New Delhi: Senior India offspinner Harbhajan Singh is likely to play a few matches for English county side Essex in the Division Two of the championship later this season. According to a leading website, the move will not include the Friends Life t20 due to contractual issues with the BCCI but he is set to be available once the County Championship resumes.
Harbhajan, who has been out of favour with the national selectors hasn't played longer version for quite some time after sustaining an injury at the start of the Ranji season. He has however played for Punjab in the National one Day championship as well as led Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
He earlier played for Surrey in 2005 and 2007 and took 57 wickets at an average of 21.10. A good performance in the county circuit will certainly give him a chance to regain his place back in the national side as Ravichandran Ashwin's performance hasn't also been up to the mark.
Essex have had a difficult time trying to retain overseas signings and recently lost the services of Shakib Al Hasan, as Bangladesh Cricket Board declined to give him a No Objection Certificate for the Friends Life T20. Peter Siddle, the Australia fast bowler, had also been due to play for them but that fell through after he returned home from the West Indies injured.
Essex are currently seventh in Division Two of the County Championship and Harbhajan would bolster a spin attack that is currently in the hands of Tim Phillips, a left-armer, 22-year-old legspinner Tom Craddock and offspinner from Greg Smith.