Ajinkya Rahane seeks permission from the BCCI to play county cricket

Rahane the vice-captain of the Indian Test team isn't a part of the World Cup 2019 squad.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane of India. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

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Ajinkya Rahane, India’s Test vice-captain has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) permission for playing English county cricket. Rahane, one of the cornerstones of Indian Test scene and who has led the team to Test victories over Australia in Dharamshala and Afghanistan in their debut Test in Bengaluru, is seeking a stint with Hampshire.

The Mumbaikar who was not picked in the Indian squad for the ICC World Cup 2019, is currently leading Rajasthan Royals in the ongoing Indian Premier League. Rahane has played 56 Tests, scoring 3488 runs at an average of 40.55 with 9 centuries and 17 fifties with a highest score of 188. In 125 FC matches, he has 9649 runs with 54.78 average with 29 centuries for Mumbai and India A.

Rahane eyes first FC stint in England with Hampshire

In Rahane’s application, he wants to play for Hampshire county in the months of May, June, and mid-July. As per the letter, the cricketer wants to be given permission to turn out for the county team in four-day games. The letter has been forwarded by the CEO Rahul Johri and to the Committee of Administrators (CoA).

A senior BCCI official sees no problems in Rahane getting the permission, given that BCCI had given the go-ahead to players like Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma and even captain Virat Kohli.

“There is no reason why Rahane wouldn’t be granted permission as the likes of Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara were also given the go-ahead. Also, Rahane isn’t a part of the World Cup team, so he won’t have any international commitment at that time. He wants to play four-day games and that should actually help him when he returns to play Test cricket for India after the showpiece event gets over in England and Wales,” the official was quoted as saying by India Today.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma were highly helped by their stints with Yorkshire and Sussex respectively when India toured England in 2018. Rahane had a lukewarm series in both England and Australia in Tests apart from one or two innings. With India playing in the World Cup during the period Rahane wants to play county cricket, there will only be positives coming out from his proposed stint.

“Playing county cricket means you prepare on wickets where every ball could be the last you face in an innings. The wickets are really challenging and I love challenges. County cricket has improved me as a player,” Pujara had mentioned of his stint with Yorkshire.

“I think the county has helped me a lot as it was very tiring. Bowling 300 overs in just 16 days, I played four games. Gillespie (Sussex coach) gave me a lot of confidence. He was always supportive and gave me freedom. I did work on some things which have helped,” Ishant had said of his stint.

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