Ajmal Shahzad to leave Yorkshire

Asian Image: Ajmal Shahzad, in action against Essex this season, used to play for Windhill in the Bradford League Ajmal Shahzad, in action against Essex this season, used to play for Windhill in the Bradford League

Ajmal Shahzad’s Yorkshire career is over after the England international was made available to rival counties.

It is just over a year since 26-year-old Shahzad last played for his country and although his stock has fallen rapidly in that time, today’s announcement has come as something of a surprise.

Shahzad was the first British-born Asian to represent Yorkshire in 2004 and the county’s high hopes for him looked like being justified when he claimed match figures of four for 63 on his Test debut against Bangladesh in 2010.

But the revival of Chris Tremlett combined with the emergence at Test level of Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn means he has slipped well down the England pecking order.

He has also played three Twenty20 Internationals and 11 ODIs, the last of which came in last year’s World Cup.

Shahzad has taken eight wickets for the Tykes in three first-class fixtures this season at an average of 26.25 and with pace and age both on his side he is sure to create plenty of interest in the domestic game.

A statement released by Yorkshire read: “It has been jointly agreed that in the best interests of his development, Ajmal will be given the option to play for another club either under a new contract or on loan for the rest of the season, in order to establish himself with a new county.”

Shahzad said: “I would like to thank both the staff and supporters of YCCC for all the help and encouragement that I have received since I joined the staff, and wish the club lots of success in the coming years. I am now looking forward to the next chapter in my career and hope to push for further honours within the game.”

The county’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon added: “There has been a lot of discussion over a period of time with Ajmal regarding his cricket and it has been agreed by the club and the player that it is in the player’s best interests that he pursues his career elsewhere. I would like to wish Ajmal every success in the future.”

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