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Mushtaq stays with Sussex

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Mushtaq Ahmed

Mushtaq Ahmed says he feels "blessed" to sign a new contract with county champions Sussex

Leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has signed a new two-year contract with county champions Sussex.

The Pakistani, whose current deal was due to run out at the end of this season, will remain with the county until 2009.

He took 103 wickets in Sussex’s LV County Championship-winnings season in 2003, a further 102 when they were crowned champions last year, and his 74-wicket haul this season has helped them to the top of the table.

Warwickshire made an approach to Sussex to sign Mushtaq last month, but the 37-year-old thanked his employers for “trusting” him after committing his future to the club.

“I am very pleased," he said. "Sussex is a family club and it is an honour for me to be playing here. Signing a two-year contract is great news and I feel blessed.”

Cricket manager Mark Robinson revealed there was never any doubt Mushtaq would return, despite new regulations restricting counties to just one overseas player from next season onwards.

“Obviously I am delighted to have Mushtaq back again next year,” he said.

“It was always going to be the case; it was just a question of whether he still had the desire and passion for the game.

“He clearly still has a lot left in him so actually completing the deal with us was just a formality.

“Once again he has won games for Sussex and I am sure this will continue to be the case.”

Captain Chris Adams added: “I, along with the rest of the playing staff, are delighted that the best bowler to ever have pulled on a Sussex shirt is staying with us for another two years.

“And I know that whenever Mushtaq wears a Sussex shirt we will be highly competitive in all forms of cricket.”

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