Saini, who plays his domestic cricket for Delhi and was part of Rajasthan Royals’ squad for IPL 2022, last played for India 12 months ago on their tour to Sri Lanka. He is due to play three County Championship matches and five Royal London Cup games, subject to visa and regulatory approval.
Kent have struggled to take Championship wickets all season due to a combination of fitness, form and flat pitches, and their defeat to Northamptonshire this week leaves them eighth in the 10-team Division One with five games left this season.
Their ineffectiveness with the ball prompted Paul Downton, their director of cricket, to dip into the transfer market. “In a year when it’s been difficult to take wickets, we’re excited to have the opportunity to add a fast bowler of Navdeep’s quality to our squad,” Downton said.
The Royal London Cup runs concurrently with the Hundred and it is an acknowledged source of frustration for the ECB that its new 100-ball competition does not feature any male Indian players.
The BCCI do not allow active men’s players to take part in any overseas short-form leagues, but several recent India internationals, including Saini, will be involved in the second-string 50-over competition.