Pu­jara to pre­pare for Eng­land tour with York­shire stint

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Lon­don, UK - Chetesh­war Pu­jara will warm up for In­dia's Test se­ries in Eng­land by play­ing county cricket for York­shire.

Pu­jara will share over­seas du­ties with New Zealand cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson, and he is so in­tent upon mak­ing a good im­pres­sion that he is due to ar­rive in the UK in time for a pre-sea­son friendly against Leeds Brad­ford MCCU fix­ture on April 7.

There was lit­tle to de­light Pu­jara in the IPL auc­tion. He went un­sold and he was one of the play­ers whose name was not even read out. In con­trast, his stock in Test cricket re­mains as high as ever: he stands sixth in the ICC Test rank­ings, his av­er­age top side of 50.

In Jo­han­nes­burg last week, he went 53 balls be­fore scor­ing his first run, the most by any top-or­der in­ter­na­tional bats­man since 2001, but his half-cen­tury pro­vided some of the bal­last re­quired for an In­dia vic­tory on a du­bi­ous pitch.

De­spite a deal for Pu­jara be­ing struck sev­eral weeks ago, York­shire de­layed its an­nounce­ment un­til the re­sults of the IPL auc­tion were con­firmed.

The BCCI has also sched­uled a one-off Test against Afghanistan in Ben­galuru, from June 14-18, with Pu­jara set to de­part for In­dia af­ter a 50-over clash at Lan­cashire, but with York­shire hop­ing he will re­turn in time for an away trip to Hamp­shire, in the county cham­pi­onship, on June 20.

In­dia play five Tests in Eng­land be­tween Au­gust 1 and Septem­ber 11.

"I'm re­ally ex­cited to be able to have the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent York­shire once again," Pu­jara said. "It's al­ways nice to be able to come over here and play some county cricket and I love the pas­sion the peo­ple of York­shire have for the game.

Each time I've played county cricket it has im­proved me as a player. That's the plan again in 2018. I just want to score as many runs as pos­si­ble for York­shire and soak up as much as I can from the whole ex­pe­ri­ence."

Chetesh­war Pu­jara

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