WALSHAW Cricket Club have announced ex-India Test player Wasim Jaffer as their professional for the 2018 season.

Jaffer, a legend of Indian domestic cricket, played for Mumbai and the Bangalore Royal Challengers and was once described as ‘the great new hope of Mumbai cricket’.

Walshaw’s chairman, Mike Mills, expressed his delight over the 39-year-old’s arrival and said: "In getting a player of his stature, and the fact he is also highly respected off the field, we feel like we’ve signed someone who is as good as you could get in club cricket.”

Jaffer’s move to Vidarbha in 2015 allowed him to become the highest ever run scorer in Ranji cricket, with more than 10,000 runs, as well as hitting the winning boundary in the Ranji Trophy final this year.

In Test cricket, Jaffer played in 31 Tests, scoring five centuries – two of which were double tons – and had an average of 51 with a top score of 314 not out.

However, it is not just on the field where Mills believes the new arrival can make a difference.

He added: "There are a lot of Asian cricket clubs in this area and it will generate a lot of interest.”

The chairman is also happy to have retained last year’s professional Saif Bhojani, his brother Asif and the left-arm opening bowler Connor Weal.

And he is confident the team will be able to achieve promotion back into the Greater Manchester Cricket League Premier Division this season and also contend on the cup front.

Before the season begins in April, Walshaw’s indoor nets will commence on February 9 at Bolton Indians' indoor facility from 7-9pm.