Azeem Rafiq to leave Yorkshire at the end of the season

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Yorkshire have decided not to renew the contract of spin bowler Azeem Rafiq after the end of this season, BBC Sport reports.

The 23-year-old will now be looking for another professional club but will no doubt be disappointed not be part of Yorkshire's plans in 2015 considering the success the club have so far had this season.

Rafiq made his debut for the White Rose county as a 17-year-old back in 2008 but has often had to play second fiddle to Adil Rashid who has been regarded as Yorkshire's number one spinner for much of that time.

Chances limited

This season Rashid has regained some of his early career form to again be noticed by the national selectors and his form has subsequently affected the chances of Rafiq.

As well as Rashid standing in his way, Rafiq has the added problem of Yorkshire's history with spin bowlers. It is very rare to see Yorkshire pick two spin bowlers in a match, especially at Headingley, therefore Rafiq has  often found his pathway blocked. Yorkshire rely heavily on their pace attack which is to the detriment of their spin bowlers.

In his Yorkshire career, Rafiq has played 25 first-class matches, 20 List A matches and 60 T20 games.

The highlight of Rafiq's career has to be when he became the youngest Yorkshire player to captain his county in 2012, when he took over from the injured Andrew Gale.

Yorkshire also seem confident that one of their young Academy spinners, Karl Carver, can make the grade in first-class cricket.

He impressed on his debut this season against Warwickshire in the County Championship but has had no previous experience and it could be a big risk to have Carver as the only other spin option in the Yorkshire ranks.

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Will Yorkshire ultimately regret releasing Rafiq?

Rafiq still has plenty of years left in the game and I have no doubt he will be confident of making the grade at another first-class county if given the option.

He will take heart from a number of Yorkshire spinners in the recent past - such as Gareth Batty, James Middlebrook and David Wainwright - who have been released by the club but gone on to find new ones and continued their first-class careers successfully.

Which county do you think should sign Rafiq for the 2015 season?

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