County news July 3, 2012

Essex complete Harbhajan deal

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Essex have confirmed the signing of Harbhajan Singh, the India offspinner, for the second half of the domestic season. As ESPNcricinfo reported last month, Harbhajan will be available from the resumption of the County Championship beginning with the match against Gloucestershire on July 11, subject to his visa coming through in time.

Paul Grayson, the Essex head coach, 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 and Clydesdale Bank 40 formats of the game."

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. Harbhajan has been out of favour with the India selectors since being injured on last year's tour to England and has been replaced in the spin department by R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha. India are due to name a one-day squad shortly for their tour of Sri Lanka.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bruisers on July 4, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    Guess who is talking about the quality of spinners?? Good ol' Aussies who don't have one spinner that can match the part-time spinners of India.

  • on July 4, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    while harbhajan has been woefully out of form, i wouldn't write him off yet, primarily because the spinners that came after he was dropped haven't fared much better either, harbhajan plays with a lot of fire in his belly, and hopefully he can perform well and earns a recall, it will be good for indian cricket as i don't see ashwin and ojha as wicket taking spinners in the long format of the game, and with a hectic schedule at home, it would be nice to see harbhajan making a comeback in the indian squad by performing in county cricket

  • gopakumar85 on July 4, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    i agree to some one saying in the above that some of our young batsmans should be sent to england and make them play in the county and make them adapt to those conditions on their own. they will understand how to take care of themselves and also concentrate on what they are doing. but its a good initiative to send bhajji as he is out form he can be match fit for the coming season in india. hope bcci does something to the curent lot of youngsters by sending them to england to play more county games.

  • on July 4, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    An Australian fan calling an out of form Indian spinner 'sub-standard' when his team's spinners don't even have the skills to take wickets against teams like West Indies. Wow!

  • TheReverseDoosra_K on July 4, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    As a batsmen only he is good enough for Essex for the CB40.

  • SamRoy on July 4, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    I would have rather have Ojha and Ashwin play in England rather than Bhajji. Come to think of it, it would have been better if Virat, Rohit, Pujara and Rahane were all playing county cricket in England (rather than playing meaningless ODI series in Sri Lanka). It's the youngsters that need improvement.

  • i_witnessed_2011 on July 4, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Hope Harbhajan will get his second birth... He is a figher and he will get his top spinner back...

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 4, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    @RandyOZ: Well he's better than most of your nation's spinners !!! Pray that Australia don't get hammered by England in the current ODI series. Coming to the point, Bhajji shouldn't have signed with a mediocre team like Essex. How about one of the other bigger names ? any of the 'shires' will do.

  • Baundele on July 4, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    Bad buy. Bhajji is an excellent bowler; but recently he has been out of form.

  • kingcobra85 on July 4, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    he is hopeless in English conditions

  • Bruisers on July 4, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    Guess who is talking about the quality of spinners?? Good ol' Aussies who don't have one spinner that can match the part-time spinners of India.

  • on July 4, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    while harbhajan has been woefully out of form, i wouldn't write him off yet, primarily because the spinners that came after he was dropped haven't fared much better either, harbhajan plays with a lot of fire in his belly, and hopefully he can perform well and earns a recall, it will be good for indian cricket as i don't see ashwin and ojha as wicket taking spinners in the long format of the game, and with a hectic schedule at home, it would be nice to see harbhajan making a comeback in the indian squad by performing in county cricket

  • gopakumar85 on July 4, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    i agree to some one saying in the above that some of our young batsmans should be sent to england and make them play in the county and make them adapt to those conditions on their own. they will understand how to take care of themselves and also concentrate on what they are doing. but its a good initiative to send bhajji as he is out form he can be match fit for the coming season in india. hope bcci does something to the curent lot of youngsters by sending them to england to play more county games.

  • on July 4, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    An Australian fan calling an out of form Indian spinner 'sub-standard' when his team's spinners don't even have the skills to take wickets against teams like West Indies. Wow!

  • TheReverseDoosra_K on July 4, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    As a batsmen only he is good enough for Essex for the CB40.

