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Abbas Ali named as Professional for 2006

Abbas Ali, a 30 year old left hand batsman and off spin bowler from India, has been appointed as Carrickfergus Cricket Club's overseas professional/coach for the 2006 season.

Abbas, who comes from the city of Indore in central India, comes with an impeccable cricketing pedigree. Both his father and grandfather also played first class cricket, creating a unique distinction of three generations of Indian cricketers playing at first class level. His grandfather Mushtaq Ali, who died last year aged 90, was one of the early stars of Indian cricket, and was the first Indian batsman to score a century away from home in 1936 v England at Old Trafford. Syed Abbas Ali made his first class debut for his home state of Madhya Pradesh in 1996, and it was not long before he was also in the regional side, Central Zone. Prodigious early form with the bat, including what remains his highest first class score of 251, soon caught the eye of the national selectors. He was picked for the India A tour of Pakistan in 1998, and played in all 4 Tests, with a highest score of 76 at Lahore. He also played in the final of the 3 One Day Internationals. The following year Abbas was again selected for India A in a triangular tournament with Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates. His 49 v Pakistan earned him the Man of the Match award in what was to be his final appearance for his country. Selection for the Indian Board President's XI v Zimbabwe in 2000 was his last representative call-up to date.

However Abbas has continued to score heavily, as well as bowling his tidy off-breaks, for Madhya Pradesh and Central Zone, both of which he now captains. He has to date scored almost 5,000 first class runs at a very high average of just under fifty, with a dozen centuries, and has taken 35 first class wickets, average 34. In one day cricket he has scored a further 1,600 runs, average 33 with 3 hundreds, and has picked up 45 wickets @ 30, with best figures of 6 for 25.

Abbas has experience of playing in England, having played successfully for two clubs in Lancashire. During that time he successfully completed the ECB Level 2 Coaching Award. He has extensive coaching experience, and we can look forward to Abbas passing on his knowledge to the many highly promising young players we currently have at the Club in the coming season.

We look forward to welcoming Abbas to Carrickfergus in April, and to a third season in the Northern Cricket Union's top flight, which incidetally has now been re-named as the Ulster Bank Premier League.

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