New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Leicestershire County Cricket Club announced on Tuesday that they have signed senior India batter Ajinkya Rahane for the 2023 season. Rahane will join the club in June after completing his IPL 2023 campaign with Chennai Super Kings.
Leicestershire, in an official statement, said that the right-hander batter will be available for County Championship matches, as well as the entirety of the One Day Cup.
The 34-year old has played 82 Tests for India, scoring 4,931 runs coming at an average of 38.52, apart from captaining the side in six Tests. He has also played 90 ODIs, scoring 2,962 runs while averaging 35.26.
“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.
Rahane, who last played a Test for India in January 2021, currently stands as one of only six Indians to have scored a century in each innings of a match, while he also holds the world record for most catches in a Test (eight vs Sri Lanka, 2015).
He previously had a stint in county cricket with Hampshire in 2019 where he scored a century on his debut in the competition against Nottinghamshire.
“I’m extremely excited to welcome Ajinkya to Leicestershire. He comes with a lot of experience and a tremendous work ethic. It’s a great opportunity for us to tap into that. 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 calibre,” said Claude Henderson, Director of cricket, Leicestershire.
Rahane now becomes Leicestershire’s latest overseas signing for 2023, joining 2022 leading run-scorer, South Africa’s Wiaan Mulder, who has re-joined for all three formats, and Afghanistan’s Naveen-ul-Haq, who has signed for a third consecutive Vitality T20 Blast campaign.
Leicestershire also said a fourth international addition, set to feature across the County Championship in Rahane’s absence during April and May, has also been lined up, which will be announced in the coming weeks.