Bolstering the list of India cricketers opting to play county cricket in the 2018 season, left-arm spin-bowling allrounder Axar Patel has signed up with Durham for the final six County Championship fixtures. He will make his debut on August 19 against Glamorgan in Cardiff.
Axar’s joining of the club comes close on the heels of India captain Virat Kohli receiving permission from the BCCI to play county cricket this summer, ahead of India’s five-Test tour of England in August. The other India players to turn out for county sides this season include Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma and Varun Aaron, who will be playing for Yorkshire, Sussex and Leicestershire respectively. R Ashwin, who played for Worcestershire last season, is the also likely to feature in county cricket, although he has yet to zero in on a team.
Axar, 24, will be on hand for Durham’s three home games against Northamptonshire, Sussex and Middlesex, before wrapping up his stint with away games against Leicestershire and Warwickshire.
Axar, who made his first-class debut in 2012, for Gujarat, has collected 79 wickets in the format, including 14 for India A in two matches against South Africa A in 2015. His only first-class hundred – an unbeaten 110 – came against Baroda in 2016, in addition to his ten half-centuries that form part of his 1,163 first-class runs.
In his 49 limited-overs appearances for India, he has struck 249 runs and picked up 54 wickets. His work with the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL has fetched him 606 runs and 59 wickets at an average of 20.20 and 26.81 respectively.