Northants bolster batting with signing of former India Test ace Karun Nair

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Northants have strengthened their batting line-up with the signing of former India Test player Karun Nair.

The 31-year-old has put pen to paper on a short-term deal to play in the final three matches of Northants' LV= Insurance County Championship Division One campaign, replacing Australian Sam Whiteman.

Whiteman played the final match of his five-month stint in this week's innings defeat to Lancashire, and has now returned home ahead of Western Australia's campaign.

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Nair has played six Test matches for India, with the most recent being in 2017, with his one century at that level a remarkable 303 not out against England in Chennai in 2016.

Karun NairKarun Nair
Karun Nair

In first-class cricket, Nair has hit 15 first-class centuries and 27 half-centuries in 85 matches, racking up 5,922 runs at an average of 48.94.

His highest score in red ball cricket is 328, but he hasn't played any first-class cricket since June, 2022 when he turned out for Karnataka against Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy.

He has recently been playing T20 cricket for Mysuru Warriors in the Maharaja Trophy in India, helping them to the final at the end of August, which they lost to Hubli Tigers

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“I’m really looking forward to joining Northamptonshire and getting to play in the County Championship,” said Nair, who becomes the second Indian to represent the club this season, following in the footsteps of Prithvi Shaw.

Karun Nair in action for India A (Picture: Matt Roberts/Getty Images)Karun Nair in action for India A (Picture: Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
Karun Nair in action for India A (Picture: Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

“You hear a lot about county cricket and I know Prithvi really enjoyed his time with the team, so it’s exciting to have the opportunity to be involved too.

“Hopefully I can make an impact for the team while I’m there, that’s the main thing for me.

"It’s about doing as much as I can to help the team get some wins in these last three games.”

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Nair will make his Northants debut in Sunday's four-day clash with Warwickshire at Edgbaston, and head coach John Sadler is delighted to have added such an experienced campaigner.

“It’s great that we’ve been able to secure Karun to come over for the remainder of the season, he’s really keen to get going,” said Sadler.

“He’s a high class batter who’s scored something like 11,000 runs in his career and his first class numbers are particularly special.

"He brings buckets of experience too which is so valuable to have around the dressing room, I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do for us in these three games.”

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After Northants take on Warwickshire, they face the top two in their final matches, travelling to leaders Surrey on September 19 and then hosting second-placed Essex on September 26.

Northants go into their final three matches sitting rock-bottom of the division one table, 26 points adrift of third-from-bottom Middlesex and safety.

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