Cheteshwar Pujara All Set To Play For Yorkshire In Next Season
By CricShots - Jan 30, 2018 8:03 am
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India’s Test specialist, Cheteshwara Pujara has finally cracked a deal with Yorkshire for the 2018 England domestic season, the Yorkshire County Cricket Club confirmed the news on January 30 (Tuesday). He is expected to play Yorkshire’s fixture against Leeds Bradford MCCU, starting from April 7.

Cheteshwar Pujara

Pujara had penned a deal with the County several weeks ago but the announcement was purposely postponed due to the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 auction. The Test specialist is set to return to India after the Royal London 50-over game against Lancashire to participate in the one-off Test against Afghanistan, commencing from June 14.

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However, Cheteshwar is also scheduled to return to England to play in the County Championship game versus Hampshire, starting on June 20. There is also a possibility of Pujara staying on in England after the completion of the five-match Test series between India and England, to play fixtures against Hampshire and Worcestershire in September.

Previously, Pujara had signed with Yorkshire as the replacement of Younis Khan in April 2015. He played four matches during that season and amassed 264 runs at an average of 53.98. He has also played for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. During the 2017 County season, Pujara represented Nottinghamshire, but only managed to score 333 runs at 27.75.

Sachin Tendulkar, who was Yorkshire’s overseas cricketer for the 1992 England domestic season (the first overseas cricketer signed by Yorkshire), and Yuvraj Singh (8 first-class matches), are the other Indian cricketers to have played for Yorkshire.

Talking about the deal, Pujara said, “I’m really excited to be able to have the opportunity to represent Yorkshire once again. It’s always nice to be able to come over here and play some County Cricket and I’m just as excited as I was last time to represent the Club. I love the passion the people of Yorkshire have for the game and they made me feel very welcome. I know quite a few of the players, so I’ll just try to play my natural game and score plenty of runs for the Club.”

He further elaborated, “It’s an honor for me to play for the same county as Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar and each time I’ve played county cricket it has improved me as a player. That’s the plan again in 2018. I just want to score as many runs as possible for Yorkshire and soak up as much as I can from the whole experience.”

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Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket, asserted that the club was certainly enthusiastic to have signed a deal with Cheteshwar for the upcoming season. Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, is Yorkshire’s other overseas cricketer for the 2018 season.

Moxon said, “It goes without saying that Cheteshwar is a highly-driven individual and very skilled batsman. We’re delighted to have him on board. He proved to be a very likable character the last time he was with us and the plan is for him to relieve some of the pressure on the top order that we struggled with at times in 2017. Just as he did in 2015, Pujara will relish the challenge of performing in English conditions. He’s very difficult to dislodge and will hopefully dominate the crease for us during his stay.”