Muhammad Azharullah: FLt20 star commits to Northants

Muhammad Azharullah has signed a new two-year contract with Northants after impressing in his debut season in county cricket.

The 29-year-old Pakistan-born seamer finished as top wicket-taker with 27 as Northants won the FLt20 title.

"His performances, particularly in white ball cricket, have been outstanding," chief executive David Smith told BBC Radio Northampton.

Azhar boy

  • Born 23 December, 1983 in Burewala, Punjab, Pakistan
  • First-class debut for Multan in December 2004
  • Later played for Quetta Bears and Water and Power Development Authority
  • Had not played professional T20 cricket for four years until this season
  • Played for Bradford Cricket League clubs Pudsey Congs and East Bierley
  • Married Emma Taylor in 2009 and the couple had daughter Aisha two years ago

"He's been a major part in the T20 and YB40 success we've had this season."

Azharullah played first-class cricket in Pakistan before moving to England in 2010 and had to wait three years to gain UK citizenship and in turn qualification for a county side.

As well as his Twenty20 success, the pace bowler has also taken 15 wickets in the County Championship at an average of 26.40 and 15 YB40 wickets at 17.20 thissummer.

His form, combined with the fact that his contract was due to expire this winter, led to speculation he could leave Wantage Road.

"I am excited about where the club is going and what we can achieve with the group of players we have," he said.

"We have won one trophy and hopefully we can get promoted this season too. I want to repay the faith the club has shown in me and I have a desire to keep getting better, and help bring more silverware to Northants."

Smith added: "The environment is really good at this club at the moment, we've got bags going for us. So why would he want to go? I do understand there was interest from other counties and quite rightly so."