20 Aug 2012
Saj Mahmood Joins Somerset On Loan
Somerset have signed Saj Mahmood on loan from Lancashire and put him straight into the squad for the LV=County Championship match against Sussex at Taunton, starting on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old seam bowler has been recruited to help solve the club’s injury crisis and will be available for all remaining Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40 games.
Director of Cricket Brian Rose completed the deal shortly before the deadline for loan signings expired last night and is looking forward to welcoming Mahmood to the County Ground this evening.
Brian told this website: “We have signed Saj because of the experience he can provide at a time when we are short on troops.
“I noticed that he was not being picked by Lancashire and as we do not play them between now and the end of the season the move was attractive to all parties.
“It might well prove a timely boost to Saj and bring the best out of him. He is a proven quality performer, who can help us at a time when injuries have hit us hard.”
Mahmood has played eight Test Matches and 26 one-day internationals for England. He has taken 315 first class wickets plus 282 in List A and T20 games and is a handy late order batsman with more than 2,000 first class runs.
Brian admits Somerset have to beat Sussex if they are to retain a realistic chance of winning the title for the first time.
He describes the next five days as “huge”, with the Sussex game being followed immediately by Friends Life t20 Finals Day at the Swalec Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday.
Gemaal Hussain (hip) and Nick Compton (back) face fitness checks before the Sussex match, but Alfonso Thomas (hamstring) is unlikely be risked ahead of the T20 semi-final against Hampshire – and hopefully the final.
Brian added: “We hope to have a strong bowling attack, including Saj Mahmood, in action against Sussex because it is a massive game for us.
“Gemaal’s injury was not serious and he should be okay, Nick Compton has seen a specialist in London and had injections in his back, which hopefully will mean he is fit too.
“Alfonso should be fit for Finals Day, but you can’t take any risks with hamstrings so he probably won’t play for the first team before then.
“It’s fair to say the Sussex game is must-win. They have emerged as strong title contenders with some impressive performances in the Championship recently and we need to peg them back, along with Warwickshire.
“A victory would put us right in the thick of the title race, so let’s hope the weather stays fine and allows the match to run its full course.”
Skipper Marcus Trescothick is expected to return after being rested for the CB40 game in Scotland, having reported some soreness in his problem ankle after the Championship game with Notts.
Somerset (from) M.Trescothick, A.Suppiah, N.Compton, J.Hildreth, J.Buttler, C.Jones, P,Trego, A.Rehman, S.Mahmood, G.Hussain, S.Kirby, J.Leach, L.Gregory, A.Barrow.