Gloucestershire sign seam bowler Zaman Akhter on an initial one-year deal
21 March 2023
Talented young fast bowler Zaman Akhter has signed with Gloucestershire on a deal until the end of the 2023 season.
24-year-old Akhter signs the first professional contract of his career after a successful run of games in Second XI cricket for Essex and Derbyshire in 2022.
Akhter had been training with the South Asian Cricket Academy (SACA) since January before a series of trials with Gloucestershire impressed coaches enough to reward the right-armer with an initial one-year deal.
Speaking of his excitement to represent Gloucestershire, Akhter said:
“I'm really excited to get going with Gloucestershire. It’s been a long winter in various indoor schools so for that hard work to pay off is a dream come true.
“I’m excited to see where I can take my cricket with the expertise of all the coaches around me. Working with the likes of Dale Benkenstein and Robbie Joseph I hope to keep improving and see where my cricket can go.
“I’d like to thank Tom Brown at the SACA programme who is doing an amazing job getting people like me into contracts. I can’t speak highly enough about the work he is doing.
“Also, thanks to everyone at Gloucestershire who has given me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get going.”
Performance Director at Gloucestershire Cricket, Steve Snell, said:
"I’m delighted that Zaman has grasped the opportunity to begin his career in the professional game with Gloucestershire.
"Zaman is an extremely exciting cricketer who delivers the ball from height with good pace to generate bounce on most surfaces. There’s been significant interest in him so we’re delighted he’s decided to play for Gloucestershire.
"Zaman has had a very interesting and totally different journey from many cricketers that currently populate the game. He’s played international hockey, has graduated from a signature university and has been part of the South Asian Cricket Academy programme which has been an outstanding vehicle for talent since its inception.
"Zaman’s progress is a testament to the work done by Lead Coach at SACA, Tom Brown, and the signing highlights the importance of the collaboration with the programme by our Second XI coach, Owen Dawkins. Zaman has shown not only that there is great talent out there, but also that talent can flourish if provided with an opportunity.
"It’s extremely difficult in the modern game for players over the age of 18 to transition into the professional game but this signing is reward for Zaman’s perseverance, mindset and commitment to developing his cricketing skills during his time at SACA and for his performances in county Second XI cricket last summer."
Akhter is available for selection in Gloucestershire’s first game of the season away to Glamorgan in the County Championship on Thursday 6 April.