Yuzvendra Chahal to play for Kent in the County Championship following ODI World Cup snub

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Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is all set to play three four-day matches for County side Kent in the coming days. He was not included in Team India’s squad for the 2023 ODI World Cup, with the selectors opting to name Kuldeep Yadav as the sole frontline spinner, with all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel to assist.

Chahal has never played red-ball cricket for India, and has only 33 first class appearances in his career. The spinner has claimed 87 wickets at an average of 35.25, with his last appearance coming for Haryana in the 2022-23 Ranji Trophy.

According to a report by the Times of India, an announcement by the County side is imminent soon as the player has already received the No Objection Cerificate (NOC) from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). A source in the governing body told TOI:

“The Kent County Cricket Club will make an official announcement regarding this development soon. Chahal will play three four-day games for them. The BCCI has granted NOC to him to play County cricket. Should he be a requirement for the India team, Chahal will join the national squad immediately.”

A number of Indian players have ventured to England to maintain their rhythm during the off-season. Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh represented Kent last year, while the likes of Sai Sudarshan, Jayant Yadav, and Umesh Yadav will also be in action soon in the County Championship.

“Naturally, it is very disappointing to miss out any selection for India” – Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal was Team India’s premier spinner in white-ball cricket, but has gone down in the pecking order significantly in recent times. He warmed the benches in the T20 World Cup 2022 and he gradually lost his place in the ODI setup to fellow wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

The leg-spinner has only played two ODIs in 2023, with the team opting for the successful pairing of Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav instead. He hopes that his performances in the near future helps him earn a comeback into the national team. He told TOI:

“Naturally, it is very disappointing to miss out any selection for India. As a cricketer we must accept that some things don’t always go our way. I must continue to try my best and hopefully my performances will justify selection again for India.”

He added:

“Rahul Dravid Sir speaks so highly of his time in County cricket. I really wanted to play (in County cricket). I cannot explain how grateful I am of my good friend Brindon who helped me in such short notice.”

Yuzvendra Chahal has fond memories of England when it comes to white-ball cricket, which includes his prolific individual campaign at the 2019 ODI World Cup.

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