Mumbai : India pacer Ishant Sharma will play for Sussex for the first two months of the 2018 county season.
The 29-year-old, who appears to be a regular in India’s Test team, recently went unsold at the 2018 IPL auction, making him seek opportunities elsewhere.
Ishant, one of four Indian quickies to have taken 200 or more Test wickets, can now feature in at least five county championship fixtures and eight Royal London One-Day Cup matches. He is expected to join the squad on April 4.
“Securing Ishant’s services has been very important for us,” Sussex’s director of cricket Keith Greenfield said.
“Once Jofra [Archer] and Chris Jordan were picked up in the IPL draft, it became crucial to sign an experienced international-quality seam bowler who could provide valuable support and know-how to the rest of the seamers.
“Ishant has the attributes to be very successful in early season English conditions and a great role model. He fits the bill perfectly and we look forward to welcoming him to Sussex Cricket,” he added.
Former Australia pacer and Sussex head coach Jason Gillespie has also expressed his excitement at Ishant’s signing. “We’re delighted to secure the services of an experienced and very skilful international seamer,” he said.
“We believe Ishant will fit right into the Sussex dressing room and we are all really looking forward to welcoming him to Hove.”
Ishant, who has represented India in 81 Tests, 80 ODIs and 14 T20Is, is thrilled at the opportunity too. “It’s a great honour to represent Sussex CCC, the oldest first-class county, and I am looking forward with excitement to my maiden stint in county cricket,” he said.
“I would like to extend a special thanks to Sussex for taking note of my ongoing performances and deeming me suitable for this opportunity. I hope to add value during my time as part of the Sussex family this season,” he added.