Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara will miss his County Championship debut for Sussex as the player faced a delay in his visa issue. Pujara, who went unsold in the IPL 2022 auction, signed a contract with Sussex to play County matches and will also be available for the Royal London Cup (50-0ver domestic competition) matches.
Pujara was named overseas replacement for Australian batter Travis Head who requested the club to release him because of national commitments and the left-handed batter is also expecting his first child with partner Jessica Davies.
We renegotiated the initial Cheteshwar Pujara contract: Keith Greenfield
Pujara will miss the opening game against Nottinghamshire between April 7 and 10. He will be available to play the second match against Derbyshire, which starts on April 14.
“Securing overseas players has been tremendously difficult in the current climate. We renegotiated the initial Pujara contract so he could return for more County Championship and Royal London Cup matches, and this subsequently changed the visa requirements,” Sussex Performance Director Keith Greenfield was quoted as saying on the club’s official website.
“On top of this, the Ukraine crisis has meant that the Home Office redirected their resources to help with the displacement of Ukrainian citizens. We were expecting Pujara to be with us last weekend but can now confirm he will be here at the back end of this week,” he added.
Extremely disappointed that we will not have a player of Cheteshwar Pujara’s experience: Sussex head coach
Sussex head coach Ian Salisbury expressed disappointment over Pujara’s absence in the first game and said the team will have to manage without the 34-year-old.
“Of course, I am extremely disappointed that we will not have a player of Pujara’s experience and quality to be available for the opening day of the season, but we must move on and now focus on the game ahead of us,” Salisbury said.
Pujara was dropped from India’s Test side for the two-match series against Sri Lanka in February along with Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma. Pujara played three matches for Saurashtra in the first phase of Ranji Trophy 2022.
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