Cheteshwar Pujara has played for Yorkshire in 2015 © Getty Images
Cheteshwar Pujara has played for Yorkshire in 2015 © Getty Images

Cheteshwar Pujara has signed a deal with Yorkshire for the 2018 English Domestic season. Yorkshire County Cricket Club confirmed the news on Tuesday. He is expected to play for the side against Leeds Bradford MCCU, starting April 7. The deal was inked several weeks back, but the announcement was postponed due to IPL auctions.

Pujara will return to India after a List-A game against Lancashire will take part in the one-off Test against Afghanistan, starting June 14. He is expected to play Hampshire, starting June 20. Pujara is likely to stay in England as India arrive there to play hosts in the five-Test series.

This is not the first time Pujara will play for Yorkshire. He had earlier replaced Younis Khan in 2015. He piled 264 runs from four games at 53.98. Pujara has also played for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. However, his stint in 2017 for Nottinghamshire ended in a disappointment, managing just 333 runs at 27.75.

“I’m really excited to be able to have the opportunity to represent Yorkshire once again. It’s always nice to be able to come over here and play some County Cricket and I’m just as excited as I was last time to represent the Club. I love the passion the people of Yorkshire have for the game and they made me feel very welcome. I know quite a few of the players, so I’ll just try to play my natural game and score plenty of runs for the Club.

“It’s an honour for me to play for the same county as Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar and each time I’ve played county cricket it has improved me as a player. That’s the plan again in 2018. I just want to score as many runs as possible for Yorkshire and soak up as much as I can from the whole experience,” Pujara was quoted by the club’s official website.

Cheteshwar Pujara: Johannesburg track one of the toughest I have played on
Cheteshwar Pujara: Johannesburg track one of the toughest I have played on

Pujara is ranked sixth in the ICC Test Rankings. Ranked fourth in Test batting rankings, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is Yorkshire’s other overseas cricketer for the 2018 season. Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket, expressed his delight.

“It goes without saying that Cheteshwar is a highly-driven individual and very skilled batsman. We’re delighted to have him on board. He proved to be a very likable character the last time he was with us and the plan is for him to relieve some of the pressure on the top order that we struggled with at times in 2017. Just as he did in 2015, Pujara will relish the challenge of performing in English conditions. He’s very difficult to dislodge and will hopefully dominate the crease for us during his stay,” Moxton said.

Tendulkar was Yorkshire’s overseas cricketer for the 1992 season, and later in 2003, Yuvraj played for the side.