India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will keep himself match-ready for the inaugural World Test Championship against West Indies by playing in English County for Nottinghamshire, the club announced on May 23 (Thursday).
The 32-year-old will take over as overseas player from Australia’s James Pattinson at the end of June and is expected to feature in six of the final seven red-ball matches.
This will be Ashwin’s second stint in English County, having played four games for Worcestershire during the 2017 season in which he picked up 20 wickets and also scored 214 runs.
— Nottinghamshire CCC (@TrentBridge) May 23, 2019
“I’m really looking forward to joining up with Nottinghamshire, to playing cricket at an iconic venue like Trent Bridge and hopefully contributing to some County Championship victories,” Ashwin told the club’s website.
“I enjoyed my previous stint in England with Worcestershire. It’s a good, competitive standard of cricket over there and I can’t wait to get started.”
Ashwin will play his first game against Essex on Sunday 30 June, followed by matches against Somerset and Surrey. He is supposed to miss the clash against Yorkshire because of India’s tour of the West Indies but is expected to be back for three more encounters.
“We knew what we wanted to sign and that was a world-class bowler,” said Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket, Mick Newell.
“Whether that was a fast or a slow bowler, we were prepared to look at all options. As it happens, we’ve signed a very good spinner, a very experienced spinner and one we hope can contribute with the bat as well.
“We’ve seen world-class slow bowlers have a huge match-winning effect in county cricket over many years. Ravi certainly has that potential – and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming him to the squad and letting him loose on our opposition.”
Ashwin’s Indian teammate Ajinkya Rahane has already joined Hampshire and scored a century on his debut. Meanwhile Cheteshwar Pujara, who has signed a three year deal with Yorkshire, is soon expected to fly to England considering the Saurashtra Premier League concluded on Wednesday.