  • SamRoy on July 4, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    I would have rather have Ojha and Ashwin play in England rather than Bhajji. Come to think of it, it would have been better if Virat, Rohit, Pujara and Rahane were all playing county cricket in England (rather than playing meaningless ODI series in Sri Lanka). It's the youngsters that need improvement.

  • i_witnessed_2011 on July 4, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Hope Harbhajan will get his second birth... He is a figher and he will get his top spinner back...

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 4, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    @RandyOZ: Well he's better than most of your nation's spinners !!! Pray that Australia don't get hammered by England in the current ODI series. Coming to the point, Bhajji shouldn't have signed with a mediocre team like Essex. How about one of the other bigger names ? any of the 'shires' will do.

  • Baundele on July 4, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    Bad buy. Bhajji is an excellent bowler; but recently he has been out of form.

  • kingcobra85 on July 4, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    he is hopeless in English conditions

  • satish619chandar on July 4, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    Bhajji will have to use this opportunity to get into some groove.. He did have some chances in home conditions in IPL as well as in domestic and was not able to perform to his own potential or a way to get some confidence on him.. Is now woefully out of competition for international team and his bowling is was off the mark.. Given the conditions in England, it is going to be tough for him but certainly he need to push up and punch above what he is doing now to demand respect from every quarters..

  • on July 4, 2012, 3:07 GMT

    Good Luck Plaha,Hope you make a comeback to Team India!

  • on July 3, 2012, 21:59 GMT

    Finally a good step taken by Bhajji. He's a fighter and people who understand cricket knows that. You don't get 400 wickets in Test Cricket by fluke. Some of the english fans who write nonsense about Bhajji can't be blames because they haven't seen quality spin bowling ever. Which spinner has got 400+ wickets in Tests for England? It was only after years and years that they got Swann. These English fans are used to fast bowling and have always seen their side rattle against Spin[Read Pakistan and Indian Spin attacks],so why would they like this lad-bhajji! Go bhajji-Indian Fans are with you. You're a fighter,I know you'll come back stronger! Zak did some years back after playing county!

  • on July 3, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    gud luck with bowling hope to see you in international

  • landl47 on July 3, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    Happy Birthday, Bhaji- 32 today. It will be interesting to see whether he can perform in English conditions, especially in this wet summer. I'm not surprised you don't remember he did play in India's first 2 tests against England last year, Mani Singh Basi, since he got a combined 2-287. Still, he's been a high-class bowler all his career and although I doubt he's got 7, let alone 9, years left, he might have two or three. Good luck to him.

  • grizzle on July 3, 2012, 20:29 GMT

    Lucky for Bhajji this. Though a risky move for Essex given his domestic form in India this past year or so. And also I agree with Baiju Joseph regarding the need for more Indians to try to play some county/Shield cricket. Otherwise, more shambolic performances in these countries are likely to follow.

  • ac_Indian on July 3, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    Good opportunity for Harbhajan..chance for him to get some flight and turn back a trait necessary for any spinner, something which made him a world class bowler, until a few years ago when he started bowling too quick and too flat. even though the pitches may not help him that much, he can still try for his old "feel" in the fingers while he gives those revolutions.

  • India_Rules_Everybody on July 3, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    @RandyOz .. LOL ..They should have picked a "mate" .. Oh wait .. there are no "mate" bowlers right now .. that is why the "matey" team is getting whipped in England.. Am loving it!! :))

  • hhillbumper on July 3, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    waste of an overseas contract.Only useful at home so this seems a waste of time

  • Trickstar on July 3, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    @RandyOZ For once I agree, it must be for revenue reasons, not that they struggle for punters, they must be trying to entice the English/Indian population into the ground.

  • csowmi7 on July 3, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    @randyoz yes yes we all know what a terrible record harbhajan has against the great ricky ponting. Perhaps thats why he's dismissed him 10 times in tests.

  • desi-blue on July 3, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    @Randy Oz: Couldn't agree with you more.They should have signed Doherty instead...lol

  • on July 3, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    gud luck bhajji >hope u will return to international cricket soon

  • on July 3, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    I doubt he'll succeed in English conditions :)

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on July 3, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    all the best bhajji. Just ignore the critics.

