Cheteshwar Pujara to play for Sussex during English summer

Hove (England), Mar 10 (Cricket News) Out-of-favour India batter Cheteshwar Pujara will be playing for Sussex in the upcoming English county season replacing Australia international Travis Head, the club announced on Thursday.

Pujara, who has been dropped from the Indian Test team after having played 95 games for the country, will compete in both first-class and List A games for Sussex. He has previously played for Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire in the English County Championship.

"Following a request by Travis to be released from his contract due to increased international commitments along with the news that he and his partner are expecting their first child, the club have agreed to this and replaced him with Cheteshwar Pujara for the majority of the 2022 season," the club released a statement.

"Pujara will arrive in time for the first Championship match of the season and remain until at least the end of the RL50 competition (national one-day championship)." The English county season will start on April 7 and Sussex will play their first match from April 14 against Derbyshire. The season continues till September across formats.

Pujara is not part of India's current Test squad which is taking on Sri Lanka. His domestic team Saurashtra has not qualified for the knock-outs of Ranji Trophy and he is also without an IPL contract, which means he is free for the entire summer.

The 34-year-old Pujara, who has 6713 Test runs with 18 hundreds in Tests, said,"I am excited and honoured to be a part of the historic Sussex County Cricket Club for the upcoming season. I do look forward to joining up with the Sussex family soon and be a part of its rich cricketing history.

"Over the years I have always enjoyed my time in the UK playing county cricket, so eagerly looking forward to the new stint and hope to contribute to the club’s success." The club welcomed Pujara's inclusion and stated: "We are delighted to welcome such an experienced international top order batter to the squad and look forward to his contribution both with the bat and in helping our younger top order batters continue their development in first class cricket." Explaining his decision to leave, Head said, "I would like to stress that it's important for me to support Jessica over the Australian winter while balancing a busy international schedule.

"It comes with disappointment during a very exciting period for me personally that I won't be returning this season, I've built some great relationships and was very excited for it.

"I'm hopeful I can still have an impact at the club in the future and I will be watching the season very closely. I wish everyone all the best and thank you for the support." A new captain will be announced in due course, prior to the start of the season. 

Also Read : Ireland's Arachas Super Series returns to three-team format in 2022

News Source : PTI


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