BERKSHIRE have announced that all-rounder Waqas Hussain has left the club to join Cambridgeshire CCC after being offered an attractive deal.
"We will clearly miss him," commented the county's performance manager and head coach Tom Lambert.
"It goes without saying, we are disappointed to lose his services, but we fully understand the added security his move to Cambridgeshire will give him and his young family. We wish him, his wife Saira and son Sulayman all the success in the future."
Last season the 26-year-old from Brent (Middlesex) played his club cricket for Sawston and Babraham in the Cambridgeshire & Huntingdonshire Premier League.
Waqas has been an important part of Berkshire's remarkably successful run which has seen them win the Western Division title and Minor Counties Championship three years in a row without losing a game, in addition to winning national 50/50 and T20 titles.
"He contributed considerably to all eight of these successes," commented Tom.
Waqas joined the Berkshire Academy in the winter of 2012 and was immediately integrated into a county looking to move in a different direction to previous years, a direction that looked to build from within with a vision to create in years to come a young home-grown successful side.
In the summer of 2013, he performed outstandingly in the 2nd XI, scoring hundreds against Dorset, Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire.
His 1st XI debut came in 2014 where he made 91 against Buckinghamshire at Dinton CC. From that day forward, he became an ever-present in the side, being a prolific opening bat and a useful seam bowler.
In 42 games for the Royal County, he amassed 2,254 runs at an average of 39.14 across three formats including 10 50s and 7 centuries with a highest score of 192 (2x6, 21x4) off 247 balls coming against Devon at Falkland CC last August. He went on make 76 in the second innings in Berkshire's 320-run victory.
Due to an injury he sustained in pre-season training, he played in only four Western Division games, but still finished third in the overall batting averages with a total of 621 runs from eight innings, which included one not out.
During his career, he also took 36 wickets at an average of 29.45.
At the Berkshire awards dinner held in October, the former Slough and Henley player was voted a joint winner of the club's Player of the Year, sharing the honour with fellow batsman Richard Morris.
Tom added: "Berkshire will clearly miss him, but what a great challenge to start to slowly build another team over the coming years."
And Tom sent him this message: "On behalf of the players and everyone connected with Berkshire CCC, thank you Waxy for helping us achieve what we have these past four years. The very best of luck with Cambridgeshire."