Indian cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, who has been out of the national team, will play for Leicestershire in county cricket. The 34-year-old, who last appeared in a Test match in January 2022, will join Leicestershire after the Indian Premier League and will participate in eight county matches and the entire One Day Cup, according to the club's announcement on Tuesday.
"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, who plays for Chennai Super Kings in IPL, said on Leicestershire's website.
"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." Rahane will be joining other players like South African allrounder Wiaan Mulder, who has returned to play for Leicestershire in all three formats, and Afghan fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq, who has signed up for his third consecutive season in the Vitality Blast tournament.
Rahane played for Hampshire in 2019 where he scored a century on County debut against Nottinghamshire in his previous stint. "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," Director of Cricket, Claude Henderson said.
"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.”
Leading Mumbai in this Ranji season, Rahane has amassed 634 runs in seven matches, including a double hundred, averaging 57.63.
In international cricket, Rahane has hit 12 centuries in Test matches and three in One Day Internationals. He has scored 4,931 runs with an average of 38.52 in 82 Tests and 2,962 runs with an average of 35.26 in 90 ODIs. Rahane is one of only six Indians to have scored a hundred in both innings of a Test match, and he holds the world record for most catches in a single Test match (eight against Sri Lanka in 2015).
Ajinkya Rahane has amassed nearly 25,000 runs in his career, with 51 hundreds, including two hundreds in the Indian Premier League for the Rajasthan Royals and one in the County Championship for Hampshire during his first county cricket stint in 2019.
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