IMRAN Arif today became a fully fledged Worcestershire player today after he received his British passport.

The Pakistan-born seamer signed a two-year contract in the summer subject to a British passport.

Arif burst on to the scene last season with a five-wicket haul on his debut against Glamorgan at New Road.

However, last year, the 25-year-old quick was classed as an overseas player despite having played for the second XI for the previous two campaign.

Married to a British woman, Arif has lived in the country for the past eight years and until now he had not had a British passport.

The star plucked out of the Bradford League never looked out of place as he made his way on to the first-class arena and Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes hopes that Arif can continue from where he left off last term.

“He is a wonderful talent and he is going to be a great addition to the squad as an Englishman,” Rhodes said.

“There was no reason to why he hadn’t had the passport before - he been in the country for eight years and has a Bradford accent.

“I’m delighted that we have helped him, but he has done most of this himself.

“A friend of mine in Bradford tipped me off about him and he was worth the effort to go and see him.

“When I did go to see him it rained, but we did speak and even just speaking to him I was very impressed by him.”

Rhodes believes that Arif will continue to shine in Division One of the County Championship because of his experiences before becoming a professional cricketer.

“He is determined character. He is worldly-wise, he has done a bit of travelling. He was born in Kashmir and he spent time in Hong Kong,” Rhodes said.

“He has had a few other jobs away from cricket and they have made him determined not to waste this opportunity and not return to the factory floor.

“The thing about Imran, he was the find of last season, he tends to do well against good players and he gets good players out and if he bowls like he did last year we will be very impressed.”