IPL news January 24, 2013

Pune Warriors sign Ishwar Pandey

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ishwar Pandey, the Madhya Pradesh bowler who is the leading wicket-taker in this season's Ranji Trophy, has been signed by Pune Warriors ahead of IPL 2013. It is his maiden IPL contract.

"I am happy that my consistent performance has been rewarded. My focus will be to do well for Pune Warriors and cement my place in the playing XI," Pandey said. "For an upcoming cricketer like me, IPL is the kind of exposure that will help me understand the rigours of top-flight cricket."

Pandey, 23, took 48 wickets at an average of 21 in eight matches this season but Madhya Pradesh did not make it past the league stage. He was also picked in the India A team against England and took 1 for 29 in the List A game.

Pandey said he was looking forward to working with former South African fast bowler Allan Donald, who is part of the Pune coaching team. "When you get a chance to interact with someone of Donald's stature, you can't ask for more," he said. "It's an opportunity that every fast bowler looks forward to and I am no exception. Hopefully, once he watches me bowl at the nets, he would tell me the areas where I would need to work upon."