Derbyshire have signed India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara for the remainder of the county season.
Four games left
Pujara will look to increase his knowledge and get more accustomed to English conditions when he plays in Derbyshire's last four County Championship matches, which will be against Worcestershire in Derby, Glamorgan in Cardiff, Surrey at The Oval and Leicestershire in Derby.
Pujara decided that he needed to play more county cricket after his dismal performance in the recently concluded five-Test series against England. Pujara only scored 222 runs, which included one half-century, at an average of 22.20.
Interestingly enough, Leicestershire were the only club to show any major interest in Pujara initially. They wanted to sign the Indian prodigy in order to attract more of the local Asian community to support the club.
Pujara has fond memories of playing in Derby as he scored a fluent 81 in India's warm-up match against Derbyshire.
Derbyshire's elite performance director, Graeme Welch, stated that the addition of Pujara could help end the club's County season on a high as they currently sit in seventh place on the points table. Derbyshire have struggled to mount a convincing comeback this season after they were relegated from Division One last season.
"Pujara will give a welcome boost to the dressing room in the Championship run-in," Welch said.
"We're an ambitious club with a developing group of players and we know that joining our dynamic squad will give Pujara exactly the experience he is looking for."
Derbyshire's chief executive, Simon Storey, was pleased to welcome Pujara aboard and called on the fans to give the club's newest recruit a warm welcome.
"We've been focused on delivering a long-term legacy from the visit of the Indian tourist side in July," he said.
"Our newly-formed Cricket Derbyshire India Club has been instrumental in supporting our efforts to secure Pujara and we hope the opportunity to watch such an accomplished India Test performer play county cricket here will inspire even more local cricket fans to join us."