Following his recall to India’s Test team, Ajinkya Rahane cancelled his contract with Leicestershire. He will take a brief vacation from cricket instead of joining the team for the One-Day Cup next month as scheduled.
However, India’s next World Test Championship (WTC) assignment isn’t until December or January, when they travel to South Africa for a two-match series.
As Rahane’s replacement, Peter Handscomb will remain on with Leicestershire for longer. He has already played for them this season in the County Championship and T20 Blast.
Rahane’s agreement with the county had changed, according to a statement from Leicestershire, “due to increased international commitments” that had not been taken into account in his preparations. “[He] has now expressed his desire to take a break from cricket during August and September,” they claimed.
The cricket director for Leicestershire, Claude Henderson, stated: “We are completely understanding of Ajinkya’s circumstances. We respect his desire to rest and spend time with his family because he has had a busy schedule lately, travelling both for the national team and while in India.
“We have been in constant contact with Ajinkya, and we recognise how quickly things can change in cricket. He still aspires to play for Leicestershire in the future and is incredibly appreciative of our patience.
“We are happy that Peter is remaining on with the team because, thankfully, we had prepared for a circumstance like this. Along with his batting and wicketkeeping, he also possesses a strong leadership style, which is a huge benefit to Lewis [Hill] and the other men in our changing room.
Rahane was recalled to India’s Test team for the WTC final match against Australia and their ensuing series in the West Indies as a result of his strong performance for Chennai Super Kings in the Ranji Trophy and the IPL during the 2022–23 season. He was even named vice-captain for the Caribbean tour.
Rahane demonstrated his talent well in the WTC final, scoring 89 and 46, but against the West Indies, he could only muster 3 and 8 in two innings.
On August 3, Leicestershire will play Surrey at The Oval to begin its One-Day Cup season. Due to the competition’s conflict with the Hundred, several first-team players are absent from most counties.