County news September 8, 2009

Ali set to leave Worcestershire

Cricinfo staff

Kabir Ali has been granted permission to talk to other counties between now and September 30, as Worcestershire's poor season on the field continues to be reflected off it.

As revealed by Cricinfo last week, Ali asked the club for permission to leave and has rejected a new three-year contract. He has one year left to run on his current deal. Gareth Batty and Steve Davies have already announced their intentions to leave while the club's fitness coach has also resigned.

In addition, Worcestershire have pulled out of their attempt to sign Yorkshire's Ajmal Shahzad for financial reasons, and they released Simon Jones in July following another injury which ruled out his season.

Last week, Worcestershire's director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, rejected calls for his resignation, but he nevertheless faces a huge task to help rebuild an ailing club. His budget for next season has been slashed by a remarkable £300,000. "But the most important thing is the survival of the club," he told Cricinfo.

"We can cut back and survive. It's the same as if I were the manager of a factory: the most important thing is to ensure the company - or in this case the club - survive. We are quite hamstrung [financially], but in a way the rebuilding job excites me."

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