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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Birthday boy Harbhajan Singh signs for Essex

Birthday boy Harbhajan Singh signs for Essex

July 03, 2012 19:37 IST

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has signed a deal with the Essex County side to play in the second half of the English domestic season, the club said on Tuesday.

Harbhajan will arrive in the middle of this month and will be available to play in the remaining eight LV County Championship matches, besides the county's seven remaining matches in the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition.

His first appearance is scheduled for the match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham on July 11, subject to receiving a United Kingdom visa in time.

Harbhajan SinghWelcoming Harbhajan Singh in the club, Essex Head Coach Paul Grayson, said, "We are delighted to have signed one of the best spinners in world cricket over the last 10 years or so. Harbhajan is a great character who is a match winner and I believe that his winning mentality will rub off on the rest of the playing squad here at Essex.

"I am really excited at the prospect of having him in the squad and this signing for the second half of the season shows that Essex mean business and will continue to fight in the LV County Championship & Clydesdale Bank 40 formats of the game," Grayson said on club website.

Harbhajan, 31, has played 98 Tests for India and 227 ODIs.

He has taken 406 Test wickets with a career-best 8-44 against Australia in Chennai in 2001. He has scalped 255 ODI wickets.

Essex will be Harbhajan's second county after previous spells with Surrey, where he collected 57 first-class wickets at 21.10 across two separate stints in 2005 and 2007.

He has been out of favour with the Indian selectors since being injured on last year's tour to England.

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