Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has confirmed his maiden English County stint by signing a contract with Surrey for a short period after the conclusion of IPL 2018.
The 29-year-old has been planning to use the Surrey stint to prepare himself for India’s Tour of England 2018, comprising five Test matches that begins from August. Owing to this, Virat Kohli will miss out the historic India vs Afghanistan Test match to be played in mid-June.
Despite being considered as one of the best batsmen in the world in all formats, Virat Kohli is yet to stamp his authority in Test matches in England. In the last series in England in 2014, Virat Kohli averaged just 13.00 with a highest score of just 39, particularly struggling against the swinging ball from James Anderson.
Commenting on his signing with Surrey, Virat Kohli said: “It has long been an ambition of mine to play county cricket and I am thankful to Alec Stewart and Surrey for allowing me the opportunity to join them during their 2018 season. I can’t wait to get to the Kia Oval.”
Through the contract, Virat Kohli will be available for selection for three four-day matches for Surrey in the ongoing County Championship 2018. The Indian captain will get the opportunity to play the Hampshire vs Surrey, Surrey vs Somerset and Yorkshire vs Surrey matches.
Virat Kohli is now all set to join the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara (Yorkshire), Ishant Sharma (Sussex), Varun Aaron (Leicestershire) and Axar Patel (Durham) in the current English county season. Off-spinner R Ashwin is also likely to play in the county season, although it yet to be known for whom he will play.
Commenting on signing in Virat Kohli for Surrey, former England wicket keeper batsman Alec Stewart – Director of Cricket at Surrey, said: “We are thrilled to have signed the biggest name in world cricket for the month of June.
“Playing and training alongside Virat will be a massive benefit for our players who will have the opportunity to learn so much from him. At a time when there is much discussion around the future of county cricket, the arrival of Virat should give our domestic game a massive boost and positive exposure around the cricketing world which in turn can benefit every county.”