India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has signed up for Worcestershire and will stay back in England after the Test series to take part in the final two rounds of the County Championship.
Ashwin has joined Worcestershire for the final two Specsavers County Championship matches against Essex at Chelmsford and Yorkshire at Blackfinch New Road.
According to a statement issued by Worcestershire, the 31-year-old, who has had a stint in Worcestershire, will replace Wayne Parnell as the county’s overseas player.
Ashwin made a massive impact on and off the field after being signed for the final four Championship matches last summer, helping the county to gain promotion to Division One.
He picked up 20 wickets, including two five-wicket hauls and also made crucial runs with the bat batting at number six and averaged 42.
Worcestershire have been trying for many months to re-sign Ashwin and have received the green light from the BCCI.
Worcestershire CEO Matt Rawnsley, who has played a major role in the negotiations, said: “We are delighted to have Ashwin coming back for what could be a key part of the season.
“He is one of the best spinners in world cricket and the influence he had here last season cannot be underestimated.
“The lads all speak so highly of him, the impact he had on the field and the way he slotted in so well off the pitch and he was willing to offer advice to our young spinners like Ben Twohig,” he added.
Head coach Kevin Sharp echoed Rawnsley’s sentiments and said: “Ashwin is world class and he loved it at Worcestershire.
“Conversations have been ongoing about him coming back and I’m sure he will be a great fillip for us. He had a massive input for us on and off the field last summer in helping us gain promotion and he is a high-class individual.”