Hampshire Cricket announced the signing of India Test batsman, Ajinkya Rahane.
The 30-year-old is to become Hampshire’s first Indian overseas player and will feature in eight Specsavers County Championship fixtures throughout May, June and the start of July, subject to visa clearance.
Rahane will replace South Africa batsman Aiden Markram, who will end his spell with Hampshire at the end of the Royal London One-Day Cup group-stage prior to joining up with his national side before this summer’s ICC Cricket World Cup.
Director of cricket Giles White said: “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 batsman who averages 40.55 in Tests was omitted from this summers’ World Cup squad by India and has not played for his national side since February 2018.
Despite this omission he brings a wealth of experience with him to the Ageas Bowl with 3,488 Test runs in 56 matches with nine centuries and 17 fifties.
His 90 ODI matches have mustered 2,962 runs at an average of 35.26 as well as boasting an average of 50.78 with the bat in 125 first-class matches, including an astounding 29 hundreds.
Rahane said: “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 thanks BCCI for allowing me to play.”