Peter Handscomb, who represented Leicestershire in the County Championship and T20 Blast this season, will extend his stay
Ajinkya Rahane has pulled out of a stint with Leicestershire following his recall to India’s Test team. He was expected to link up with the team for the One-Day Cup next month, but will instead take a short break from cricket.
India’s next World Test Championship (WTC) assignment, though, is only in December-January, a two-match series away in South Africa.
Peter Handscomb, meanwhile, will extend his stay with Leicestershire as a replacement for Rahane, having already represented them in the County Championship and T20 Blast this season.
Leicestershire explained in a statement that Rahane’s arrangement with the county had changed “due to increased international commitments”, which had not been factored into his plans. “[He] has now expressed his desire to take a break from cricket during August and September,” they said.
Claude Henderson, Leicestershire’s director of cricket, said: “We are fully understanding of Ajinkya’s situation. He has experienced a hectic schedule in recent months, both in India and travelling with the national team, and we accept his wishes to recover and spend some time with his family.
“We have been in constant communication with Ajinkya and accept how situations can change quickly in cricket. He is extremely grateful for our understanding and still hopes to play for Leicestershire one day.
“Thankfully, we had planned for a situation like this, and we are delighted Peter is staying on with the team. He brings many qualities alongside his batting and wicketkeeping, including strong leadership, which is a massive help to Lewis [Hill] and the rest of the guys in our changing room.”
Rahane was recalled to India’s Test squad for the WTC final against Australia and their subsequent series in the West Indies on the back of impressive form in the 2022-23 season of Ranji Trophy and in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings. He was even appointed vice-captain for the tour of the Caribbean.
Rahane gave a good account of his form in the WTC final with scores of 89 and 46, but could only manage 3 and 8 in his two innings against West Indies.
Leicestershire’s One-Day Cup campaign starts with an away fixture against Surrey at The Oval on August 3. The competition clashes with the Hundred, meaning that most counties are without a number of first-team players.