Is Mustafizur Rahman finally heading to Hove?
Sussex's summer-long dream of getting one of the best young bowlers in world cricket into their one-day team finally looks like happening.
The county signed Bangladesh left-armer Mustafizur Rahman last winter when he was virtually unknown outside Asia.
But after some spectacular performances by the 20-year-old for his country, in the T20 World Cup and then in the Indian Premier League Rahman’s star is firmly in the ascendancy.
He was due to arrive at Hove in early June but after starring for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL he returned home to rest and receive treatment for wear and tear injuries.
But Head Coach Mark Davis has confirmed that Rahman is expected to be at Hove in time to make his debut on July 15 against Hampshire in the NatWest T20 Blast.
He will be available for Sussex’s last four South Group games and their four remaining matches in the Royal London One-Day Cup. Davis added that if Sussex progressed to the knockout stages in either, or indeed both, of the competitions he would remain at the club.
Davis said: “It has been a bit difficult to pin Fizz down. His rehab after the IPL took longer than expected and he found it quite difficult to leave once he went back home.
“So it will be good to finally have him with us. I think he’s one of the most exciting and unorthodox bowlers in world cricket at the moment and playing in England will help us and be valuable experience for him as well.”
South African David Wiese stood in for Rahman during the early part of Sussex’s T20 campaign but he has now headed to the Caribbean Premier League. Former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor, who has been with Sussex since the start of the season, should return for Sunday’s Blast fixture against Gloucestershire at Arundel, where a crowd of around 7,000 is expected if the weather behaves itself.
Taylor missed this week’s Championship game against Northamptonshire to rest a niggling hamstring injury. He is heading home in July and Sussex have yet to finalise a replacement for the second half of the season, although Davis has confirmed that Rahman will not be available to play in the County Championship.
Another short-term T20 stand-in to play in three matches until Rahman arrives is being considered, although no one will be in place until after Sunday’s game.
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