India star Test batter Cheteshwar Pujara, who was set to play for Sussex in County Championship will miss the team's first game against Nottinghamshire. The Indian cricketer has faced some visa-related issues and is unlikely to join the team before Thursday. However, Pujara will be available for the rest of the games for the club. He will also return to the UK for the Royal London Cup and some additional four-day games.
The club revealed in a statement that they were working tirelessly to make him available for the first game of the season but could not help the cause. "Securing overseas players has been tremendously difficult in the current climate. We renegotiated the initial Pujara contract so he could return for more County Championship and Royal London Cup matches, and this subsequently changed the visa requirements," Sussex Performance Director, Keith Greenfield said in the statement.
"On top of this, the Ukraine crisis has meant that the Home Office redirected their resources to help with the displacement of Ukrainian citizens. We were expecting Pujara to be with us last weekend but can now confirm he will be here at the back end of this week," he added.
Notably, Pujara replaced Travis Head at Sussex after the latter asked to be released due to international commitments. The cricketer has also played in county cricket in the past. He has represented Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire previously.
Extremely disappointed to not have player like Pujara: Ian Salisbury
The Sussex head coach Ian Salisbury expressed disappointment at not having Pujara. However, he said that they will have to move on and focus on the game. "Of course, I am extremely disappointed that we will not have a player of Pujara's experience and quality to be available for the opening day of the season, but we must move on and now focus on the game ahead of us," Sussex head coach Ian Salisbury said.