Muhammad Abbas and Sohail Khan sign for Leicestershire CCC

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Leicestershire CCC is delighted to announce that Pakistan international seamers Muhammad Abbas and Sohail Khan have signed for the 2018 season.

The duo will share the main role of overseas player with Abbas available for the majority of the season and Khan providing cover from late-April to mid-June. Leicestershire CCC is also in the process of recruiting a second overseas player for T20 Blast to play alongside Abbas.

Abbas has an excellent test match record, claiming 23 wickets in five matches at just 21.34 apiece. His 304 first-class wickets have been snared at 21.05 and Abbas has also picked up 65 wickets in white ball cricket.

The 27-year-old was the leading wicket-taker in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 first-class seasons in Pakistan, taking 132 wickets all told. Abbas then claimed 37 wickets in seven first-class games in the 2017-18 campaign at an average of 14.29 with a haul of 6 for 24 the best of three five-fors. 

He played a key role in the recent Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Final, taking 4 for 57 in the first innings as his Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited team emerged victorious.

Abbas has potential international commitments as Pakistan tour Ireland, England and Scotland. He is available for the opening Specsavers County Championship fixture versus Sussex and Khan then takes over until the end of the Royal London One-Day Cup campaign. Abbas will return for the Specsavers County Championship match against Middlesex on Wednesday, June 20.

The 33-year-old Khan has vast experience in both red and white ball cricket including 432 first-class wickets at only 24.37 apiece. Khan caught the eye on Pakistan’s last tour of England; he claimed 13 wickets at 25.00 apiece in two appearances, including five-wicket hauls at Edgbaston and the Kia Oval.

Khan’s List A average is virtually identical to first-class cricket with the seamer having taken 132 wickets in 74 appearances, so he will also be an asset during the Royal London One-Day Cup campaign.

Abbas said: “I am really pleased to be joining Leicestershire County Cricket Club for the 2018 season. It has been a dream of mine to play in county cricket and I am looking forward to meeting my new teammates and working with Head Coach Paul Nixon and the staff.”

Khan added: “I loved having the opportunity to play for Pakistan in England in 2016 and I am very happy to be coming back to play for Leicestershire County Cricket Club.”  

Leicestershire CCC Head Coach Paul Nixon said: “We have been looking for a quality fast bowler as our overseas professional and Muhammad Abbas ticks all of the boxes. His test match record is different class, he is the new kid on the block, and I am delighted to secure his signature.

“But we expect to be without Muhammad for the first part of the season and it was vital that we secured high-class cover. Sohail Khan has a superb record both in red and white ball cricket, he has good experience on English conditions, and really stood out on the last tour when Pakistan played here. Sohail’s bowling will be ideally suited to early season conditions here.”