Sat, 25 Mar 2023

London [UK], January 31 (ANI): Leicestershire County Cricket Club (LCCC) announced on Tuesday that they have signed India batter Ajinkya Rahane for the 2023 season.

The 34-year-old is set to arrive in June following his IPL campaign with Chennai Super Kings, and will be available for eight County Championship matches, as well as the entirety of the One Day Cup.

Rahane, who has captained his country in all formats, has scored more than 8,000 runs at international level, reaching three figures on 12 occasions in Test cricket and three times in ODI cricket.

After making his debut against England in 2011, the right-hander has gone on to feature for India on 192 occasions, headlined by a knock of 188 against New Zealand in 2016.

The experienced batsman has appeared 82 times in the Test arena, with his 4,931 runs coming at an average of 38.52; and on 90 occasions in One Day Internationals, scoring 2,962 runs at 35.26.

On the Test stage, Rahane stands as one of only six Indians to have scored a century in each innings of a match, while he also holds the world record for most catches in a Test (eight vs Sri Lanka, 2015).

Collectively, the former India skipper has accumulated just shy of 25,000 career runs, notching 51 centuries en route, including two in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals and one in the County Championship for Hampshire during his maiden county cricket stint in 2019.

"I'm really happy to be joining Leicestershire for the upcoming season. I can't wait to play alongside my new teammates and explore the vibrant city of Leicester," Rahane said in an official statement released by LCCC.

"I'm extremely excited to welcome Ajinkya to Leicestershire. He comes with a lot of experience and a tremendous work ethic. It's a great opportunity for us to tap into that," Director of Cricket, Claude Henderson said.

"I had conversations with (Assistant Coach) Alfonso Thomas and (Head Coach) Paul Nixon, who had eyed Ajinkya in the past, so he was always on our radar. It was a case of seeing what the team needed, which was definitely a senior overseas batsman, so we are delighted to have secured someone of Ajinkya's calibre," he added.

Rahane became Leicestershire's latest overseas signing for 2023, joining 2022 leading run-scorer, Wiaan Mulder, who has rejoined for all three formats, and Naveen-ul-Haq, who has signed for a third consecutive Vitality Blast campaign.

A fourth international addition, set to feature across the County Championship in Rahane's absence during April and May, has also been lined up, Henderson has confirmed. The Club will announce further details in the coming weeks. (ANI)

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