Ajinkya Rahane will represent Hampshire in eight matches during the Specsavers County Championship matches, which will take place throughout May, June and July, subject to visa clearance. @PTI

India‘s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane became the first player from the country to join English county side Hampshire.

Rahane, who is currently playing for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 and not picked in India’s 15-man squad for the World Cup 2019, will represent Hampshire in eight matches during the Specsavers County Championship matches, which will take place throughout May, June and July, subject to visa clearance.

Rahane will join the county as a replacement for South Africa’s Aiden Markram, who will be a part of the Proteas side for the World Cup.

Expressing his delight on having Rahane on the board, Giles White, Director Of Cricket at Hampshire, 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.” (ALSO READ: Pujara, Rahane, Shaw among seven Indian players to play County cricket before World Test Championship)

“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,” added White.

Rahane said that he is excited to be a part of “a country which has a glowing reputation”. The right-hander has scored 3488 runs in 56 Tests for India in addition to his runs in ODIs and T20Is.

“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,” said Rahane.