India’s Rahane joins Hampshire after missing World Cup bus

(Reuters) – Batsman Ajinkya Rahane has missed out on India’s World Cup squad but is doing everything possible to keep himself ready if an opportunity arises by joining English County Championship side Hampshire.

Rahane will be the first Indian to represent the club and the right-hander is set to play eight County Championship games between May and July, subject to visa clearance.

“I’m excited to be the first Indian to play for Hampshire, a county which has a glowing reputation,” Rahane said in a statement on Hampshire’s website https://www.ageasbowl.com/cricket/news/hampshire-sign-india-test-star-ajinkya-rahane.

“I hope to score runs and win as a team and would like to thank BCCI (Indian cricket board) for allowing me to play.”

The 30-year-old replaces batsman Aiden Markram, who will depart following the One-Day Cup group-stage to join up with South Africa’s World Cup squad.

Rahane has not played a one-day international since last year’s February after failing to cement his spot in the Indian top-order and was left out of their squad for the World Cup in England and Wales.

He still has a chance of being included, however, as teams can continue making adjustments to their squads until May 23.

India begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa in Southampton on June 5.

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