County news September 15, 2009

Kabir Ali heads for Hampshire

George Dobell

Kabir Ali has agreed a three-year deal with Hampshire, subject to negotiating his full release from Worcestershire.

While the bowler hopes to join Hampshire ahead of the 2010 season, the thorny issue of compensation has yet to be resolved. Worcestershire have demanded £60,000 in return for releasing Kabir from the final year of his contract. The bowler, however, suggests that the club exasperated his injury problems by asking him to bowl when injured and failing to provide adequate medical treatment. Unless a compromise is reached, it is an argument that could have to be settled by lawyers.

Kabir would certainly represent a decent signing for a Hampshire side that are still not certain of avoiding relegation. While he has missed much of the 2009 season through injury, Kabir has the best strike-rate of any England-qualified bowler (with more than 100 first-class wickets) and was close to an England recall before injury struck.

Though several clubs expressed an interest in the fast bowler, Kabir only held talks with Hampshire and feels the club offer him the best opportunity to regain a place in the England side.