Even as players of the entire cricket team in India, including a test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara, preparing for the Indian Premier League this season, midfielder batsman Hanuma Vihari flew to England on Sunday to join the Warwickshire County team.
A source confirmed that the batsman will play at least three games for the county before joining the Indian team for the final of the World Cup against New Zealand, which will be played from 18 to 22 June.
The Hyderabad batsman, which was ignored at this year’s IPL the auction was upset after none of the franchisees chose it for a base price of 1 rupee, even though it was a regular part of the test team.
Vihari helped India draw the third test against Australia in Sydney after a rough show that saw him score an unbeaten 23 of 161 balls in close to four hours on the fifth and final day.
Vihari, like Pujara in the past, has received a cold shoulder from franchisees and has not been selected by them because he is considered a test specialist. Pujara would also have flown to England in the past to play county cricket in the absence of an IPL contract in the past. This year, however, the Indian test № 3 signed a contract for 50 GEL with the Chennai Super Kings and decided to stay behind and not fly to England.
Vihari has played IPL for franchises in Hyderabad and Delhi in the past. He last competed in the IPL in 2019, when he played only two games.
The right-handed batsman, who missed the fourth and final test against Australia due to a torn tendon, returned home and underwent treatment.
He represented Andra as captain in the one-day Vijay Hazare and suffered a series of disappointing performances. He scored 65 in the first game, but followed with 2, 2, 1, 4 and 0.