Cheteshwar Pujara’s debut for Sussex has been delayed until next week due to visa concerns as he will miss the side’s first County Championship fixture of the season starting this Thursday. Pujara, who was dropped from India's last Test series against Sri Lanka, was due to play for Sussex.
Out-of-favour India’s red-ball specialist batsman Cheteshwar Pujara’s debut for English county side Sussex has been delayed until next week because of visa concerns as the 34-year-old is set to miss the side’s first County Championship fixture of the 2022/23 season starting Thursday (April 7).
Pujara, who was dropped from India’s last Test series against Sri Lanka, was due to play Sussex’s first six County Championship contests of the upcoming season before returning later for the Royal London Cup and some additional four-day matches.
The Sussex club said in a statement that they have been in regular contact with Pujara and were working tirelessly to enable him to be available for the first game of the season against Nottinghamshire.
“Securing overseas players has been tremendously difficult in the current climate. We renegotiated the initial Pujara contract so he could return for more County Championship and Royal London Cup matches, and this subsequently changed the visa requirements,” Keith Greenfield, Sussex Performance Director, said in the statement.
“On top of this, the Ukraine crisis has meant that the Home Office redirected their resources to help with the displacement of Ukrainian citizens. We were expecting Pujara to be with us last weekend but can now confirm he will be here at the back end of this week,” he added.
However, Sussex expects Pujara, who also has been demoted in BCCI’s central contract list, to be available for their second match against Derbyshire next week.
When asked about his comments on Pujara’s absence in the season opener, Sussex head coach Ian Salisbury said, “Of course, I am extremely disappointed that we will not have a player of Pujara’s experience and quality to be available for the opening day of the season, but we must move on and now focus on the game ahead of us.”