Ajinkya Rahane to become first Indian cricketer to play for Hampshire

Ajinkya Rahane

Indian Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has confirmed that he will play for English county side Hampshire. Rahane will replace South African opener Aiden Markram as the overseas player in the squad for the Division One Club from next month.

The Indian confirmed the news in a statement released by Hampshire:

“I am excited to be the first Indian to play for Hampshire, a county which has a glowing reputation. I hope to score runs and win as a team and would like to thank BCCI for allowing me to play.”

Giles White, Director of Cricket for Hampshire was also elated to land a player of Rahane’s calibre to the club, quoting in a statement:

“We’re delighted to attract a player of Ajinkya’s class and with both Aiden and Dimuth selected for the World Cup, we were obviously in the market for a top-order batsman. Ajinkya showed an interest early on and the way things have played out it’s a great opportunity to get him over – we’re really excited to have him with us. He’s enjoyed playing at the Ageas Bowl previously and it’s going to be great to have a player of his stature joining the dressing room.”

The 30-year old batsman will feature in 8 County Championship matches for his new side throughout May, June and the start of July, subject to a visa clearance.

Hampshire were in a dire need to sign a quality international player after both Aiden Markram and Dimuth Karunaratne were called up by South Africa and Sri Lanka respectively for the World Cup. Rahane will hope that his stint proves to be a productive one, helping him improve his game in the longest format of the game in challenging conditions.