India Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara has signed a short-term contract with Gloucestershire that will allow him to play six matches in the English County Championships. Gloucestershire will be Pujara’s fifth county team, having previously played for Derbyshire (2014), Yorkshire (2015 and 2018) and Nottinghamshire (2017). Also Read - Amit Shah Wants Cheteshwar Pujara to Score Double Century And Help India Beat England in Pink-Ball Test at Narendra Modi Stadium
Pujara was left out of the IPL auction which in turn gives keeps him free at the start of the season. The batsman decides to give his time for Gloucestershire, who were promoted last year and will be playing in the Division One for the first time this year. Pujara is the first Indian since Javagal Srinath to play for the county side. Srinath signed with Gloucestershire in 1995 and took 87 wickets at 19.09. Also Read - Chennai Super Kings Get Cheteshwar Pujara For Rs 50 Lakh; Will Play in IPL After 2014
“I am really excited to get the opportunity to represent Gloucestershire this season,” Pujara said. “The club has a rich cricketing history, and this is a great opportunity to be a part of it and contribute to its success. Also Read - India vs England, 2nd Test: Cheteshwar Pujara Dismissed in Unlucky Fashion on Day 3 | WATCH VIDEO
“I am grateful to the club for giving me this opportunity and cannot wait to get to Bristol to meet my teammates and score some runs. I have really enjoyed the experience of coming over to the UK and playing county cricket over the last few years and I am looking forward to building on that whilst continuing to improve my game.”
Pujara’s first game will be against Yorkshire, which is also the season opener and the batsman will leave before the T20 Blast at the end of May. His place will be taken by Afghanistan legspinner Qais Ahmed, who will play the final six games along with the T20 Blast.
“Cheteshwar is a player with great temperament who will add international experience to the squad. He is undoubtedly one of the best batsmen in world cricket and we are very fortunate to have him in our squad for the start of the County Championship campaign,” Richard Dawson, Gloucestershire head coach, said. “Adding Pujara to a strong batting line-up gives me great confidence ahead of our opening County Championship matches.