India’s out-of-favour batter Ajinkya Rahane will join Leicestershire for the 2023 county season and is expected to play eight county championship matches in the English summer.
Rahane’s signing was officially confirmed by the club as they revealed on their website that the 34-year-old would be arriving in June after playing in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) with the Chennai Super Kings. The Mumbaikar will also be available with the club for the entire Royal London Cup (One Day tournament) in August.
Rahane is the Leicestershire club’s third overseas signing for this year’s season after Wiaan Mulder and Naveen-ul-Haq. It would be his second appearance in county cricket as he is 2019 represented Hampshire and became the first Indian to play for the club.
Currently, Rahane is not part of the Indian cricket team and will miss out on the upcoming Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023, which commences on February 9 in Nagpur. The right-handed batter in his career so far has played 82 Test matches, amassing 4931 runs at an average of 38.5, comprising twelve centuries. When it comes to white ball cricket, Rahane has played for India in 90 ODIs and 20 T20Is, scoring 2962 and 375 runs, respectively.
After signing with the Leicestershire club, Rahane expressed his excitement and said he looks forward to playing alongside new teammates.
“I’m really happy to be joining Leicestershire for the upcoming season. I can’t wait to play alongside my new teammates and explore the vibrant city of Leicester,” Rahane said in a statement.
Notably, the last season of county cricket saw the participation of four Indian players, namely Cheteshwar Pujara, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar and Umesh Yadav.
Speaking about Rahane’s signing, the club’s director of cricket, Claude Henderson, lauded the India star, revealing that the club had an eye on him for a long time.
“I had conversations with (assistant coach) Alfonso Thomas and (head coach) Paul Nixon, who had eyed Ajinkya in the past, so he was always on our radar. It was a case of seeing what the team needed, which was definitely a senior overseas batsman, so we are delighted to have secured someone of Ajinkya’s caliber,” said Henderson.
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