Rehman back at Somerset for 2015
Abdur Rehman will return to Somerset as their overseas player in 2015. The Pakistan spinner enjoyed a successful spell with Somerset in 2012 - as well as picking up a 12-week ban for smoking cannabis - and becomes the club's first signing since Matthew Maynard was appointed as director of cricket in September.
Slow left-armer Rehman has taken 99 Test wickets but was not involved in Pakistan's most recent series, the 2-0 win over Australia in which spinners Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah played starring roles. Rehman's last ODI, in March, saw him removed from the attack for bowling three illegal full tosses but if his international career is now at an end it will be to the benefit of Somerset, who have signed him for a full season, an increasingly rare luxury for counties.
"I am very happy to be going back to play for Somerset," Rehman said. "I hugely enjoyed my time at the County Ground two years ago and I look forward to playing for the county again for the whole of this coming season."
Rehman, 34, took 27 wickets at 14.18 in four Championship matches in 2012, including a career-best 9 for 65 against Worcestershire, and was due to return the following season before being called up by Pakistan. As well as bringing the experience of an 17-year playing career, he will be able to tutor Somerset's two young left-arm spinners, Ireland international George Dockrell and Jack Leach, both of whom recently signed new contracts.
Having topped the Championship table at the halfway stage of the 2014 season, Somerset subsided to finish sixth and made the decision to part company with Dave Nosworthy as director of cricket. Of their 16 matches, Somerset drew 10 - the most in either division - and Maynard hopes that Rehman will add bite to the attack and help break down opponents, particularly at batsmen-friendly Taunton.
"Abdur Rehman is a really good signing for us," Maynard said. "He is a quality spin bowler and will hopefully help us to turn some of those draws into victories. Abdur will be coming back into an environment he is familiar with and playing alongside team-mates who he knows from the time he spent here a few years ago. He is also a more than useful lower order batsman, a terrier in the field and is available in all three formats all season. He's a quality all-round cricketer for us to sign."