Somerset overseas signing Abdur Rehman has wasted no time in getting acclimatised to English conditions.
Fans watching their team’s T20 warm-up games against Gloucestershire at the County Ground on Monday may have spotted Rehman practicing in the nets.
And the left arm spinner, who arrived back in Taunton at the beginning of the week, was back out in the nets again on Tuesday morning, bowling and working alongside some of the club’s younger players, including Jack Leach and Alex Barrow, under the watchful eye of Director of Cricket Matt Maynard.
Rehman, who spun his way into the Somerset history books and took 27 wickets in four LV=County Championship matches in 2012, is back for his second spell with the club.
Last time he was here he became the first bowler since Andy Caddick in 1993 to claim nine wickets in an innings to end with match figures of 14 for 101 about which he has very fond memories.
“I love to play county cricket for Somerset,” he said. “I remember my last time here very well so when they called me again to play for them for the whole of this season I said yes. I want to repeat what I did last time and I want to perform for Somerset again. In every game I want to work hard and do well for the county.
“This time I will be playing in all cricket so I want to perform for the team, so I am looking forward to playing for Somerset. I have come here before the start of the season so that I can practice and get used to everything, including the weather before we start.”
Rehman, who is here with his wife and four-year-old son, said: “I am feeling pretty confident that this year Somerset will win a trophy and I will try my best to help them to win this season. I have plenty of time here and lots of games to play in so I will be trying to help Somerset to win their first four or five games so that at the start of the season they are on the top of the table and then stay there.
“My family is here with me which is good for us all. I am staying here for six months which is a long period and I don’t want to leave them at home. My wife and my son are both here with me and they are loving it, just like they did last time. My wife likes England and the weather and my son too and he say Dad lest go to England so that is what we do.”
After his 90-minute stint in the cold and very windy conditions on Tuesday, the 35-year-old had a special message for Somerset supporters: “I just want to say to the fans that we will work hard for you and we are going to win and give you a trophy at the end of the season, we are definitely going to win!”
Rehman, who is not featuring in the current first-class game against Durham MCCU, could play as early as next week during Somerset’s three-day friendly against Lancashire. Maynard has already set out his intention to play two spinners for much of the summer, with hopes that Somerset’s youngsters will learn from the Pakistani’s considerable knowledge and experience.
- Photographs courtesy of Alexander Davidson.