Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will join Nottinghamshire for the Specsavers County Championship in mid-May. He will replace James Pattinson, who returns to Australia after a national call-up.
Speaking on the association, Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell said, “The most important thing was to sign someone with the quality to make us better, rather than limiting our options by saying it had to be a bowler. We have depth in our squad with regards bowling and - particularly as we’ll be without Alex Hales during that period - we’re more than happy to welcome a world-class batsman to the Club”.
Pujara made his Test debut for the Indian team in 2010 and has been a regular feature of the side since the departure of middle-order heavyweights Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. He has close to 3800 runs in 48 Tests, scored at an average of over 51, with 11 centuries to his credit.
In first class cricket, the 29-year-old averages over 58, having scored close to 12,000 runs from 145 matches, including 38 centuries.
He has previously played seven red ball games in county cricket for Derbyshire and Yorkshire, scoring 483 runs at an average of 54. He has scored four centuries against England, including a career-best unbeaten 206 at Ahmedabad in 2012. He also managed to score back-to-back centuries in the recent Test series against the same opposition.
Pujara did not find any takers in the IPL this season, and was unsold at his base price of Rs. 50 lakh in the auctions held this year. He played his last IPL game for the Kings XI Punjab, having opened for the side in 2014. Before Punjab, Pujara was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“I’m ready for it. I’m already working on my skills and preparing for competitive cricket,” added Pujara. I love playing county cricket and Trent Bridge is a great venue. I’m really looking forward to my first experience there as a home player. The aim is to win as many games as possible so the team stays on top of the points table,” Pujara was quoted as saying.