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Leicestershire CCC members and supporters will be thrilled to hear that off-spinner Jigar Naik is on the verge of bowling again.
Naik, who has just signed a one-year contract extension at Grace Road, picked up 26 first-class wickets in his first ten appearances last season before suffering another cruel injury blow.
The off-spinner, who was forced out of most of the 2012 campaign with ankle and knee problems, dislocated his right shoulder during last season’s FL t20 game against Nottinghamshire Outlaws.
Naik had just established himself in the one-day teams as well as being ready to take advantage of some spin friendly conditions in the Championship, so the injury could not have come at a worse time.
But Naik is not one to dwell on disappointment, and his positive outlook will have helped his recovery from that point. After bowling with a tennis ball in the recent past, Naik is now in a position where he can start delivering a cricket ball again.
Naik is thankful for all of the support he has received, including a new contract and the help of Club Physio Rob Leather and Club Doctor Harjinder Singh. He has also received lots of good wishes from supporters, friends and family, which has helped him through these tough times.
He said: “I’m delighted that Leicestershire offered me a contract and I am looking forward to the 2014 season already. I want to take a lot of wickets and have success as a team at Leicestershire. We are all working hard to make sure we have a good season.
“Rob and Harj have been fantastic in helping me since I got the injury. The operation was done by one of the top surgeons in the UK, and I feel lucky to have had that.
“Rob has been my best friend for the last four or five months. Rob has been working hard every day with me, working on my soft tissue, getting my range of movement back and building my strength back. He has built me a programme where I am just ready to start bowling again with a cricket ball, which is really exciting.
“The injury was quite hard to take but I just had to get used to it. I have come back strongly in the past and I’m definitely going to do it again. I know where I am, and I know what I need to do to get to where I want to be.
“Experiences like this can only make you stronger. I have always said to myself that if you come back stronger from these sort of life problems, then it is always going to make you a stronger character and a better cricketer.”
Leicestershire Chief Executive Mike Siddall said: “This is really good news. Jigar has been desperate to start bowling again and because of the excellent injury management he has received from the Club’s Physio, Rob Leather, and Doctor Harj Singh, he has made an excellent recovery. I’m delighted that Jigar has signed a contract extension and we look forward to him playing a full season.”
* An in-depth interview with Jigar will be available in the next few weeks - please keep checking this website for details.