  • on July 3, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    Harbhajan Singh is still India's best spinner, along with his batting he is a huge player, India need to keep him in the squad, along with Ashwin, it's no suprise we lost 4-0 to both Aus and Eng without him, he has won so many matches for India with bat and ball.... India need to recognise his ability and forget the politics, he is still a young many... very young, got 7-9 years left in him.

  • on July 3, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    Waiting to see the lion roar, batpads, bowled through the gates of Bhajjis classical offie is something we indians have been missing a lot nowadays.

  • KDLarsen on July 3, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    I thought the BCCI weren't too keen on Indian players playing in the UK? I guess it's a hint at Harbhajan's future within the team, but I wish him all the luck in the UK.

  • RandyOZ on July 3, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    Huge blow for Essex signing such a substandard bowler. What were they thinking.

  • joseyesu on July 3, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    What is Harbajan going to do for Eng, as it is completely seaming pitch. It would have been useful if players like RP, Nehara, Ishant, Pathan, Dinda got these opportunities.

  • on July 3, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    This is the biggest opportunity for Harbhajan singh to prove others why he is called the champion spinner and match winner!!!!Conditions in England will always suit pace and swing bowlers and wet conditions will pose a serious challenge for spin bowlers to hold the ball......If bhajji picks wickets in these conditions then i am pretty much sure he can pick wickets in any surface.....GO Bhajji GO

  • on July 3, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    It should be an second innings for Bhajji's career...wish him all the best

  • Haleos on July 3, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Good luck Bhajji. Hope he does well and replaces the overrated Ashwin. Ashwin has got to many oppurtunities without proving much.

  • on July 3, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Good for him!

  • on July 3, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Are Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, S Sreesanth, RP Singh, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Irfan Pathan, Pankaj Singh and others listening ? go to england guys... hone ur bowling skills, come back and contribute to India's fast depleting laughable bowling stocks... and save India from the embarrassment... If Harbhajan can, after what we saw last year... why can't you... ??

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  • on July 3, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Are Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, S Sreesanth, RP Singh, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Irfan Pathan, Pankaj Singh and others listening ? go to england guys... hone ur bowling skills, come back and contribute to India's fast depleting laughable bowling stocks... and save India from the embarrassment... If Harbhajan can, after what we saw last year... why can't you... ??

  • on July 3, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Good for him!

  • Haleos on July 3, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Good luck Bhajji. Hope he does well and replaces the overrated Ashwin. Ashwin has got to many oppurtunities without proving much.

  • on July 3, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    It should be an second innings for Bhajji's career...wish him all the best

  • on July 3, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    This is the biggest opportunity for Harbhajan singh to prove others why he is called the champion spinner and match winner!!!!Conditions in England will always suit pace and swing bowlers and wet conditions will pose a serious challenge for spin bowlers to hold the ball......If bhajji picks wickets in these conditions then i am pretty much sure he can pick wickets in any surface.....GO Bhajji GO

  • joseyesu on July 3, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    What is Harbajan going to do for Eng, as it is completely seaming pitch. It would have been useful if players like RP, Nehara, Ishant, Pathan, Dinda got these opportunities.

  • RandyOZ on July 3, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    Huge blow for Essex signing such a substandard bowler. What were they thinking.

  • KDLarsen on July 3, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    I thought the BCCI weren't too keen on Indian players playing in the UK? I guess it's a hint at Harbhajan's future within the team, but I wish him all the luck in the UK.

  • on July 3, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    Waiting to see the lion roar, batpads, bowled through the gates of Bhajjis classical offie is something we indians have been missing a lot nowadays.

  • on July 3, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    Harbhajan Singh is still India's best spinner, along with his batting he is a huge player, India need to keep him in the squad, along with Ashwin, it's no suprise we lost 4-0 to both Aus and Eng without him, he has won so many matches for India with bat and ball.... India need to recognise his ability and forget the politics, he is still a young many... very young, got 7-9 years left in him.