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Ajaz Akhtar quits Peterborough Town

Ajaz Akhtar will play his final match for Peterborough Town against Brixworth on Saturday, 21 September. Photo: Paul Franks

Ajaz Akhtar will play his final match for Peterborough Town against Brixworth on Saturday, 21 September. Photo: Paul Franks

 

Club legend Ajaz Akhtar will leave Peterborough Town after 28 years outstanding service at the end of the current season.

The 45 year-old will play his final match for the club against Brixworth in the Northants Premier Division at Bretton Gate on Saturday (September 21).

Akhtar will not be retiring. He is seeking a new challenge locally which is sure to alert numerous clubs keen to secure the services of a player who has just helped Town to back-to-back Northants League titles as well as to the last eight of the National Twenty/20 Cup.

Akhtar said: “Winning successive titles while still being able to perform to the level I want is the perfect way to go. The playing strength of the club is now as good as I’ve ever known it so I expect Town to carry on winning trophies.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of my 28 years on and off the pitch at Town, but I’ve been thinking long and hard about my cricket all year and it’s probable I will seek a new challenge locally.”

Akhtar skippered Town to their first Northants Premier Division title in 16 years last summer before handing over the reins to Lewis Bruce.

Akhtar had been a dominant force in Northants League cricket for almost three decades. His individual highlight was taking a competition record of 100 wickets in a 22-game season.

The all-rounder doesn’t rack up those sort of numbers any more, but his influence on key matches remains intact.

He took 6-37 as Town sealed this season’s Premier Division title with a win at sole rivals Finedon last Saturday (September 14).

That made it 43 wickets for the season - the most by a Town player alongside professional Paul McMahon - at an excellent average of under 13.

Akhtar also delivered an outstanding unbeaten innings of 64 to rescue Town from almost certain defeat in a key recent game at Northampton Saints.

Akhtar will be hosting a post-match drinks party for all those who have played with him after Saturday’s match with Brixworth. Any former and current team-mate is invited to attend.

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Selection of Akhtar’s best performances:

1991: Akhtar takes Gold Award with 4-28 for Cambs in NatWest Trophy match against Kent - cricketarchive.com

2001: {http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/sport/cricket-ajaz-still-feeling-sky-high-despite-defeat-1-108434|Second C&G Trophy Gold Award for Akhtar for Cambs against Somerset|view story}

2003: Cambs skipper Ajaz Akhtar dismisses England skipper and world number 1 ranked batsman Michael Vaughan

 

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