The first ever ICC World Test Championship is scheduled to begin with ‘The Ashes’ this year. The first series for India under the World Test Championship will be against the Windies.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) wants some of their Test specialists to take part in the English County Championship, keeping the World Test Championship in view.
Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, Mayank Agarwal and Ishant Sharma are seven players who will play in the UK for different County sides.
Pujara, who has already played County Cricket for Yorkshire, will play for Yorkshire this year too. He had signed a three-year contract to play for Yorkshire in 2018.
Also, Rahane has requested BCCI to grant him permission to play for Hampshire this year and is waiting for the confirmation of the Committee of Administrators (CoA).
The BCCI official said, “CoA head Vinod Rai has already given his approval, but Diana Edulji and Lt General Ravi Thodage are yet to give their approvals”
“With India set to play against the Caribbean in about fortnight after the end of the World Cup, the BCCI has prepared a proposal wherein their Test specialists can play some red ball cricket in months of June till mid July,” he added.
The BCCI wants these seven players to play for top County sides, which include Essex, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.
“During the last Test series in England, the BCCI has had discussions with the CEOs of all major counties so that our top Test players can play there in summers,” said the official.
Ideally, the BCCI is looking at three to maximum four first class games for its players before the Windies series.
“The conditions are completely different save that they will playing with red Dukes which will also be used in the West Indies. It’s just that they will get game time. We are hopeful that all our seven Test players will be playing either Division 1 or 2 of the English county,” he further added.
India skipper Virat Kohli was supposed to play for Surrey last year but could not do so due to injury.