India’s middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has penned a deal with Yorkshire for the upcoming season of the County championship. The announcement was made and delayed to account for the Indian Premier League Auction on Tuesday. He is expected to arrive just in time to play Yorkshire’s fixture against Leeds Bradford MCCU, starting April 7. Pujara joins other prolific batsmen in Yorkshire’s rank – Joe Root and Kane Williamson – to create a formidable middle-order.
The veteran Test batsman will play the Royal London 50-over game against Lancashire before returning home to take on Afghanistan in the one-off Test starting June 14.
He is then scheduled to return to England to play in the County Championship game versus Hampshire, starting June 20.
India play England in a five-match Test series thereafter and Pujara is a strong candidate to be selected in the squad. There is a possibility of him staying on after the England series to play fixtures against Hampshire and Worcestershire in September.
“I’m really excited to be able to have the opportunity to represent Yorkshire once again,” he told the Yorkshire Cricket Club website. “It’s always nice to be able to come over here and play some County Cricket and I’m just as excited as I was last time to represent the Club. I love the passion the people of Yorkshire have for the game and they made me feel very welcome. I know quite a few of the players, so I’ll just try to play my natural game and score plenty of runs for the Club.”
“It’s an honour for me to play for the same county as Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar and each time I’ve played county cricket it has improved me as a player. That’s the plan again in 2018. I just want to score as many runs as possible for Yorkshire and soak up as much as I can from the whole experience.”
This isn’t the first time Pujara will represent Yorkshire. He played four matches for the White Rose in 2015 and scored 264 runs at an average of 53.98. Thereafter he has played for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh are the two other Indian cricketers to have played for Yorkshire in the past.