WORCESTERSHIRE have received a major boost to their Specsavers County Championship Division Two promotion hopes with India star Ravichandran Ashwin available for the finale of the campaign.

Ashwin has not been selected by his country for the forthcoming one-day international series against Australia with India continuing the policy evident versus Sri Lanka in taking another look at some other spinners.

It means Ashwin is available for the County’s remaining two Championship matches against Leicestershire, which starts on Tuesday (10.30am), and Durham at New Road.

Ashwin has already played in the wins over Gloucestershire when he took eight wickets at New Road and Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

A delighted director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: “It’s really good to have a player of Ashwin’s outstanding quality available for the last two games.

“When we initially signed him it was with a view to him playing all four games but changes in the Future Tours programme meant Australia’s white-ball games with India were brought forward.

“But India have decided not to select him which was also the case in Sri Lanka as they looked at some of their other spinners.

“Ashwin has already showed his qualities in the win over Gloucestershire and he is enjoying his time here and has settled well in the dressing room.

“Wouldn’t it be great for us and him if we can now go on and get promotion but we recognise there is still a lot of hard work to do over the next two games.”

Ashwin is the 17th Indian-born player to represent Worcestershire in the Championship since they entered the competition in 1899.

The 30-year-old is the first player of Indian descent to wear the County’s colours since Vikram Solanki, who played ODI cricket for England, left New Road at the end of the 2012 campaign and joined Surrey.

Ashwin is the fourth player from India to play for Worcestershire to have represented his country at Test cricket after the Nawab Of Pataudi, Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan.


Number 82 – Herbert Fulton (1914); Number 110 -Humphrey Gilbert (1921-1930); Number 115 – Clayton Robson (1921); Number 125 – Arthur Burlton (1922); Number 207 – Nawab Of Pataudi (1932-1938); Number 219 – Cecil Pullan (1935-1938); Number 225 – Antony Legard (1935); Number 231 – Patrick Leeson (1936); Number 235 – Robert Crisp (1938); Number 323 – David Stewart (1970-1973); Number 335 – Ravinder Senghera (1974-1976); Number 358 – Mike McEvoy (1983-1984); Number 363 – Kapil Dev (1984-1985); Number 390 – Vikram Solanki (1993-2012); Number 410 – Anurag Singh (2001-2003); Number 436 – Zaheer Khan (2006); Number 505 – Ashwin (2017).