Mohammad Rizwan signs Sussex contract for County Championship, T20 Blast
Pakistan wicketkeeper will be available from April until mid-July
Rizwan will arrive in England after the conclusion of Australia’s tour to Pakistan on April 5 and will be available for the majority of the County Championship season and the whole of the T20 Blast.
Rizwan is the fourth Pakistan international to sign for a county for 2022 after Shan Masood (Derbyshire), Zafar Gohar (Gloucestershire) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (Middlesex) and with a relatively clear window in their international schedule in the first half of the season, it would be no surprise if more players were to follow.
Ian Salisbury, Sussex’s Championship and 50-over head coach, said that his former county team-mates Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq had provided character references for Rizwan which suggested he would be “a wonderful addition to our dressing room”.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really disappointed to learn we’d be losing a player of Ben Brown’s quality,” Salisbury said. “Now that has happened, though, we have to look forward and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to act quickly over the last week or so to secure the services of one of the world’s best keeper-batters as a replacement.
“Mohammad’s first-class and Test records speak for themselves and it’s a huge coup to welcome him to Sussex for a big chunk of next season’s Championship. He and Travis [Head] are exactly the kind of experienced, international cricketers that our emerging lads can learn a huge amount from.”
Sussex won the wooden spoon in last year’s County Championship, finishing bottom of Division Three with a young team. As well as Rizwan, they have signed Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Steven Finn this winter and Travis Head is due to return as captain – and the club’s other Championship overseas player – despite struggling in his first season at Hove.
James Kirtley, Sussex’s T20 coach, described Rizwan as “one of the most exciting cricketers in the world” and said that he was “an excellent replacement” following Salt’s departure. “I am extremely pleased to be filling that gap with an international player of his calibre,” he said.
“He is a natural leader and a player who will inspire. I am very much looking forward to welcoming him to Sussex as the latest in a long line of successful cricketers that have played for Pakistan and Sussex.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98
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