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LONDON: Sussex have signed Cheteshwar Pujara as a replacement for Australia’s Travis Head, with the India batsman set to be available for most of the 2022 English season.

Head asked to be released from his contract with the south coast side due to increased international commitments, as well as the fact he and his girlfriend, Jessica, are expecting their first child.

Pujara, who has scored more than 6,500 Test runs, will arrive in time for the first Championship match of the season in April and remain until at least the end of the 50-over one-day competition.

“Over the years I have always enjoyed my time in the UK playing county cricket, so am eagerly looking forward to the new stint and hope to contribute to the club’s success,” said the 34-year-old, who has previously had spells with Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.

Head, who had been due to captain Sussex in the first-class County Championship, said: “It comes with disappointment during a very exciting period for me personally that I won’t be returning this season…. I’m hopeful I can still have an impact at the club in the future.”

Sussex expect to have Pakistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan available for the early part of the Championship season and at least eight Twenty20 Blast group games.

The club, in a bid to bolster their squad for the remaining Blast and Championship matches, have also signed Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe.

Afghanistan leg-spin star Rashid Khan will be back for another Blast campaign but the date of his arrival will depend on the length of his involvement in the Indian Premier League.

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