New Delhi, June 23 Worcestershire announced the signing of India fast bowler Navdeep Saini as their second overseas player for the upcoming four matches of the ongoing County Championship season.
Saini has represented India in two Tests, eight ODIs, and 11 T20Is, and had a brief stint with Kent in last year’s County Championship, where he claimed 11 wickets in two matches, including match figures of 7-111 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, lace with 5-72 in the first innings.
“I enjoyed my brief time with Kent and I am excited about a more extended period with Worcestershire. Hopefully, I can contribute to their promotion push while also continuing to develop my own skills.”
“I am aware that Indian players such as Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan, and Ravichandran Ashwin have previously played for Worcestershire and achieved success. I also aim to make a significant impact and hit the ground running on Sunday,” he said in a statement.
Saini, 30 is set to make his Worcestershire debut in Sunday’s clash against Derbyshire at New Road. He will also be available for the home fixture against Yorkshire, starting on July 10, and the away matches against Leicestershire at Oakham School on July 19, and Gloucestershire at Cheltenham College on July 26.
His availability for the Worcestershire matches on July 10 and 19 may be affected considering Saini receiving a call-up for India’s two-match Test tour of West Indies, happening from July 12-24 in Dominica and Trinidad.
Saini has been a part of the Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Rajasthan Royals squads in the Indian Premier League (IPL), and has taken 174 wickets in 60 first-class matches.
“Navdeep has signed for the next four Championship matches, until the end of July, essentially. He has an impressive track record, having played for India in all formats, and he performed well for Kent last summer, gaining valuable experience of English cricket,” said Paul Pridgeon, Chair of the Worcestershire Cricket Steering Group.
Saini’s arrival will bolster the bowling unit, which has been affected by Charlie Morris’ retirement due to a knee issue, Josh Tongue’s call-ups to the England squad, and recent injury concerns surrounding Dillon Pennington and Adam Finch.
“We felt it was crucial to strengthen our bowling department. With Charlie’s departure, Josh’s involvement with England, and a few injury setbacks, we are entering a crucial phase of the Championship season, where we are in contention at the upper end of the table. Therefore, it was important to have the right numbers and quality,” added Pridgeon.
(This article is from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by The SportsGrail)