Pakistan Test bowler Abdur Rehman has been banned for 12 weeks after testing positive for cannabis during a match for Somerset this summer, writes Richard Walsh.
The 32-year-old made a considerable impact in the four championship games he played for the Cidermen, taking 27 wickets, including a career best of nine for 65 against Worcestershire in the last match of the season.
The slow left armer tested positive for the banned substance after a random test at Taunton on August 8, the second day of his debut against Nottinghamshire.
His suspension runs until December 21.
Chief Executive Guy Lavender said: “Somerset County Cricket Club fully supports the action taken by the ECB. The club does not condone use of illegal drugs in any circumstances and all Somerset players are fully aware of this policy.”
Rehman said: “I apologise to my family, the PCB, the ECB, Somerset County Cricket club, my teammates and my fans. It was an error of judgement that will cost me dearly and I would like it to be a lesson to all others in sport and elsewhere.”
There had been suggestions Rehman might return to the County Ground but this development is likely to rule that out.
Meanwhile the last game may have only ended three weeks ago, but Somerset are already well ahead with their planning for the 2013 season.
In the absence of Brian Rose, who stepped down as director of cricket at the end of the season, the club has appointed a cricket management group to take charge of cricketing affairs until a replacement is appointed next month; they are already looking to recruit a top order batsman to strengthen the squad.
Andy Hurry said: “A cricket management group has been put together consisting of Vic Marks, Roy Kerslake, Guy Lavender, Marcus Trescothick and myself to make sure that until a new director of cricket comes in we are making good informed smart decisions to ensure we keep going forward.
“With a new director coming in this is a very exciting time for the club as we look to go forward in a new direction with new fresh energy and we will be looking at things from a different angle.”
Leg spinner Max Waller has signed a new one-year deal with Somerset meaning all current staff are now under contract for next season.
The 24-year-old will be flying to Adelaide in the near future to spend six months at the Darren Lehmann Academy as part of an ECB scholarship.