Hampshire sign India Test batsman Ajinkya Rahane
Hampshire have signed India Test batsman Ajinkya Rahane.
The 30-year-old has signed a deal to become the club’s overseas player – and represents the first player from India to play for the county.
He will feature in eight Specsavers County Championship fixtures throughout May, June and the start of July, subject to visa clearance.
The right-hand top-order batsman will replace South African 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 this summer’s World Cup.
Rahane is India’s vice-captain and has a wealth of international experience having made 56 Test and 90 ODI appearances since making his debut against Australia in 2013.
He has totalled more than 3,400 runs at an average of 40.55 in his Test career to date, with nine centuries and 17 fifties to his name.
Rahane also boasts an average of more than 50 with the bat in 125 first-class matches, including a staggering 29 hundreds.
‘I am excited to be the first Indian to play for Hampshire, a county which has a glowing reputation,’ said Rahane.
‘I hope to score runs and win as a team and would like to thank BCCI for allowing me to play.’
Hampshire Director of Cricket, Giles White, said: ‘We’re delighted to attract a player of Ajinkya’s class, and with both Aiden and Dimuth (Karunaratne) 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’s a great opportunity to get him over and we’re really excited to have him with us.
‘He’s enjoyed playing at the Ageas Bowl previously and it’s going to be great to have a player of his stature joining the dressing room.’