County Championship 2021 – Hanuma Vihari lined up for Warwickshire stint after Pieter Malan deal hits visa snag


India batsman initially set to be available for three games but it could be extended

Warwickshire are set to sign India batsman Hanuma Vihari as an overseas player after Pieter Malan, their original choice, ran into difficulties obtaining a visa.

Vihari, an India Test regular, does not have an IPL deal and is expected to be available for at least three LV= Insurance County Championship games. The BCCI is understood to have agreed the deal in the hope that his experience in the county game will prove beneficial ahead of the World Test Championship final, which is scheduled to be played in Southampton in June, and India’s five-Test tour of England that follows.

Warwickshire had originally signed Malan, the South Africa top-order player, for the entire season. But with South Africa currently categorised as a “red list” country by the UK government, he has been unable to obtain a visa at this stage. Even if he does, he will be obliged to spend time in quarantine before becoming available, meaning it is unlikely he will play before May. With that in mind, there seems every chance Vihari’s stay could be extended.

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