India fast bowler Ishant Sharma is set to spend the first two months of 2018 county season with Sussex as an overseas player, subject to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) approval. Ishant will join the club from April 4 and stay until June 4 as he will be available for Sussex's first five fixtures on the Specsavers County Championship and all eight of Sussex Sharks' Royal London One-Day Cup group matches. His presence comes as a major boost for the squad without the services of Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan, who will be participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in that period.
BREAKING: We are delighted to announce the signing of Ishant Sharma for the first two months of the 2018 County season.— Sussex CCC (@SussexCCC) February 15, 2018
Please welcome @ImIshant to the club! #SharmaIsAShark #GOSBTS pic.twitter.com/tQJtYjdah2
Ishant's stint with Sussex will be his first in county cricket.
Speaking about signing for Sussex, Ishant said, "It's a great honour to represent Sussex CCC, the oldest first-class county, and I am looking forward with excitement to my maiden stint in county cricket.
"I would like to extend a special thanks to Sussex for taking note of my ongoing performances and deeming me suitable for this opportunity. I hope to add value during my time as part of the Sussex family this season," Ishant was quoted by sussexcricket.co.uk as saying.
Keith Greenfield, Sussex's Director of Cricket, said, "Securing Ishant's services has been very important for us. Once Jofra (Archer) and CJ (Chris Jordan) were picked up in the IPL draft, it became crucial to sign an experienced international-quality seam bowler who could provide valuable support and know-how to the rest of the seamers."
"Ishant has the attributes to be very successful in early season English conditions and a great role model. He fits the bill perfectly and we look forward to welcoming him to Sussex Cricket," Greenfield further explained.
Former Australian pacer and head coach, Jason Gillespie expressed his happiness at the signing.
"We're delighted to secure the services of an experienced and very skilful international seamer. We believe Ishant will fit right into the Sussex dressing room and we are all really looking forward to welcoming him to Hove," Gillespie said.