Worcestershire have announced the signing of Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan as their overseas player for the 2010 season.
Shakib, the national vice-captain, led his side to a Test and One-Day International series victory over the West Indies after Mashrafe Mortaza picked up an injury and he will join Worcestershire following the conclusion of Bangladesh's tour of England and pending the completion of visa arrangements.
He would then become the first Bangladeshi to play county cricket, something which the 22-year-old is looking forward to.
"I am delighted to be joining Worcestershire in 2010," he said. "I followed county cricket as a young player growing up and the opportunity to fulfil one of my ambitions by playing as an overseas player in England is one that excites me greatly. I consider it a huge honour to be the first Bangladeshi overseas player in county cricket and can't wait to give my all for the club on the field.
"County cricket has traditionally been the stage for the world's best players and it is a matter of great pride for me to be associated with a club that has an overwhelming history and had been home to so many legendary cricketers. Particularly as an all-rounder, I am thrilled and inspired to be joining the team once graced by Ian Botham, Imran Khan and Kapil Dev.
"For the devoted fans of Worcestershire I hope to bring joy and success and I eagerly look forward to my time at the county."
Left-hander Shakib has scored 715 runs in 29 Test matches with a best of 96 not out and he has taken 48 wickets with his left-arm spin. He has 2047 One-Day International runs with four centuries as well as 83 wickets.
Worcestershire have lost Gareth Batty, Steven Davies, Simon Jones, Mehraj Ahmed, Ian Fisher and Stephen Moore in the close season but have signed Middlesex pace bowler Alan Richardson and given a contract to 17-year-old wicket-keeper Ben Cox.
© Cricket World 2009