Cheteshwar Pujara re-signs with Sussex for 2023 County season
India's Cheteshwar Pujara will return to Sussex for County cricket in 2023. The 34-year-old had an eye-popping run in his first season with the club. It was Pujara's fourth county stint, having played at Derbyshire, Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire in the past. He aced both red-ball and white-ball formats, making an impact like no other. Here are further details.
Why does this story matter?
- Pujara has been a beast since the India snub for the Sri Lanka series.
- Runs have flown in from every nook and corner.
- The ease with which he churned out the runs for Sussex deserves applause.
- It is to note that Pujara, a noted red-ball specialist, dominated the scenes in the one-day competition too.
- He guided Sussex to the semi-finals in the 50-over event.
'I'm glad to be back with Sussex'
"I am glad to be back with Sussex for the 2023 season," Pujara said in a statement released by Sussex. "I thoroughly enjoyed my last stint with the club last season, both on and off the field and I'm looking forward to contributing to the team's growth and success in the coming year," added the Indian batter.
Will Pujara be available for the one-dayers?
Sussex didn't specify in their initial statement as to which formats Pujara would be available and for how long. However, his availability in England's domestic season will be influenced by his involvement in India's Test squad and quite possibly, the IPL. Sussex later clarified that Pujara is expected to play Championship and 50-over duels. He will be arriving in time for the 2023 season.
Pujara could miss the County action
Pujara could miss the first two months of the county season if he ends up being picked in the IPL 2023 auction. He was roped in by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the 2021 edition. Interestingly, he last featured in an IPL game in 2014.
Fourth-highest run-getter in County Division Two
Pujara (1,094) compiled the fourth-most runs in County Division Two, ranking behind Wayne Madsen (1,273), Haseeb Hameed (1,235), and Sam Northeast (1,189). He racked up a whopping five hundreds, most by a batter in Division Two. Add to that, he averaged a behemoth 109.40 and struck 135 fours and seven maximums. Sussex, however, finished second-last (W1, L6, D7), ranking above a win-less Leicestershire.
Pujara scripted history at Lord's for Sussex
Pujara entered the history books after slamming a 403-ball 231 against Middlesex at Lord's in July. As per ESPNcricinfo, he became the first Sussex batter to make a double-century against Middlesex at the iconic venue. Notably, the last Sussex batter to achieve 200 on this ground was Colonel HH Shri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji II while playing against the MCC 125 years ago.
Pujara continued his Midas touch in one-dayers
Like the County Championship, Pujara had an awe-inspiring run in the Royal London One-Day Cup. He tallied 624 runs from nine matches at an incredible average of 89.14. His last five scores in the tournament read 107, 174, 49*, 66, 132, and 10. Pujara ended as the second-highest run-scorer, ranking behind Middlesex's Stephen Sean Eskinazi (658).