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Murali Vijay to replace Azhar Ali in County Championship
County Championship

Murali Vijay to replace Azhar Ali in County Championship

Murali Vijay will ply his trade for the Somerset County Cricket Club for the final three games of the County Championship in the ongoing season.

Vijay replaces Azhar Ali, who was recalled by his national side earlier this month and is currently engaged in the pre-season conditioning camp at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

Vijay previously represented Essex in last year's County Championship, managing to score three fifties and a hundred in five innings.

"I am excited about the challenge of trying to help Somerset push for the County Championship. Somerset have an excellent reputation and I am looking forward to being a part of what they are trying to achieve," Vijay told the club's website.

Apart from sporadic appearances in the shorter forms of the game, Vijay has been India's Test specialist for almost a decade.

The opening batsman has scored 3982 runs at an average of 38.28 in Test cricket after making his debut in 2008.

The 35-year-old has fallen out of favour with the selectors of late since his failures in the England tour and is not part of the Indian squad touring the West Indies.

"We are delighted to have been able to secure the services of such a high-quality player for the remainder of the County Championship. To have signed a player of his class and ability at this stage of the season is a real coup," Somerset CCC Director of Cricket Andy Hurry said.

"He has experience of English conditions, having played in the Championship for Essex last year, and that was extremely important to us when it came to selecting a replacement for Azhar."

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