Saturday, 16 August 2014
Potential new name?
At 23 the lad has much to offer and is a good cricketer. He is a very accurate off-spinner and has proved himself especially effective in one-day cricket, where his T20 rate is under eight an over, very impressive by any standards.
A first-class average of mid-thirties per wicket doesn't suggest that he is yet the new Saqlain Mushtaq - if he was, they would be retaining his services - but he is a steady bowler who crucially has time on his side to get better. He can also handle a bat and has a first-class century to his name.
Adil Rashid is way out in front of him at Yorkshire and with promising spinners in their academy, they have made the decision to let him seek cricket elsewhere. I appreciate the rationale, but their loss could well be another county's gain.
A previous loan spell at Derbyshire, under another coach, was successful and the loss of Peter Burgoyne this summer has left us without an off-spinner, with the exception of Wes Durston's occasional slows. Marcus North's bowling has been little utilised this year and while we nominally have three slow left arm bowlers, Chesney Hughes has had little senior cricket this year and David Wainwright's bowling has only sporadically been successful.
Tom Knight's action is being re-modelled in readiness for next summer, so our spin cupboard, if not akin to Mother Hubbard's, is certainly a long way from full.
With two of our coaching staff having strong links in Yorkshire, the merits of Rafiq will be well-known and, perhaps more than anyone else whose availability has become known thus far, I could see merit in a move to the County Ground. That's always assuming we don't have someone else lined up, of course...