India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will bolster Hampshire’s batting line-up after signing as an overseas player for eight Specsavers County Championship matches this summer.
The 30-year-old is a regular in his country’s Test set-up but was left out of their 15-man World Cup squad, allowing Hampshire to swoop in for him for their first-class fixtures in May, June and into July, subject to visa clearance.
Rahane will become the first ever Indian to represent Hampshire and is set to replace World Cup-bound South Africa batsman Aiden Markram.
Rahane, who has amassed 3,488 runs in 56 Tests at an average of 40.55, said: “I am excited to be the first Indian to play for Hampshire, a county which has a glowing reputation.
“I hope to score runs and win as a team and would like to thank BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) for allowing me to play.”
The right-hander is expected to make his Hampshire bow against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, which starts on April 14.
Hampshire director of cricket Giles White said: “We’re delighted to attract a player of Ajinkya’s class, we were obviously in the market for a top-order batsman.
“Ajinkya showed an interest early on and the way things have played out it’s a great opportunity to get him over – we’re really excited to have him with us.”