County news January 17, 2014

Arafat rejoins Sussex for the Blast

ESPNcricinfo staff

Yasir Arafat, one of Twenty20's great globetrotters, has been confirmed as Sussex's overseas player for the revamped NatWest T20 Blast tournament.

Arafat, 31, is the all-time leading wicket-taker in England's domestic Twenty20 tournament, having represented five counties. He has had three spells Hove and helped the Sharks lift the trophy in 2009.

Arafat is currently representing Perth Scorchers in Australia's Big Bash. In all, he has played 171 Twenty20 matches, taking 219 wickets at an average of 20.98.

The new structure of this year's tournament sees NatWest T20 Blast group matches run from mid-May until late July which has compromised counties' attempts to sign T20 specialists. Most are expected to sign an overseas player - or several - for all competitions.

Arafat is different. He will be available for Sussex's entire T20 group campaign as he has the advantage of being based in the UK, living in Kent.

"I am very happy to be signing for Sussex again as I know everyone so well," Arafat said. "Last year was a very good year for me and I am very grateful to Somerset for the honour of playing for them, but the opportunity to rejoin my old team-mates at Sussex is something I am really looking forward to."

Sussex's captain Ed Joyce said: "Yasir is a proven performer in the shorter form of the game and was a huge part in us winning the Twenty20 in 2009 and qualifying for the Champions League that year.

"He's probably best known for his bowling at the death in pressure situations and he will hopefully plug a gap for us in that department. The fact that he's also based in Kent now is another plus."