing in the Bolton Leagues, Mahmood joined Lancashire on a scholarship in 2002 and went on to make his international debut at the age of 22. With more than 300 first-class wickets to his name and the ability to bowl at significant pace, Mahmood should be an attractive prospect for many counties, though he recently admitted that "inconsistency" had dogged his career.

Although he swapped a relegation battle that saw Lancashire drop into Division Two for a spell with the county that eventually finished second to the champions, Warwickshire, Mahmood was mainly signed as cover by Somerset. In three appearances he claimed eight wickets at 30.12 and they may prefer to rely on the emerging Overton twins and Lewis Gregory as fast-bowling back-up for 2013.