Cheteshwar Pujara To Play For English County Sussex As Replacement For Travis Head

Cheteshwar Pujara is free for the entire summer as he has not been picked in India's Test squad, while his domestic team Saurashtra is out of Ranji Trophy.

Cheteshwar Pujara has played for Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire in English County Championship.

Sussex have signed out-of-favour India batter Cheteshwar Pujara for the upcoming English county season. Pujara will replace Australia’s middle-order batsman Travis Head in the squad. (More Cricket News)

Right-handed batsman Pujara is not included in the national team’s ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka following a rough patch of form. Meanwhile, his domestic team Saurashtra has not qualified for the knock-outs of Ranji Trophy and these all make him free for the entire summer.

The break from Indian cricket will see Pujara compete in both first-class and List A games for Sussex. It is worth noting that Pujara has also represented Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire in the English County Championship.

"Following a request by Travis to be released from his contract due to increased international commitments along with the news that he and his partner are expecting their first child, the club have agreed to this and replaced him with Cheteshwar Pujara for the majority of the 2022 season," the club released a statement.

"Pujara will arrive in time for the first Championship match of the season and remain until at least the end of the RL50 competition (national one-day championship)."

While the English county season kicks off on April 7, Sussex start their campaign on April 14 against Derbyshire. The season continues till September across formats.

"I am excited and honoured to be a part of the historic Sussex County Cricket Club for the upcoming season. I do look forward to joining up with the Sussex family soon and be a part of its rich cricketing history,” said Pujara after signing with Sussex.

"Over the years I have always enjoyed my time in the UK playing county cricket, so eagerly looking forward to the new stint and hope to contribute to the club’s success."

Meanwhile, Sussex also welcomed Pujara and revealed that they hope the player to also help younger top-order batsmen, alongside contributing with the bat for the club.

On the other hand, explaining his decision to leave, Head said, "I would like to stress that it's important for me to support Jessica over the Australian winter while balancing a busy international schedule.

"It comes with disappointment during a very exciting period for me personally that I won't be returning this season, I've built some great relationships and was very excited for it.

"I'm hopeful I can still have an impact at the club in the future and I will be watching the season very closely. I wish everyone all the best and thank you for the support."

A new captain will be announced in due course, prior to the start of the season.

(With PTI Inputs)