Hanuma Vihari, the right-handed middle-order batsman has already left for the United Kingdom to feature for the Birmingham-based county side to play in at least three games this season.
The IPL franchises turned him down in IPL 2021 auctions but Team India’s Test specialist batsman and part-time bowler Hanuma Vihari is all set to prepare for the upcoming six-Test season in the United Kingdom by competing for the English county side Warwickshire in England.
Hanuma Vihari Will Play For Warwickshire
The right-handed middle-order batsman has already left for the UK and will be a part of the Birmingham-based county side for at least three games this season.
“Yes, Vihari will be playing in the English county side for Warwickshire this season. He would play a few games. He is already in England now,” a senior BCCI official confirmed the development to PTI on Tuesday.
The Warwickshire county’s official page hasn’t made the announcement yet but according to the BCCI officials, the modalities are being worked out.
“The contract is being chalked out. He will play a minimum of three games. We are trying to figure out if there is a chance to play a few more,” an official said.
Hanuma Vihari last played in the IPL back in 2019 for Delhi Capitals and since then has gone unsold at the successive auctions after being billed as a Test specialist. The 27-year-old has scored 624 runs in 12 Tests for India at an average of around 32. He has hit a hundred and four half-centuries. He has played 2 games for Delhi Capitals and 22 games for Sunrisers Hyderabad and has managed 284 runs and picked 1 wicket.
Hanuma Vihari Saved The Sydney Test And Underwent Rehabilitation At NCA
Hanuma Vihari’s last India outing was in the Sydney Test against Australia, where his epic four-hour vigil (23 not out), with a torn hamstring alongside Ravichandran Ashwin, saved the game for the visiting team.
He came back after an intense rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru but had an indifferent Vijay Hazare Trophy for Andhra, scoring only a single half-century and failing to reach double digits in the next five games.
“With a curtailed domestic season this time and Vihari being a part of the Test side, he needs match practice.
“All his other Test colleagues are part of the IPL teams including Cheteshwar (Pujara). Even if it’s white-ball games, they will be fit and match-ready,” the source said.
“However, we need to ensure that Vihari also gets game time before the England tour. It’s not just one World Test Championship final but it’s followed by a full-fledged five-Test series. We need him ready,” he added.
Over the years, the BCCI has encouraged a lot of its cricketers to go and play county cricket, especially before the England tours.
Ishant Sharma, when he wasn’t a part of the IPL, had gone to Sussex and became a better red ball bowler during the past few years. Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel have also played county cricket in recent years. The most high-profile name which was supposed to play country cricket (in 2018) but missed out due to injury was Indian captain Virat Kohli, who had a contract with Surrey.
Hanuma Vihari represents Andhra Pradesh in Indian domestic cricket. A right-handed batsman and occasional right-arm off break bowler, he was a member of the India Under-19 cricket team that won the 2012 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Australia. He made his Test debut for India in September 2018 and has played 12 Tests, 90 first-class games, and 74 List A, and 74 T20 games.
Among other former players in recent times, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Murali Kartik, Zaheer Khan, Dinesh Mongia, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, and Javagal Srinath played in County cricket for various teams like Glamorgan, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Somerset, Kent, and Surrey.