County news December 3, 2008

Surrey target Harbhajan

Cricinfo staff
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Harbhajan Singh could be set for another spell at Surrey © AFP
 

Surrey are in talks with Harbhajan Singh with a view to bringing him back to The Oval for the second half of the 2009 season.

Now that the club have split with their one ICL-linked player, Saqlain Mushtaq, they are able to start negotiations with the BCCI about securing Harbhajan. Last year, the Indian board had banned their players from having any links with counties who have ICL players.

Harbhajan has had previous spells with Surrey in 2005 and 2007 and the club had hoped to bring him back for the end of last season, during their bid to avoid relegation, but the ICL issue put a stop to that.

Surrey's overseas player for most of last season was Matthew Nicholson, the Australian fast bowler, but he was released with two weeks of the summer to go so that Shoaib Akhtar could join. Harbhajan will be involved with India in June for the World Twenty20 following by a short tour of the West Indies, but besides that the team does not have any commitments.

Surrey have also handed 18-year-old Kenya batsman Seren Waters an emerging players contract. Waters, who plays for Cranleigh School and Weybridge CC, made his Kenya debut against Ireland in October and struck 74 against South Africa in Kimberly.

While the club are busy adding players to their roster, they have also lodged a complaint with the ECB about the way Yorkshire handled their dealings with Lee Hodgson, the allrounder they signed on a two-year deal from Surrey. Hodgson impressed for Surrey's 2nd XI and made his first-class debut in the final Championship game of the season, against Nottinghamshire, when he made 63.

Surrey said they had no further comment on the issue as the letter was now in the hands of the ECB.