India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane signed a deal with Hampshire for the upcoming County Championship. The 30-year-old will be joining Hampshire from next month after the culmination of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
Rahane will be replacing South Africa's Aiden Markram as Hampshire's overseas player. He is scheduled to take part in eight County Championship fixtures throughout May, June and the beginning of July, subject to visa clearance.
Markram is set to resume national duties for the World Cup and will be leaving Hampshire in early May to join the Proteas squad.
Welcome, @ajinkyarahane88! 👀🔥✍️
— Hampshire Cricket (@hantscricket) April 25, 2019
Markram himself was a late signing after Dimuth Karunaratne was named Sri Lanka's captain at the World Cup.
"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," Rahane said.
"We’re delighted to attract a player of Ajinkya’s class and with both Aiden and Dimuth selected for the World Cup, we were obviously in the market for a top-order batsman. Ajinkya showed an interest early on and the way things have played out it’s a great opportunity to get him over — we’re really excited to have him with us," Giles White, Hampshire's Director of Cricket, said. "He’s enjoyed playing at the Ageas Bowl previously and it’s going to be great to have a player of his stature joining the dressing room."
While the stint with Hampshire will be Rahane's first County venture, he has previously played four innings at the Ageas Bowl for India in Test cricket. The right-handed batsman scored three half-centuries in four outings.