Sachin Tendulkar to Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh: 6 top Indian cricketers who excelled in county cricket
First Published 7, Nov 2020, 5:08 PM
Indian cricketers are mostly barred from participating in the overseas cricketing tournament. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India occasionally makes an exception and allows some of them to participate in English county cricket, where some excel well.
Indian cricketers are treated as gems. Also, with Indian cricket, along with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), being the wealthiest and most prominent, the cricketers form the nation are often barred from playing domestic cricket overseas, in order to prove their superiority and preserve their integrity.
Nonetheless, the board has occasionally made exceptions for the players playing in England's county cricket, as quite a few Indian cricketers have played so. On the same note, we take a look at six top Indian cricketers, who played county cricket, while some excelled at it.
Yuvraj Singh: The swashbuckling Indian batsman made his name in 2002 itself, after guiding India to the Natwest ODI series win in England. It was the very next year that he was allowed to participate in county cricket to honour his First-Class batting skills. He was roped in by Yorkshire, where he played eight matches, scoring 145 runs at an average of 14.50, including a half-century. Although he was not as effective, he certainly helped the side finishing fourth in the Division Two table, while it allowed him to play 40 Tests for India.
Virender Sehwag: The swashbuckling Indian opener was the first Indian to score a triple-century in Test cricket, in 2004. However, the foundation for the same could have been laid a year before, during his county stint with Leicestershire. He was prolific, as, in six matches, he scored 478 runs at an average of 47.80, including a couple of centuries and a half-century. He was the sixth-highest run-scorer for the side, while he had the second-best average for them. Unfortunately, the side could only finish ninth in the Division One table.
Sourav Ganguly: The former Indian skipper is famous for hitting a century on Test debut, at Lord's, in 1996. Meanwhile, it was since 2000 that he had three stints in the county's Division One. He represented Lancashire (2000), Glamorgan (2005) and Northamptonshire (2006). In Lancashire, he was decent, scoring the third-most runs for the side, 644 in 19 innings at an average of 33.89, as the side finished third. Glamorgan happened to be even better, where he scored 438 in nine innings at the best team average of 62.57. However, the team finished at the bottom. Unfortunately, his stint with Northamptonshire was not worth remembering, where he could manage just 19 from five innings. Nonetheless, it was decent overall.
Rahul Dravid: 'The Wall' of Indian cricket, Rahul Dravid was born to be a Test batsman. While he had made his Test debut in 1996, it was four years later he got to represent in county cricket, as he played for Kent. He had a phenomenal season, scoring 1,039 runs in 24 innings at the best team average of 49.47, including a century and eight half-centuries. He finished as the team's highest run-scorer, while they finished sixth in the Division One table.
VVS Laxman: The prolific Indian batsman and Dravid's partner in crime, too, had an excellent county stint in Division One. Although he was contracted to Lancashire for three seasons, he effectively played two. The opening season in 2007 saw him scoring 380 runs in eight innings at the second-best team average of 54.28, including a couple of centuries and half-centuries each, while the side finished third. In 2009, he bettered it, scoring the second-most runs for the side, 857 in 16 innings, at the best team average of 65.92, including four centuries and half-centuries each, as the side finished fourth.
Sachin Tendulkar: It would be totally unfair not to give the Master Blaster a stint in the county. He played 16 matches and scored 1,070 runs at an average of 46.52, including a century and seven half-centuries. Unfortunately, the side could only finish 16th.