Ace Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is set to join English county side Yorkshire for the most part of its County Championship season this year. The club, where former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar has played in the past, said the veteran spinner would become their “frontline overseas spinner” featuring in at least eight championship matches once his commitments with Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League concludes.
The 33-year-old will get into act for Yorkshire following a seven-day break immediately after the IPL, as requested by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Ashwin, who has over 350 Test wickets and is the fourth-highest wicket-taker for India in the format after Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev and Harbhajan Singh, will replace South Africa pacer, Keshav Maharaj.
The latter had a successful stint with Yorkshire last year by claiming 38 scalps in just five outings besides scoring two half-centuries. Maharaj though will play the first two fixtures of this year’s season in April — against Gloucestershire and Essex.
The Tamil Nadu spinner played in county last year when he appeared in five matches for Nottinghamshire. He took 34 wickets at an impressive average of below 25 and also scored over 300 runs at over 37 plus. He picked four five-wicket hauls and 12 wickets in one game that his side lost against Surrey.
Before that, Ashwin played for games for Worcestershire to take 20 wickets and batted at an average of 42.50 and helped his side getting promoted to Division One. He was due to join the same club for the last two matches of the 2018 season but withdrew after his groin injury aggravated during the Test series in England that year.
Ashwin was ecstatic to join Yorkshire. “I’m thrilled to be joining Yorkshire, a club with a wonderful history and a fantastic fan base. I think our team looks extremely talented with some superb pace bowlers and exciting batsmen. Hopefully, my role as the spinner will be a key feature in helping the team achieve success,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Ravichandran Ashwin to follow Sachin Tendulkar’s footsteps
In 1992, Tendulkar became India’s first-ever overseas player when he joined Yorkshire as a 19-year-old. “I’m a deep thinker about the game and bowling in particular and will be researching my opponents carefully to ensure I have the edge. To follow in the footsteps of Sachin, who played for the county many years ago is a wonderful feeling for me,” the off-spinner with over 550 international wickets said.
“Ashwin is available for the rest of the season after the IPL. Short-term signings haven’t worked, we want someone who can come in for a longer period of time who can make an influence,” Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale was quoted as saying.
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