19th June, England v South Africa, 09:30 GMT
Somerset have taken the unexpected step of asking banned left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman back to Taunton as their overseas player for the latter part of the 2013 season. The exact date of Rehman’s arrival is unknown but is likely to be somewhere around the end of the Friends Life t20 group stage.
Rehman impressed both on and off the field during his spell with Somerset at the end of the 2012 season, taking 27 wickets at an average of 14.19 to help them finish second in the LV= County Championship. At the time, the club spoke optimistically about a return in 2013, until, that is, allegations that he had tested positive for cannabis during his time there surfaced. He is currently serving a 12-week ban for his misdemeanour and will miss Pakistan’s forthcoming tour of India.
Rehman’s drug-taking was thought to have ended Somerset’s interest in a return, but his apology in which he admitted “an error of judgement” appears to have satisfied them.
Guy Lavender, the chief executive of Somerset CCC, said: "The club in no way condones the use of illegal drugs. It was heartening to see that he admitted his mistake and has been punished accordingly. It is now time to move on and I am very confident he will do extremely well for us next season".
Rehman added: "I really enjoyed my time there last year and will look to play with the same intensity and passion, I would also like to thank the Somerset management and fans for their support in what has been a difficult period for me."
Lancashire coach Peter Moores has agreed an extension to his contract which will see him remain at Old Trafford for at least the next two seasons. Moores originally signed a two-year contract extension in January and will be aiming to help the club bounce back from their 2012 relegation. The 50 year-old joined Lancashire in 2009 shortly after being sacked as England coach following a rift with captain Kevin Pietersen.
Northamptonshire chief executive David Smith has admitted that talks to secure the services of Australia fast-bowler Trent Copeland have broken down. However, he did admit that the club are in talks with Copeland’s countryman, John Hastings, as well as South Africa all-rounder Rory Kleinveldt with a view to them becoming the club’s overseas player in either Championship or T20 cricket.
Lancashire left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan has spoken of the gratitude that he feels to fellow left-arm twirler Gary Keedy, who he replaced in Lancashire’s Championship side.
Kerrigan told the Manchester Evening News: “I’ve trained and played with Gary my whole county career and I’ve learned so much from him. If I was struggling with my action, Gary would talk to me. He was always available and he never kept secrets about spin bowling. In the last couple of years when we were jostling for places in the Lancashire team, his presence in the squad meant that I really had to push myself.”
Kerrigan has spent much of the winter thus far shadowing the Test squad in India and has been working with ECB spin bowling coach Peter Such on, among other things, improving how he bowls to left-handers.
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