Syed Ashar Ahmed Zaidi
July 13, 1981, Karachi, Sind
Also Known As
Left hand bat
Slow left arm orthodox
Ashar Zaidi, a rotund Karachi-born allrounder with a British passport, carved out a niche for himself in England. Signed by Sussex after plying his trade with Accrington in the Lancashire League, he spent two seasons at Hove before making Essex his second county in 2016 for a further three seasons.
Zaidi had impressed during three seasons with Accrington after leaving Pakistan and wrote to several counties asking for a trial. He scored an unbeaten 192 and took six wickets after being invited to play for Sussex's 2nd XI, leading to two Championship matches at the end of 2013 as the club sought a badly needed spin option after the release of Monty Panesar. Zaidi, then aged 32, did enough to be awarded a two-year contract.
He performed creditably for Sussex but was unable to hold down a regular place and was released at the end of 2015. He caught the eye during the 2015-16 Bangladesh Premier League, however, being named Man of the Series after helping Comilla Victorians to the title, and soon after signed a one-year deal with Essex, quickly extended.
He failed to solve Essex's critical spin-bowling shortage in 2016, but played some doiughty innings in one-day cricket, none more so than an explosive T20 half-century against Middlesex using a spraypainted black bat which flouted ECB regulations and was outlawed a few days later.
Earlier in his career, Zaidi played for a number of Pakistani clubs, scoring 11 first-class hundreds and winning selection for Pakistan A. In 2014, he became one of the first cricketers to fall foul of social networking when Sussex were obliged to issue a suspended one-match ban in response to his angry tweet immediately after being given out caught behind by Nigel Llong in a Championship match against Somerset at Hove.
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