India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has signed up for Gloucestershire ahead of the 2020 County Championship and will be available for the first six games of the competition, beginning on April 12.
Pujara, India’s No.3 in Tests, will play for his fourth county, having previously represented Derbyshire (2014), Yorkshire (2015 and 2018) and Nottinghamshire (2017). Gloucestershire’s campaign will begin with the season opener against Yorkshire at Headingley on April 12.
Afghanistan legspinner Qais Ahmad will be available for Gloucestershire’s final six Championship games, as well as the whole of the Blast.
Welcome to Bristol @cheteshwar1 ???
Gloucestershire Cricket is delighted to announce the signing of @BCCI batsman Cheteshwar Pujara for the first six matches of the County Championship!!
Read here ⤵️⤵️#GoGlos??
— Gloucestershire Cricket? (@Gloscricket) February 19, 2020
“I am really excited to get the opportunity to represent Gloucestershire this season,” Pujara said. “The club has a rich cricketing history, and this is a great opportunity to be a part of it and contribute to its success.
“I am grateful to the club for giving me this opportunity and cannot wait to get to Bristol to meet my teammates and score some runs. I have really enjoyed the experience of coming over to the UK and playing county cricket over the last few years, and I am looking forward to building on that whilst continuing to improve my game.
Pujara, currently the seventh-ranked batsman in the ICC Test Rankings, has scored 5,740 runs at 49.48 from 75 Tests, with 18 hundreds. His overall experience of 200 first-class games, which have fetched him 15,605 runs at 53.99, promises to lend great value to Gloucestershire.
Though Pujara’s county record hasn’t been all that great, with his last season with Yorkshire in 2018 fetching him just 172 runs from 12 innings with a high score of 41, Richard Dawson, the Gloucestershire head coach, is assured that the right-hander is a great addition to the setup.
“Cheteshwar is a player with great temperament who will add international experience to the squad,” Dawson said. “He is undoubtedly one of the best batsmen in world cricket, and we are very fortunate to have him in our squad for the start of the County Championship campaign.
“Adding Pujara to a strong batting line-up gives me great confidence ahead of our opening County Championship matches.”