Ajinkya Rahane confirms County Championship stint with Hampshire

Ajinkya Rahane eases one through covers BCCI

India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will join Hampshire for the County Championship season from next month.

Division One club Hampshire confirmed Rahane's signing as an overseas player on Thursday, as reported by ESPNcricinfo last week.

The 30-year-old Rahane is the first India player to represent Hampshire and will replace Aiden Markram, who will finish his stint with Hampshire at the end of the Royal London One-Day Cup group stage in early May to join South Africa's World Cup squad. Markram was a late signing after Dimuth Karunaratne entered the running to lead Sri Lanka at the World Cup and was subsequently confirmed as captain.

Having been overlooked for the World Cup, Rahane will make his County Championship debut and feature in eight matches through May, June and the start of July, subject to visa clearance. Rahane has played 56 Tests and 90 ODIs. He has scored 3,488 Test runs at an average of 40.55 with nine centuries and 17 fifties, while averaging above 50 with the bat in 125 first-class matches, including 29 hundreds.

"I am excited to be the first Indian to play for Hampshire, a county which has a glowing reputation," Rahane said. "I hope to score runs and win as a team and would like to thank BCCI for allowing me to play."

Giles White, the Hampshire Director of Cricket, said he was pleased to have a player of Rahane's stature at the club.

"We're delighted to attract a player of Ajinkya's class and with both Aiden and Dimuth selected for the World Cup, we were obviously in the market for a top-order batsman," White said. "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."