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Ajinkya Rahane joins Hampshire in the ongoing County season

He will join the team as Aiden Markram's replacement.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Ajinkya Rahane might have missed out on finding a berth in the Indian squad for the upcoming World Cup in England but he is set to go to the same country, to play for county side Hampshire. The 30-year-old has signed a deal with the club as its overseas player and became the first player from India to represent it. Rahane, who is currently playing for Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals (RR), will play in eight County Championship games in May, June and early July, subject to the visa clearance.

Rahane will replace South African opening batsman Aiden Markram, whose stint with Hampshire will conclude with the end of the domestic One-Day Cup group stage. Markram will join the South Africa team after being picked up in the World Cup squad. Rahane, who recently slammed a hundred in the IPL after losing captaincy of the RR because of the team’s poor run, is India’s vice-captain and has played 56 Tests, 90 ODIs and 20 T20Is scoring over 6,000 runs.

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The Mumbai batsman though hasn’t played in an ODI since February 2018. He was being considered for having an outside chance of making the WC squad but eventually missed out. Rahane averages above 50 in first-class cricket with nearly 10,000 runs.

Hampshire excited to have Rahane on board

“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 for allowing me to play,” Ajinkya Rahane said according to the Hampshire’s official website.

The Hampshire authorities were also ecstatic over Rahane’s arrival. “We’re delighted to attract a player of Ajinkya’s class, and with both Aiden and Dimuth (Karunaratne) selected for the World Cup, we were obviously in the market for a top-order batsman,” Hampshire Director of Cricket Giles White was quoted as saying. Giles also said that Rahane had shown interest early on adding that they were excited to have him with the county side.

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