Friday, June 23rd, 2023


Worcestershire have secured the services of Indian fast bowler Navdeep Saini as their second overseas player in the LV=Insurance County Championship for the upcoming four matches until the end of July.

Saini, who has represented India in all three formats of the game, had a brief stint with Kent last summer, where he claimed 11 wickets in two Championship matches.

The 30-year-old is set to make his Worcestershire debut in the Sunday’s clash against Derbyshire at New Road.

He will also be available for the home fixture against Yorkshire, starting on July 10, and the away matches against Leicestershire at Oakham School on July 19, and Gloucestershire at Cheltenham College on July 26.

Saini’s arrival will bolster the bowling unit, which has been affected by Charlie Morris’ retirement due to a knee issue, Josh Tongue’s call-ups to the England squad, and recent injury concerns surrounding Dillon Pennington and Adam Finch.

Paul Pridgeon, Chair of the Worcestershire Cricket Steering Group, confirmed: “Navdeep has signed for the next four Championship matches, until the end of July, essentially.”

“He has an impressive track record, having played for India in all formats, and he performed well for Kent last summer, gaining valuable experience of English cricket.”

“We felt it was crucial to strengthen our bowling department. With Charlie’s departure, Josh’s involvement with England, and a few injury setbacks, we are entering a crucial phase of the Championship season, where we are in contention at the upper end of the table. Therefore, it was important to have the right numbers and quality.”

Saini has represented India in two Tests, eight ODIs, and 11 T20Is, and he has been a part of the Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Rajasthan Royals squads in the Indian Premier League.

Having taken 174 wickets in 60 first-class matches, Saini made an impressive debut for Kent in 2022, securing match figures of 7-111 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, including 5-72 in the first innings.

Saini expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “I enjoyed my brief time with Kent and I am excited about a more extended period with Worcestershire.”

“Hopefully, I can contribute to their promotion push while also continuing to develop my own skills.”

“I am aware that Indian players such as Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan, and Ravichandran Ashwin have previously played for Worcestershire and achieved success.”

“I also aim to make a significant impact and hit the ground running on Sunday.”