Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes has pulled off a major coup in signing top Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the climax of their Specsavers County Championship promotion-chasing campaign.
Ashwin, ranked the number three Test bowler in the world and number two all-rounder, will link up with the County as an overseas replacement for the injured John Hastings for the final four games.
It will be his first taste of county cricket.
Ashwin will be the first Indian player to play for Worcestershire since Zaheer Khan resurrected his international career after a superb season at New Road in 2006.
He has taken 286 wickets in 51 Tests, including five wickets in an innings on 26 occasions, 150 ODI wickets and 52 in T20I cricket.
Ashwin also is a force with the bat with 2,004 Test runs at an average of 32.85 with four centuries and 11 fifties and had been an opening batsman before turning to off-spin.
A delighted Rhodes said: “Ravi is a fantastic international cricketer who is currently in terrific form with his game.
“He is ranked in the top three as a bowler in Test cricket, is a wonderful all-rounder who can bat six and scores hundreds in Test cricket.
“It is unlucky for John Hastings with his injury but Ravi is a wonderful cricketer for us to have at a crucial point in our season.
“It is a really important last few games for the club and to have someone of his ilk and class and quality is a huge boost for the Club.
“The good thing about Ravi is he has been successful on all types of pitches in all sorts of different continents. He is a class bowler who will bowl well here.”
Ashwin also features regularly in the IPL and has played for Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Super Giants.
He made his Test debut against the West Indies in 2011 at Delhi and picked up nine wickets and became the fastest Indian player to 100 Test wickets.
Ashwin is currently part of the Indian team in action in Sri Lanka and in the last Test in Colombo picked up six wickets.