Derbyshire win race to sign Pujara

England

Derbyshire have won the race to sign India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, beating out the likes of Leicestershire to secure his services after he was granted permission to play County cricket by the BCCI.

Derbyshire have won the race to sign India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, beating out the likes of Leicestershire to secure his services after he was granted permission to play County cricket by the BCCI.

Pujara had a poor Test series against England, and not being part of the limited-overs set up gave him the freedom to ask to stay in the UK and play in the County Championship, which his home board allowed.

Derbyshire are hoping to use him both as a PR offensive to gain more Indian fans, as well as boost their struggling season after they were relegated previously. West Indies batsman Shiv Chanderpaul has gone home for international duty, leaving the gap for Pujara.

Graeme Welch, Derbyshire's elite performance director, said: "We're an ambitious team and have an exciting group of players who are developing fast.

"Pujara joining us at this stage of the season is a real boost for the lads and the remaining Championship matches we have ahead of us will give him exactly the experience he is looking for.

"With Shiv now back in West Indies preparing for Test match action and Marcus North focusing on our one-day campaign, Pujara will bring an added dimension to the side as we look to finish our Championship season strongly."

Derbyshire's chief executive, Simon Storey said: "We've been focused on delivering a long-term legacy from the visit of the Indian tourist side to Derby in July, including the creation of our Cricket Derbyshire India Club.

"We hope the opportunity to see Pujara play county cricket for Derbyshire will inspire cricket followers across the City and the wider county and open up the Club to a new generation of fans."

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