County news September 9, 2009

Transfer fee could force Kabir to stay

George Dobell at New Road

Events off the pitch continue to overshadow those on them at New Road. It has now emerged that Kabir Ali could yet remain a Worcestershire player after the club demanded a significant transfer fee for his services.

While they have granted him until the end of the month to talk to other counties, they have also insisted upon a compensation payment of £60,000 should he leave. As a consequence it could be that he decides to remain at the club and see out the final year of his contract, though the prospect of retaining an unhappy player is one that the director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, has previously said he wanted to avoid.

There is also the unappealing possibility that the whole episode will be resolved by lawyers. The source of Kabir's dissatisfaction with the club would appear to be their treatment of him during injury.

Most pertinently, it could be argued that he was pressurised into playing when unfit and exacerbated pre-existing injuries. Whether giving a bowler an epidural and asking them to bowl equates to a breach of contract is debatable and may well be decided in a court room.

If he does leave, it is thought that Hampshire are one of those clubs interested in talking to him. Whether they are still a Division One club at the end of the season remains to be seen, however. Though in the bottom two before the current match, the points they took on the first day moved them just above Sussex.