Essex’s two IPL-contracted players, Ryan ten Doeschate and Owais Shah, have signed new deals with the club for the 2013 season. Shah’s is a one-year deal, while ten Doeschate has penned a two-year deal.
According to Essex CCC, “Shah has signed a one-year contract which begins at the end of his 2013 Indian Premier League tournament with Rajasthan Royals, until the end of the forthcoming season.”
This appears to mean that Shah has effectively become a ‘freelance’ cricketer as it is customary for county cricketers to be contracted on year-round deals. Essex head coach, Paul Grayson, speaking to ESPNcricinfo earlier this month, had said that he expected to see freelance players in county cricket very soon and that “it could be that Owais is one of the first.”
There had been speculation that Shah may turn down the offer of a new deal with Essex altogether in order to pursue opportunities in the various Twenty20 leagues around the world as he nears the likely end of his professional career. This became even more likely when Grayson indicated that the club were considering following Nottinghamshire’s lead in barring their contracted players from appearing in the IPL from 2014 onwards.
With Shah signing for 2013 only, it appears that the difficult decision regarding Shah’s long-term future at the renamed Essex County Ground has been put on hold.
Dutch all-rounder ten Doeschate, meanwhile, does appear somewhat more committed to Essex and has signed for two years. He said, “I’m really happy to have signed a new contract at the club. I’ve always wanted to play cricket at the county and I’m hungry to do well”
Paul Grayson added, “I’m delighted he committed to the club. [He] has been a brilliant player over the years he has been here and I’m looking forward to him contributing to the team in the next few years.”
© Cricket World 2013
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