Harbhajan to play for English county Essex

The off-spinner will be available for the second half of the season.

The side strain that signaled the end.

Out of favour India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has confirmed signing a deal with English county Essex for the second half of the domestic season.

Harbhajan will be available for county duty beginning with the match against Gloucestershire on July 11, subject to issuance of a visa.

“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,” said Paul Grayson, the Essex head coach.

“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 and Clydesdale Bank 40 formats of the game," he added.

Harbhajan had earlier played for two seasons (2005 and 2007) for Surrey, and gathered 57 first-class wickets in all.

The temperamental off-spinner, who has 665 international scalps to his name from 98 Tests and 229 ODIs, lost his place in the national side after sustaining an injury during the 2011 tour of England, and has since faced stiff competition from Tamil Nadu’s R. Ashwin for the off-spinner's slot.