'I always want to play the short format of the game': Pujara thanks CSK for picking him in IPL 2021 Auction
- Pujara has always expressed a desire to be a part of the Indian Premier League. The last time the 33-year-old played in the IPL was in 2014 for Kings XI Punjab.
Cheteshwar Pujara is a household name among Indian cricket fans. The right-handed batsman has made a name for himself in Test cricket. But despite being one of the best batsmen in the longest format for several years now, Pujara has always expressed a desire to be a part of the Indian Premier League. The last time the 33-year-old played in the IPL was in 2014 for Kings XI Punjab.
Pujara's name kept coming in the auctions but no franchise paid to buy him as he was still seen as an untested customer in the shortest format. But at the IPL 2021 auction, it finally happened - Pujara was bought by Chennai Super Kings at his base price of ₹50 lakh.
Speaking to reporters at the virtual press conference ahead of the third Test against England, Pujara was asked if he would be able to fit county cricket in his schedule after the IPL. In his response, the batsman thanked Chennai Super Kings for buying him and said that he would still love to play country cricket after the T20 league.
"First of all, I am really glad to be a part of the IPL, it is good to be back again. I would like to thank the CSK team for picking me, but at the same time, when I am talking about county cricket, I still think I will have enough time before we play England in England.
"Once IPL gets over, there will be a window for me to play county games. That call I will take once IPL gets over. There will be enough time to play some county games. We also have a couple of practice games in England once the Test series begins there," Pujara was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The batsman further added that once the ongoing series against England comes to an end, he will put his entire focus on the IPL.
"There is plenty of time to play county cricket but it is good to be back in the IPL. You know, I always want to play the short format of the game, IPL has produced so many great cricketers, some young talent we have got through the IPL, it has helped the Indian team.
"My focus once this Test series gets over will be on the IPL and once IPL gets over, I will think about county games and then there is a big series coming up against England. I am very hopeful that we will play the World Test Championship final as well which is in June," he added.
"One thing at a time and right now, my focus is on the next two Tests. Both these Tests are important for us to qualify for the finals of the WTC. One game at a time, I think the pink-ball Test is very important, I am focusing on that," he signed off.