County news March 29, 2013

Shakib bolsters Leicestershire T20 challenge

ESPNcricinfo staff

Leicestershire have added Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh allrounder, to their roster for the Friends Life t20 tournament in a move which earmarks the tournament as their biggest priority of the season.

A young Leicestershire squad is expected to struggle over a long Championship season in Division Two, but the county has T20 pedigree - reaching the Champions League in 2011 - and it is in the shortest form of the game where it seems most committed to making an impact.

Shakib was recently named the No 1 allrounder in the ICC Player rankings in ODIs and is also second in the Test match list and seventh in the T20I standings.

He has been out of international cricket since November last year with a stress fracture on his shin. but he is confident that he will be fit for Bangladesh's forthcoming tour of Zimbabwe

He will play alongside Joe Burns, the Australia A batsman, during a tournament which Leicestershire hope will rouse the spirits of players and accountants alike.

Phil Whitticase, Leicestershire's coach, said: "I'm really pleased that we have been able to sign a player who was recently ranked the best one-day player in the world. Shakib's record is exceptional and I am looking forward to him helping us to achieve success."

Chief Executive Mike Siddall added: "We are delighted to sign a player of Shakib's experience and calibre. He has an excellent T20 record and I am looking forward to seeing him team up with Joe Burns."

Shakib will be known to at least one Leicestershire player. He was a team mate of Josh Cobb's at Dhaka Gladiators, the winners of the Bangladesh Premier League.