Bagnall Norton make overseas move after visa issues prevent Asif Raza’s return



Bagnall Norton have unveiled a new overseas player for their debut season in the North Staffs and South Cheshire League Premier Division.

The club, who have secured three successive promotions to reach the top flight, had previously announced that Asif Raza would continue in the role.

However, visa issues have now forced the Premier new boys to look elsewhere – and they have quickly moved for fellow Pakistan fast bowler Tabish Khan.

A Bagnall Norton statement on facebook read: “Due to work visa problems our long-standing overseas pro Asif Raza will not be joining us in our first season in the Premiership.

“The club would like to thank Asif for his service over the past years and wish him well for the future.

“Despite many hours of conversations between the club and Asif it has been mutually agreed that a new pro for the 2020 season is to be signed.

“We have finalised a deal to sign Tabish Khan. Tabish is a direct replacement for Raza, who is a fast seam bowler.”

Khan, who has represented Pakistan A, has an enviable record in domestic cricket in his country.

In 128 first-class matches he’s picked up 568 wickets, which includes 37 five-wicket hauls and 10 wickets in a match on seven occasions.

The Sindh player is also no slouch with the bat and has five fist-class half-centuries to his name.

As well as his longer form success, Khan has taken 73 List A and 42 Twenty20 wickets.

Khan has previous experience of playing in England. In 2017 he spent the season with Beckenham in the Kent Premier League.

In 2014 he also had a short stint playing in Ireland for Fox Lodge.

Khan joins a Bagnall Norton side who have enjoyed remarkable success since being formed ahead of the 2015 season.

Norton, a famous local cricket name, faced an uncertain future after deciding to leave their Community Drive home after months of disputes with landowners the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO).

The club which had seen England’s Jim Laker and legendary West Indies duo Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Frank Worrell star as club professionals was in real danger of going out of existence.

But Bagnall stepped in to ensure Norton’s name lived on as the two clubs merged.

They have subsequently made their way up from Division Three to the top table of local cricket.

They won their first promotion in 2017 and has since added both the Division Two and One titles.

Bagnall Norton clinched their latest championship crown on the final day of the 2019 season when they defeated fellow promoted side Burslem to pip them to top spot.

Bagnall Norton will make their Premier Division bow on Saturday, April 18 when they play host to Longton.





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