Pujara to play third season for Sussex in 2024

Pujara to play third season for Sussex in 2024


India batter to play first seven Championship games, joins Australian Daniel Hughes as overseas signings

Cheteshwar Pujara returns to Sussex for a third season in a row  •  Getty Images

Cheteshwar Pujara returns to Sussex for a third season in a row  •  Getty Images

Cheteshwar Pujara will return to Sussex for the 2024 season, joined by Australian batter Daniel Hughes as overseas signings for the club.

Pujara will be available for the first seven County Championship matches in his third successive season with Sussex. Hughes, meanwhile, will be available from the start of the T20 Vitality Blast until the end of the season, playing in both the Blast and County Championship. They join bowlers Jayden Seales, of West Indies, and Australia’s Nathan McAndrew as the club’s overseas signings for the 2024 campaign.

India Test batter Pujara has made 18 Championship appearances for Sussex so far, accumulating 1,863 runs at an average of 64.24, including eight centuries and three half-centuries. His highest score came against Derbyshire in 2022 when he made 231, sharing a stand of 351 with Tom Haines, who also scored a double-century. In 2023, Pujara’s highest score of 151 came against Gloucestershire, a knock that included 20 fours and two sixes.

“I have enjoyed my time at Hove the last couple of seasons and couldn’t be more delighted to be back again with the Sussex family,” Pujara said in a statement. “I am looking forward to joining the team and contributing to its success.”

Paul Farbrace, Sussex Head Coach, said: “I am delighted that Cheteshwar is returning to Hove again for the first two months of the season. He is not just a high-quality player but is also a high-quality person. His experience and calmness in matches is a fantastic asset for our team.”

Hughes, an aggressive top-order batter with NSW Blues and Sydney Sixers who turns 35 in February, averages 36.90 in first-class cricket with a best knock of 178. In his 137 innings, Hughes has gone on to 26 half-centuries and eight centuries.

He claimed his second Steve Waugh Medal in 2019-20 after receiving his first in 2017-18. He also claimed the NSW Blues Marsh One-Day Cup Player of the Season award.

In T20 cricket, Hughes has accumulated 2,204 runs in 93 innings at a strike rate of 120.89 and has been part of the Sydney Sixers team that won back-to-back Big Bash League titles in 2020 and 2021.

“Playing county cricket has been a long-held ambition for me,” Hughes said. “I am delighted to get that opportunity at Sussex. The plans that exist for team are exciting and I look forward to getting to Hove and helping Sussex with success along the way”.

Farbrace described Hughes as “a top-class player” with vast experience. “We are all very much looking forward to working him and enjoying how he helps our team on and off the field,” he said.

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