India star Ravichandran Ashwin has decided to play for English County Nottinghamshire in order to prepare himself for the upcoming inaugural World Test Championship series against West Indies. India are set to visit the Caribbeans right after the World Cup and Ashwin is likely to lead the spin attack. The off-spinner has completely fallen down the pecking order in India’s limited-overs team and is thus not a part of the team for the upcoming World Cup.

Sources close to the developments have stated that Ashwin’s deal with the county is almost done as they confirmed that the off-spinner will be spending the summer in England, fine-tuning his skills.

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Ravichandran Ashwin, Nottinghamshire
Ravichandran Ashwin (Credits: IPL)

“Yes, Ashwin will be playing for the Notts this season. The CoA had already made it clear that any centrally contracted cricketer will have automatic rights to play County cricket if that player gets an offer. Ashwin’s deal is almost final and only the CEO needs to sign his NoC,” a senior BCCI functionary told PTI.

Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has already inked a deal with Hampshire. Just like Ashwin, Rahane has also lost his place in India’s white-ball teams. Meanwhile, Ashwin will play six division 1 County games for the Nottinghamshire side that also has England’s premier fast bowler Stuart Broad in their ranks.

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Ravichandran Ashwin, Nottinghamshire
Ravichandran Ashwin (Credits – Getty)

This will be Ashwin’s second stint in English County. In 2017, he had turned up for Worcestershire and had made a big mark. The Tamil Nadu ace had picked up 20 wickets in four games in addition to scoring 214 runs. Apart from Rahane and Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara will also play county cricket. The right-handed batsman will ply his trade for Yorkshire. Reports suggest that Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma may also feature in a few games if things fall in place.

Meanwhile, the other members of the Test side like Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Agarwal will be with the India A side in the West Indies.