New target for Todmorden CC after Rana blow

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Todmorden CC’s attempts to sign Pakistan’s former Test and one-day international player Rana Naved have been scuppered.

The 36-year-old all-rounder, a genuine strike bowler and an attacking batsman with five first class centuries, had agreed to join the Lancashire League club.

However, he was unable to get a visa and the Centre Vale outfit have been forced to look elsewhere in their bid to replace Aussie sensation Michael Neser, whose impressive stint at Tod last summer was cut short by a call from the national selectors.

The Naved news was a further frustration for skipper Andrew Sutcliffe in the club’s efforts to sign a high-calibre player. Sutcliffe said: “We have had four agree to come and then fall away.”

The skipper revealed that Tod had switched their attentions back to Down Under.

“We have issued a contract and we are waiting for it to be returned. The player is an Aussie.”

Naved, who took 110 wickets in 74 one-day internationals between 2003 and 2010, would have been a high-profile replacement for Neser.

He is familiar with playing conditions in the north of England having played county cricket for Yorkshire in 2008 and 2009, as well as for Sussex and Derbyshire. He has also played in the IPL and Big Bash in Australia.

Sutcliffe said: “We did get a returned signed contract from him, but the visa application has failed so he won’t be coming any longer.”

Todmorden’s opening league fixture is away to Rawtenstall on Saturday, April 19.

They are away to Enfield in the first round of the Worsley Cup on Sunday, May 10.

Todmorden have announced a couple of signings - ex-Walsden quick bowler Martin Harlow and young wicketkeeper Jack Hallows from Rawtenstall.