Cheteshwar Pujara's visa issues delay his Sussex debut
Cheteshwar Pujara will have to wait for a week before making his County debut with Sussex. Pujara, 34, has been facing some visa-related issues that have delayed his arrival. However, he would still be available for a major part of the English domestic season. Sussex will start their domestic season in a County match against Nottinghamshire on April 7. Here are more details.
Why does this story matter?
Pujara has been a recurring player at the English County. He made his County debut with Derbyshire in 2014. Since then, he has been a part of Yorkshire (2015,18), Nottinghamshire (2017), and now Sussex for the impending season. Plus, a solid run with the willow could give him a chance to get back into the scheme of things for the Test team.
Sussex's Performance Director issues a statement on Pujara
"Securing overseas players has been tremendously difficult in the current climate. We renegotiated the initial Pujara contract so he could return for more County Championship and Royal London 50-over matches, and this subsequently changed the visa requirements," said Keith Greenfield, Sussex's Performance Director. Greenfield added that they were expecting Pujara last weekend. Nonetheless, the Indian batter would be joining them this week.
A look at Pujara's performance in Tests since 2020
Pujara has looked like a shell of himself. He has amassed 973 runs across 20 Tests at 26.29. His numbers in the last 8 innings read 9, 43, 53, 3, 16, 0, 47, 0. He was eventually dropped from India's squad for the two-match Tests against Sri Lanka. He was also demoted to a Grade B contract along with Ishant Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane.
Pujara's Test career in numbers
In spite of a poor run in form, Pujara continues to have noticeable numbers in Tests. Across 95 Tests, the right-hander has amassed 6,713 runs. He averages 43.88. To date, he has notched 18 hundreds and 32 fifties. He was awarded the Player of the Series in Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2018-19. He had racked 521 runs in four Tests while averaging 74.43.
Sussex's schedule for this domestic season
Sussex would be competing in six County matches between April 7-May 15. Post that, they will be participating in 14 matches for the Vitality T20 Blast (May 26-July 3) and five Royal One Day Cup matches (August 2-14). They would also be involved in five more County matches that will be held between the T20 and One-Day schedules.