County news October 8, 2007

Saqlain returns to Surrey

Cricinfo staff

From Surrey to Sussex...and back to Surrey © Cricinfo Ltd

Saqlain Mushtaq, the former Pakistan offspinner, has returned to Surrey after signing a two-year deal with the county he originally joined in 1997.

He played for Sussex during the 2007 season but announced he was leaving Hove due to personal reasons, after taking 18 wickets at 17.55, following his recovery from serious knee injuries in 2005. Surrey were looking to bolster their spin department after releasing Ian Salisbury and Nayan Doshi's departure in August.

"It is with great pleasure that we welcome back a Surrey legend," said cricket manager Alan Butcher. "Saqlain, as Surrey fans know, is a proven international quality spinner. To be securing his services as a local player is a huge bonus and I can't wait to watch him weaving his magic in 2008."

In 80 matches for Surrey, Saqlain has taken 384 wickets at 20.79 and helped the county to three Championship titles in four seasons. He is the latest big-name signing in recent weeks after Usman Afzaal and Predro Collins joined the club, while Mohammad Asif is also close to securing a deal for 2008.