By Connor Steel
HAMPSHIRE CRICKET have announced that Mohammed Abbas will stay at the Ageas Bowl for another two years as the county continue their preparations for their 2023 County Championship campaign; the Pakistani fast bowler extending his contract until at least 2024 in a huge boost to the side’s title ambitions next season.
The overseas signing joined Hampshire back in 2021 on a short initial 2-month contract and made an instant impact; taking nine wickets versus Middlesex including a hat-trick of dismissals in Southampton. Overall the seamer took a total of forty-one wickets across ten matches before being called up to the international team.
Abbas’ wickets came at an average of 15.87 and represented the second joint highest that campaign; figures that helped Hampshire push for a first Championship title in almost fifty years. And although the dream faded on the final day with a defeat against Lancashire, the bowler received credit from supporters and colleagues.
Having been overtaken for the international fold Abbas signed a deal for the 2022 summer and was part of a bowling trio that took over 150 wickets from fourteen matches. The right armer himself took 50 dismissals at an average rate of 17.62 and furthermore had an impressive economy of 2.35 per over during the campaign.
The bowling efforts saw Hampshire finish 3rd in the County Championship with Surrey coasting to a red ball title back in early September, Abbas statically the best seamer across Division One. He did not feature in the Hawks’ Vitality Blast championship winning team or the side that reached the RL One Day Cup latter stages.
Abbas seemed excited at this extension when questioned by the club media team: “I’m very pleased to have signed a new contract and to be staying with Hampshire for two more years. I’ve loved my time at The Ageas Bowl and am looking forward to helping the team push for silverware (the title) in the County Championship.
Giles White, the Hampshire Director of Cricket, further added his thoughts as he stated: “Mo has been a big influence on the team. Since his arrival he has been both an incredible performer and a fantastic role model. To have him around for the next 2 years (until at least the conclusion of 2024) is a major boost to the squad.”
Readers can find out more statistics and facts on Abbas’ long career, including international test games, by visiting Cricinfo archives; whilst further county news can be examined via this official Hampshire Cricket link.
PICTURED BY ALAMY: Fast bowler in action during Hampshire’s away match versus Surrey in early April.