YORKSHIRE have signed Indian Test spinner Ravi Ashwin for the majority of the 2020 Specsavers County Championship season.

The 33-year-old, who will play for Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League, is set to take up the reins as the club’s front-line overseas spinner following Keshav Maharaj’s successful stint last year.

Maharaj will re-join the side for the opening two County Championship fixtures of the season - at home to Gloucestershire and Essex at Chelmsford, with Ashwin to link up with the White Rose following the conclusion of his IPL commitments and a short period of rest at the BCCI's request.

He is scheduled to feature in a minimum of eight County Championship fixtures for Yorkshire.

Chennai-born bowling all-rounder Ashwin has taken 362 wickets in 70 Tests and recently claimed his 27th five-wicket haul in Test cricket. He is India’s fourth highest wicket-taker and claimed the most international wickets across all three formats last decade (564).

The off-spinner said: “I'm thrilled to be joining Yorkshire, a club with a wonderful history and a fantastic fan base.

"I think our team looks extremely talented with some superb pace bowlers and exciting batsmen. Hopefully my role as the spinner will be a key feature in helping the team achieve success.

"Headingley has always been a fantastic venue to play at. People speak about the overhead conditions playing a big part so let's hope for plenty of sun.

"I love playing first-class cricket and have enjoyed my two previous spells with Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire."

Ashwin added: "I know a lot about Yorkshire and to follow in the footsteps of Sachin (Tendulkar), who played for the county many years ago is a wonderful feeling for me.”

Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale is delighted to make such an experienced acquisition.

He said: “With Kesh doing so well last year, it shows the importance of having a spinner who can attack and defend. "He can contribute with the bat as well. Ashwin ticks every box, he did well for Notts in a team that was underachieving with both bat and ball. To get a guy of his experience in and around the group will be great for us.

“His record says he performs well in England, he’s done well for Worcester and has done well for India in England as well.

"He’s got masses of experience and has done well wherever he’s gone across the world and, like I say, he can attack and defend so will give us nice control in the first innings and then second innings he will come into his own."

Gale added: "Ashwin is available for the rest of the season after the IPL. Short-term signings haven’t worked, we want someone who can come in for a longer period of time who can make an influence.

“He has to have seven days off when he finishes in the IPL, whether that be the final or before, but after that he’s available for the rest of the season for Championship cricket.

"He can’t play any T20, but my understanding is that he’s going to be around during the 50-over comp both as a mentor and a coach and so he’s going to help the young spinners but he’ll play the rest of the season in Championship cricket."