New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) Even as the entire India cricket team players, including Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara, gear up for this season’s Indian Premier League, middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari flew to England on Sunday to join County team Warwickshire.
A source confirmed that the batsman will play at least three games for the County before joining the Indian team for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand that will be played from June 18-22.
The Hyderabad batsman, who was ignored at this year’s IPL auction has been upset after none of the franchises picked him for the base price of Rs 1 crore even though he has been a regular part of the Test team.
Vihari helped India draw the third Test against Australia in Sydney after a gritty show that saw him score unbeaten 23 off 161 balls in close to four hours on the fifth and final day.
Vihari, like Pujara in the past, has been given the cold shoulder by franchises and not picked by them since he is considered a Test specialist. Pujara too would fly to England in the past to play County cricket in the absence of IPL contract in the past. This year though, the India Test No. 3 got a contract for Rs 50 lakh with Chennai Super Kings and has decided to stay back and not fly to England.
Vihari has played IPL for the Hyderabad and Delhi franchises in the past. The last time he featured in IPL was in 2019, when he played just two matches.
The right-handed batsman who missed the fourth and final Test against Australia due to torn hamstring returned home and underwent treatment.
He represented Andhra as captain in the Vijay Hazare one-dayers and endured a string a disappointing performances.
He scored 65 in the first match but followed it with scores of 2, 2, 1, 4 and 0.