Mushtaq Ahmed has ended speculation over his future by signing a new two-year deal which will keep him at Sussex until the end of the 2009 season. There had been reports linking him with a move to Warwickshire.
"Sussex is a family club and it is an honour for me to be playing here," Mushtaq said. "Signing a two-year contract is great news and I feel blessed and very pleased."
"Obviously I am delighted to have Mushtaq back again next year," Mark Robinson, the cricket manager, 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."
Chris Adams, the captain under whom Mushtaq has played throughout his time at Sussex said: "What can I say about Mushy? 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."
In 77 matches since he joined Sussex in 2003 Mushtaq has taken 443 wickets at 24.78, including a hundred in 2003 and 2006, Sussex winning the Championship in both those years.
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Sussex's other overseas player, will now have to find another county if he is to continue to play domestic cricket in England. From next season counties will be allowed one overseas player only.