Premier India spinner R Ashwin could play a first-class game for Surrey as early as July 11 ahead of next month's Test series against England if he is able to get his work visa in time. Ashwin, who is on a break in the UK like the rest of his India teammates after the World Test Championship final, has played for Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire in the past.
If he is able to get the visa for Surrey's game against Somerset at The Oval, Ashwin will get valuable match practice before the five-Test series against India starting August 4. The Oval will host the fourth game of the India-England series.
A report in ESPNcricinfo claimed that "both parties (Ashwin and Surrey) are confident it will be done in time for the match starting July 11". After losing the WTC final to New Zealand, India skipper Virat Kohli had said that the team had asked for a first-class match before the title clash but didn't get it for reasons not known to him.
India are hoping to get a warm up match before the England series. The England and Wales Cricket Board has already stated that plans are afoot to have a practice game for India against a combined counties team before the Test series.
Currently on a 20-day break, India players will reassemble on July 14.