Hanuma Vihari confirmed for Warwickshire stint after Pieter Malan deal hits visa snag

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India batsman initially set to be available for three games but it could be extended

Warwickshire have completed the signing of the India batsman Hanuma Vihari as their overseas player, after Pieter Malan, their original choice, ran into difficulties obtaining a visa.

Vihari, who has played 12 Tests, including three on India’s victorious tour of Australia earlier this year, does not have an IPL deal and is expected to be available for at least three LV= Insurance County Championship games.

He made his Test debut against England on their 2018 tour, while his highest score of 111 – his solitary Test century to date – came against West Indies in 2019. In his first-class career, Vihari has made 7,094 runs at 56.75 in 90 games, while he is also a part-time offspinner with 27 wickets to his name.

The BCCI is understood to have agreed the deal in the hope that his experience in the county game will prove beneficial ahead of the World Test Championship final, which is scheduled to be played in Southampton in June, and India’s five-Test tour of England that follows.

“Hanuma will arrive in the UK this afternoon,” Warwickshire’s Director of Cricket, Paul Farbrace, said. “We hope that this gives time for him to do his six days quarantine and to feature in next week’s game versus Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, subject to receiving negative COVID tests.

“He’s a high-quality batsman, and an effective off spinner, who has been part of two India Test series victories in Australia. But he also comes to Warwickshire with an outstanding record in the first-class game and our young batsman are going to learn a huge amount from playing and training with someone of Hanuma’s calibre.

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