Somerset have announced the release of left arm spinner Abdur Rehman from the remainder of his contract and he will be leaving the club with immediate effect and returning to Pakistan.
The announcement of Rehman’s signing last September was met with great enthusiasm by a vast majority of Somerset supporters, despite the fact that the club can boast three talented young spinners in the ranks, as he enjoyed a highly successful time with the county in 2012. In that time he played in four of the late season LV=County Championship matches and claimed 27 wickets at an average 14.19 with a best of nine for 65.
This summer the 35 year-old former Pakistan international has had a disappointing season by his own high standards taking just 10 wickets in 206 overs bowled in the LV=County Championship at a cost of 719 runs with a best return of two for 60.
Director of Cricket Matt Maynard said: “We have thought long and hard before coming to this decision. Abdur’s departure allows us to look to the future and give Jack Leach and George Dockrell, who are both young left arm spinners a chance in the team. It will also provide an option of securing another overseas player for the final few matches of the season if possible.”
It should be said that the signing of Manny at the end of last season was prior to the arrival of Matt Maynard as new Director of Cricket and technically when Dave Nosworthy was still in charge. Soon after Maynard’s arrival Nick Compton announced his intentions to return to London full-time leaving a gaping hole in Somerset’s early order batting line-up and it is often wondered whether Maynard would have opted for Rehman or attempted to sign a quality top order batsman.
Maynard intimated earlier this week that strong decisions would be made and announced in the near future regarding the playing squad while talking to Steve Cotton of the Bristol Evening Post. The futures of club captain Marcus Trescothick and veteran Alfonso Thomas (who has joined Sussex on loan for the Royal London Bank One Day Cup) are in the balance with both out of contract at the end of this season. Maynard has already secured the services of Roelof van der Merwe for 2016 with Australian Test batsman Chris Rogers being heavily linked with a move to Taunton should current county employers Middlesex not take first option.
More reaction to follow.