New Zealand domestic news October 31, 2009

Yasir Arafat signs with Otago

Cricinfo staff

Yasir Arafat, the Pakistan and Sussex allrounder, has been signed by Otago for the 2009-10 New Zealand domestic season. Arafat will replace England allrounder Dimitri Mascarenhas as the team's overseas player.

"He [Arafat] is very much a limited-overs expert," Otago coach Mike Hesson told Otago Daily Times. "He's played a lot of cricket for Sussex and Kent, and he's able to swing the new ball and reverse the old one. He is also a very good exponent of bowling at the death. In terms of what our skill mix is, he fits in nicely. I'm certainly expecting big things from him."

Arafat will reach New Zealand with the Pakistan Test squad in November. Ross Dykes, Otago's chief executive, said Arafat would be available for the Twenty20 competition and would stay in New Zealand until the end of the one-day tournament on February 21. "The Pakistan cricket board has given him the green light unless he is required for international duty," Dykes said. "You accept that with any player."

Otago were the winners of the domestic Twenty20 competition in 2008-09, a victory that won them a spot in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 in India this October.