London: India Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara was Wednesday signed up by Gloucestershire for the first six matches of the English County Championship starting April 12.
Pujara is one of the key players in the Indian Test team, providing solidity to the batting line-up with his technique. His stint with Gloucestershire will be from April 12 to May 22.
“I am really excited to get the opportunity to represent Gloucestershire this season. The Club has a rich cricketing history, and this is a great opportunity to be a part of it and contribute to its success,” Pujara said in a press release issued by the club.
The club took into consideration the 32-year-old right-hander’s ability to bat for long periods.
He will bring his experience to a Gloucestershire side, which will be playing in Division One of the County Championship for the first time in over a decade.
“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,” Pujara said.
“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 has previously played in England for Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire in the County Championship.
The batsman made his Test debut for India in 2010 against Australia. In 2012, he made his first international Test century against New Zealand in Hyderabad where he scored 159.
He has an impressive batting average of 49.48 in Test cricket with 206 not out being his best score, which he made against England.
He has an equally impressive first-class average of 53.99 with a highest score of 352 for Saurashtra against Karnataka.
Gloucestershire head coach Richard Dawson said, “Cheteshwar is a player with great temperament who will add international experience to the squad.
“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,” he explained.
“Adding Pujara to a strong batting line-up gives me great confidence ahead of our opening County Championship matches,” he added.
Pujara is the first Indian player to play for Gloucestershire since Javagal Srinath in 1995.
Srinath took 87 wickets in the only season he represented The Shire.
During his stint, Pujara will be available for the four-day games against Yorkshire, Lancashire, Kent, Somerset, Essex and Surrey.