Indian Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is set to play for Derbyshire for the remainder of the English County Championships as the club has decided to sign him as its overseas player.
Pujara, who was among the many Indian batsmen to fail in the team’s 1-3 Test loss against England, has been granted permission by the BCCI to play for the 144-year-old club. He is expected to join the Wayne Madsen-led side next month to play for around four weeks.
“Derbyshire County Cricket Club is pleased to announce that they have agreed terms with Cheteshwar Pujara that will see the Indian Test star join the county as their overseas player for the final run in of the 2014 LV County Championship season,” the club said in a statement on its website.
“Subject to final approvals and completion of paperwork, Pujara is set to return to England where he will gain valuable experience of English county cricket competing in the final four weeks of the Championship season,” it added.
Pujara, 26, has played 24 Tests for India, scoring 1,872 runs at an average of 49.26 and a highest score of 206. In July, he scored 81 in India’s tour match against Derbyshire at The 3aaa County Ground.
Elite Performance Director, Graeme Welch said: “We’re an ambitious team and have an exciting group of players who are developing fast.
“Pujara joining us at this stage of the season is a real boost for the lads and the remaining Championship matches we have ahead of us will give him exactly the experience he is looking for.”
He said Pujara has the experience to fill in the vacant place left by West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who is now on national duty.
“With Shiv now back in West Indies preparing for Test match action and Marcus North focusing on our one-day
campaign, Pujara will bring an added dimension to the side as we look to finish our Championship season strongly,” said Welch.
Chief Executive Simon Storey said, “We’ve been focused on delivering a long-term legacy from the visit of the Indian tourist side to Derby in July, including the creation of our Cricket Derbyshire India Club.
“We hope the opportunity to see Pujara play county cricket for Derbyshire will inspire cricket followers across the City and the wider county and open up the Club to a new generation of fans.”