Ishant awaits BCCI’s approval to play for Sussex


London, Feb 15: English county side Sussex on Thursday confirmed the signing of India pacer Ishant Sharma for the first two months of the 2018 season, subject to the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) approval.

Sharma will be with the club from April 4 to June 4, making him available for Sussex’s first five fixtures in the Specsavers County Championship and all eight of Sussex Sharks’ Royal London One-Day Cup group matches, according to a statement from the club.

Explaining the rationale behind the signing, Sussex’s Director of Cricket Keith Greenfield said: “Securing Ishant’s services has been very important for us. Once Jofra (Archer) and CJ (Chris Jordan) were picked up in the IPL draft, it became crucial to sign an experienced international-quality seam bowler who could provide valuable support and know-how to the rest of the seamers.

“Ishant has the attributes to be very successful in early season English conditions and a great role model. He fits the bill perfectly and we look forward to welcoming him to Sussex Cricket.”

Sussex head coach Jason Gillespie also welcomed the signing saying: “We’re delighted to secure the services of an experienced and very skilful international seamer.

“We believe Ishant will fit right into the Sussex dressing room and we are all really looking forward to welcoming him to Hove.”

After the signing, the 29-year-old Ishant said he was hounoured to make his debut in county cricket.

“It’s a great honour to represent Sussex CCC, the oldest first-class county, and I am looking forward with excitement to my maiden stint in county cricket.”

“I would like to extend a special thanks to Sussex for taking note of my ongoing performances and deeming me suitable for this opportunity. I hope to add value during my time as part of the Sussex family this season,” he added.

The Delhi-born pacer made his India debut in 2007 and has since played 81 Tests, 80 one-day internationals (ODIs) and 14 T20 internationals (T20Is).

Only three Indian seamers have more wickets than Sharma in Test cricket, with his 234 dismissals making him the ninth most prolific Indian Test bowler overall.

Sharma also has 115 ODI and eight T20I wickets to his name.