County news March 6, 2009

Imran Arif cleared to play for Worcestershire

Cricinfo staff

Fast bowler Imran Arif has been cleared to play for Worcestershire for the next two seasons after being granted a British passport.

Pakistan-born Arif, 25, played for the county as an overseas player in 2008 and did enough to be offered a contract, subject to obtaining the passport. Australia allrounder Ashley Noffke is the overseas player this summer.

"In the autumn of 2008 Imran took and passed the UK citizenship test and immediately applied for British citizenship," a spokesman said. "This was confirmed in February which enabled Imran to apply for a British passport. This passport has now arrived and he can now be registered to play for Worcestershire as an English-qualified player."

"Imran showed a lot of potential last summer after stepping up at short notice for his first taste of first-class cricket," Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes said. "If he bowls in 2009 like he did last year, we will be very impressed."