Indian cricket fans could see some of their star players appear in the County Championship this season. Its two premier spinners R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and captain Virat Kohli are favourites to sign up for a County stint later this year.
As per the report, the first-class counties are looking for Indian players and Worcestershire, in particular, has shown interest in two players (Ashwin and Jadeja) and would like to play the last few weeks of the competition. Meanwhile, other country clubs are also interested in signing Indian players including Kohli. Notably, Kohli had revealed in 2016 that he would love to be part of county before India tours England next year. Virat stressed on the need for Indian players to play a lot of cricket everywhere in the world.
Former India pace spearhead Zaheer Khan had been part of Worcestershire in the 2006 season and he himself credited the county stint for improvement in his form. According to reports, the club’s director of cricket, Steve Rhodes confirmed that the Indian spin duo are in their radar. Though it is yet to be seen what decision BCCI takes regarding Indian players in county cricket.
Interestingly, the report also confirmed that Nottinghamshire, the county which had Cheteshwar Pujara for a short time, is once again looking to sign the Indian player. He played a crucial role in Notts win against Gloucestershire scoring a hundred. But with Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka visiting India, it looks like, besides Pujara, the others — Kohli, Ashwin and Jadeja — are set for a rigorous limited-over season.
If the county teams have it their way, then the players will likely head to England in September, following the completion of the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka on September 6. With Australia home series starting in October, the possible one-month gap might be used to get Indian stars ready for English tour next year.
Apart from Kohli, Ashwin and Jadeja, who have been shattering records in subcontinent conditions, will be expected to assist the in-form Indian seamers during the tour to England. A county stint will be of great help to the spin twins who are yet to prove their worth overseas.