Yorkshire’s hopes of defending their County Championship crown have been boosted by the signing of Indian international Cheteshwar Pujara as their overseas signing, after agreements with their incumbent overseas player Younus Khan broke down.
Pujara has a strong record in the first-class game, averaging 57 in the longest format, figures he came close to replicating during his three-game spell for Derbyshire in the 2014 campaign.
The Indian middle-order batsman could be available as early as the White Rose’s first game in the County Championship when they travel to Worcestershire on April 12, although his arrival is subject to obtaining a work permit. He would then be available until the end of May, according to his agreement with the BCCI, when Australian Aaron Finch would grace Headingley.
Yorkshire Director of Cricket, Martyn Moxon, said of the signing: “We have moved quickly to bring in Pujara and he is a superb player.
“He is an outstanding young Test cricketer, who is hungry to perform in the English game. In the brief conversations I have had with him, he is very much looking forward to be joining Yorkshire and being part of our plans.”
Pujara, who has had a ten-year first-class career to date, was said to be “excited and honoured” to be joining the current County Champions.
“I was looking to return to the UK after my previous experience of county cricket, which I greatly enjoyed and when Yorkshire made the offer I didn’t think twice. To wear the same white rose Sachin Tendulkar did is going to be a great feeling for me. I hope I can contribute to further success.”
Pujara’s availability came about due to Younus Khan and Yorkshire agreeing to drop the Pakistan batsman’s contract following a possible lack of availability for the veteran.
Pakistan travel to Bangladesh for a Test series in May and, according to the Club, Khan would find it “difficult not to travel” if he was to be selected for the tour.
Moxon commented: “When the deal was agreed initially, it was on the understanding that Younus would not tour Bangladesh with Pakistan. Younus made it clear to us on Sunday that he would find it difficult to turn down should he be selected.
“At this late stage that is no good to us. We had to make a decision and as result we have decided to cancel his contract.”