India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is set to represent Nottinghamshire for the second half of the County Championship season, the club confirmed on Thursday.
The 32-year-old, who is expected to feature in six of the final seven red ball matches, will replace Australia fast-bowler James Pattinson at the end of June.
Ashwin’s stint will start against Essex on June 30, followed by matches against Somerset and Surrey. He will, however, miss the trip to Scarborough to face Yorkshire due to international commitments with India, but is expected to return to face Kent, Warwickshire and Surrey in the final three matches of the season.
“We knew what we wanted to sign and that was a world-class bowler. Whether that was a fast or a slow bowler, we were prepared to look at all options. As it happens, we have signed a very good spinner, a very experienced spinner and one we hope can contribute with the bat as well,” Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket, Mick Newell said in a statement.
“We have seen world-class slow bowlers have a huge match-winning effect in county cricket over many years. Ravi certainly has that potential – and we are very much looking forward to welcoming him to the squad and letting him loose on our opposition,” Newell added.
Ashwin is India’s fourth-leading wicket-taker of all time in the Test arena, having claimed 342 scalps at an average of 25.43, including 26 five-wicket hauls. He has also amassed 2,361 runs at an average of 29.14 in his 65 Test matches to date, with a career-best of 124 coming against the West Indies in 2013.
The Indian bowler’s stint with Nottinghamshire will be his second in county cricket after featuring in four matches for Worcestershire in 2017.
Enjoying the late summer English conditions, the Chennai-born took 20 wickets at 29.15 for the Pears, including 5/68 against Gloucestershire, as well as scoring 214 runs at an average of 42.8.
“I am really looking forward to joining up with Nottinghamshire, to playing cricket at an iconic venue like Trent Bridge and hopefully contributing to some County Championship victories,” Ashwin said.
“I enjoyed my previous stint in England with Worcestershire. It is a good, competitive standard of cricket over there and I cannot wait to get started,” the off-spinner added.