England stopover: India’s best performers in county cricket

About 40 Indian cricketers have played county cricket. Who are India's top imports?

Published : May 06, 2020 09:37 IST , Chennai

Sunil Gavaskar scored 686 runs in the only season he played for Somerset, in 1980. - THE HINDU ARCHIVES
Sunil Gavaskar scored 686 runs in the only season he played for Somerset, in 1980. - THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Sunil Gavaskar scored 686 runs in the only season he played for Somerset, in 1980. - THE HINDU ARCHIVES

There are about 40 Indian cricketers who have played for English county teams. India captain Virat Kohli in 2018 had inked a deal with top English county side Surrey but was ruled out with neck injury.

In the 1960s, Tiger Pataudi led Sussex, while in the 70s, Farokh Engineer (Lancashire), Bishan Bedi (Northamptonshire), Venkatraghavan (Derbyshire) and Dilip Doshi (Notts and Warwicks) honed their craft in England.

In recent years, the list of Indian players who have dabbled in county cricket includes some big names like Cheteshwar Pujara and R. Ashwin. Here are India’s top county imports.

Bishan Bedi

Bishan Bedi played 102 matches for Northamptonshire and picked 394 wickets at an average of 21.16. He bagged 23 five-fors and bowled 1180 maidens , including a best innings haul of seven for 34.

Nawab of Pataudi Jr

Pataudi featured in 82 County Championship games for Sussex between 1957-70, scoring 2874 runs including 14 fifties and a hundred.

Farokh Engineer

Engineer plied his trade with Lancashire in 164 County Championship games, amassing 5549 runs at an average of 26.05. He hit 22 fifties and four hundreds during his stint. Engineer holds the record for scoring the most number of runs among all Indian cricketers.

Dilip Doshi

Doshi played for Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire between 1977-81. In 73 matches, he picked 246 wickets at 32.07 apiece. He had eight five-wicket hauls against his name, including a best innings haul of six for 67.

Uday Joshi

Uday Joshi was a left-arm spinner for Sussex. He featured in 88 matches for the side.

Sunil Gavaskar (1980)

Gavaskar played one season for Somerset, scoring 686 runs from 15 first-class matches at an average of 34.29. His second-innings 138 against Surrey and 75 against Gloucestershire stood out. In 16 one-day games, he scored 90 against Kent and 123 in a one-run loss to Middlesex.

Sachin Tendulkar (1992)

Nineteen-year-old Tendulkar made history when he became the first overseas cricketer to play for Yorkshire. He racked up over 1,070 runs in 16 County Championship matches at an average of 46.52, including seven fifties and a hundred.

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Anil Kumble (1995)

Anil Kumble played for Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Surrey. He played 32 matches between 1995 and 2006. The summer of 1995 saw Kumble pick 105 wickets at an average of 20.40, helping Northants to No. 3 in the points table.

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Rahul Dravid (2000)

The ‘Wall’ Rahul Dravid represented Kent during the year 2000. He hit 1,221 runs in 16 first-class matches at an average of 55.50 including two hundreds, before going on to score 437 runs at 43.70 in the 50-Over National League.

Sourav Ganguly (2000, 2005, 2006)

Sourav Ganguly played for Glamorgan, Lancashire and Northamptonshire in 21 matches between 2000 and 2006. In his maiden stint for Lancashire, Ganguly managed 671 runs from 21 innings at an average of 31.95, including six fifties. The southpaw then signed for Glamorgan in 2005, scoring one century and three half-centuries at an average of 62.57 before returning for a short stint with Northants, where he averaged a meagre 4.80 in six County Championship matches.

Kartik Murali (2005, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12)

Kartik Murali played for Lancashire (2005, 2006), Middlesex (2007, 2008, 2009), Somerset (2010, 2011) and Surrey (2012). Kartik became the first overseas player for Lancashire to take 10 wickets on his debut. At Middlesex, he earned the nickname TSO (The Special One) and was voted the best overseas player since Desmond Haynes.

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