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November 15, 2005
Lancashire's cricket manager, Mike Watkinson, said; "Saj [Mahmood] and Oliver [Newby] are exciting young quick bowlers and we have high hopes for them in the seasons ahead. Saj is spending the off season with the England academy and has all the credentials to become an outstanding fast bowler for both Lancashire and England."
There was talk that Mahmood, 23, especially, may decide to look elsewhere for first-team chances after remaining on the fringes at Old Trafford. He made seven first-class appearance last summer, taking 14 wickets at 32. It has been a fairly dramatic slide for Mahmood, who made his one-day international debut in 2004 against New Zealand at Cardiff. However, the England management have not given up on him and another winter at the Academy will allow him to work on all aspects of his game.
Newby, 21, made played just a single National League match for Lancashire, but is earmarked as one for future. Last summer he was one of the first players to take advantage of the loan system implemented in county cricket when he went to Nottinghamshire, playing two County Championship matches. But now his short-term future, at least, is with Lancashire.
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