Ravichandran Ashwin joins Worcestershire: Five other Indians who have played county cricket in England

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Ravichandran Ashwin has signed for Worcestershire.

Ravichandran Ashwin has become the latest in a long list of illustrious names from the Indian cricket fraternity who have tried their hand at the county circuit in England.

The off-spinner has signed for Worcestershire as one of their overseas stars until the end of the current season.

County cricket has always been an attractive proposition for subcontinent players looking to fine-tune their skills on the swinging and seaming tracks in England.

After the confirmation of Ashwin’s stint, we look at five other Indians who have travelled experienced similar fortunes.

SACHIN TENDULKAR – YORKSHIRE

The little maestro was the first-ever overseas cricketer signed by Yorkshire.

Tendulkar was just 19 when he signed for the Headingley-based side in 1992 but he had already announced himself on the world stage as the next big thing.

The Indian superstar spent four-and-a-half months donning the White Rose of Yorkshire, playing 16 first-class games and scoring an impressive 1,070 runs in the process.

Tendulkar was initially not convinced about joining the club when the proposal came in but it was the legendary Sunil Gavaskar who persuaded the batting genius to take the step.

Tendulkar was just 19 when he signed for Yorkshire.

Tendulkar was just 19 when he signed for Yorkshire.

ZAHEER KHAN – WORCESTERSHIRE

In 2005, the Indian pacer joined Worcestershire County Cricket Club as one of their two overseas players, replacing the Pakistan express bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

Khan had struggled with his rhythm after bursting onto the international scene and credits his stint with the county outfit as helping to resurrect his national team fortunes.

He made an immediate impact at New Road, claiming 10 wickets on debut against Somerset in a losing cause. In doing so, Khan became the first Worcestershire player to take 10 wickets on debut in over 100 years.

Later that summer, in June, he picked up the first nine Essex wickets to fall in the first innings – only for wicketkeeper Steven Davies to drop last man Darren Gough preventing him from becoming the first bowler from the county to take all 10 wickets in an innings.

Zaheer's stint at Worcestershire helped him immensely.

Zaheer’s stint at Worcestershire helped him immensely.

MOHAMMAD AZHARUDDIN – DERBYSHIRE

The controversial former Indian skipper had an extended stint with Derbyshire in 1991 when he score 2,016 first-class runs for the outfit at an average of 59.29, including seven centuries.

Azharuddin would return to Derbyshire in 1994 where he scored 712 runs at an average of 44.50 with another century to boot.

The wristy batsman’s second stint was cut short by a recall to the Indian Test side but he still retains the mantle of the most centuries by an Indian in county cricket with his eight tons.

Azharuddin hit eight tons for Derbyshire.

Azharuddin hit eight tons for Derbyshire.

SUNIL GAVASKAR – SOMERSET

The legendary Indian batsman signed for the Taunton-based Somerset County Cricket Club in the summer of 1980.

Gavaskar was the captain of the Indian team at the time and as such his signing for Somerset was a bit of a coup.

The right-handed batsman would go on to play 15 first-class matches for the outfit in the county championship.

He scored 686 runs at an average of 34.20, including two centuries, with a best score of 155 against Yorkshire.

Gavaskar had a highest score of 155 for Somerset.

Gavaskar had a highest score of 155 for Somerset.

RAHUL DRAVID – KENT

The Indian stalwart was going through some patchy form when Kent came calling in the summer of 2000. The right-hander had not scored a single half-century in his last 14 innings before signing for the Canterbury side.

Dravid re-discovered his form during his time with Kent.

Dravid rediscovered his form during his time with Kent.

Dravid would go on to find form in England as he scored 1,039 runs in 16 matches at an average of 49.47. This included a highest score of 137 against a Hampshire side led by Aussie leg-spin legend Shane Warne.

Dravid’s stint with Kent proved very beneficial as he went on to establish himself as one of India’s batting mainstays for the next decade.

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