Ajinkya Rahane on Thursday became the first overseas player from India to sign for Hampshire and he will feature in County Championship matches throughout May, June and the start of July, subject to visa clearance. The 30-year-old Indian will replace South Africa batsman Aiden Markram, who will end his stint with Hampshire at the conclusion of the Royal London One-Day Cup group-stage to join up with his national side ahead of the World Cup, the County club said.Also Read - Cheteshwar Pujara Batted For India And Leicestershire in 4-Day Warm-up Game, Here's Why
The right-hand top-order batsman has a wealth of international experience having made 56 Test and 90 ODI appearances since making his debut against Australia in March 2013. Also Read - Kapil Dev on Virat Kohli's Poor Form Ahead of England Test, Says 'It is Bothering me'
Rahane has totalled more than 3,400 runs at an average of 40.55 in his Test career so far with nine centuries and 17 fifties to his name, while also boasting an average of over 50 with the bat in 125 first-class matches, including a staggering 29 hundreds. Also Read - Umran Malik, Ishan Kishan to Ruturaj Gaikwad; IPL Stars Who Would Like to Impress And Make India's T20 World Cup Squad
“We are delighted to attract a player of Ajinkya’s class and with both Aiden and Dimuth selected for the World Cup, we were obviously in the market for a top-order batsman. Ajinkya showed an interest early on and the way things have played out it is a great opportunity to get him over — we’re really excited to have him with us,” Director Of Cricket Giles White said in a statement.
“He has enjoyed playing at the Ageas Bowl previously and it is going to be great to have a player of his stature joining the dressing room.”
“I am excited to be the first Indian to play for Hampshire, a county which has a glowing reputation. I hope to score runs and win as a team and would like to thank BCCI for allowing me to play,” Rahane said in the statement.
(With PTI Inputs)