Kent blow as Arafat de­parts

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Junior Football - By An­drew Gi­d­ley

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.

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