Kent blow as Arafat departs
YASIR ARAFAT this week left Kent and rejoined Sussex as their overseas player for 2009. He is the third player to leave Kent, following Matt Walker’s move to Essex and Neil Dexter joining Middlesex. He returns for a second spell at Hove after leaving in 2006 and will replace Pakistan leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, who retired at the end of last season because of injury. The 26-year-old all-rounder was a key performer in one-day cricket for Kent last season and was the leading bowler in one-day and Twenty 20 cricket, taking 50 wickets Chief Executive Paul Millman said: “I would like to thank Yasir for the contribution he made while with Kent. “It is becoming increasingly difficult to sign overseas cricketers for a whole season but we are actively looking to bring in a talented player who fits that criteria as Yasir is unable to do so.” Sussex cricket manager Mark Robinson added: “Yasir’s signing is fantastic news and we are flattered that he is keen to return to Hove. “It’s further evidence that people who play for the club fall in love with it. “He’s not only an outstanding new and old ball bowler but a fantastic lower-middle order batsman, who should stand out in both four and one-day cricket.” Meanwhile, Kent say that youngster Sam Northeast will be playing full-time next summer. The Ashford-born former Harrow schoolboy, selected to tour South Africa with England Under-19s next year, could be pressing for a first team place following Walker and Dexter’s departure. Three of the county’s leading youngsters Charlie Hemphrey, Phil Edwards and Warren Lee have agreed developement contracts for 2009, while Alex Blake has accepted a deal until the end of 2010.