County news August 15, 2013

Somerset eye up deal for Chawla

Somerset have agreed terms with Indian legspinner Piyush Chawla with a view to him joining the club for the rest of the season.

The BCCI have provided the requisite No Objection Certificate but Chawla has yet to gain the necessary visa. Somerset are understood to have contingency plans should the visa issue further delay Chawla's arrival.

They were hoping to have him available for the next County Championship game which starts on August 20 at Edgbaston.

Somerset, who were second in the Championship in 2012, are currently up to their necks in relegation trouble. With five games left, they currently sit seventh in the Division One table, eight points ahead of Surrey, in eighth, but having played a game more.

Surrey have just strengthened their squad for the rest of the season with the signing of prolific South African batsman Hashim Amla.

Somerset had originally signed Pakistan left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman, who played for them with success in 2012, but he was obliged to pull out of the deal when he was named in the Pakistan squad to play Zimbabwe.

24-year-old Chawla played the last of his three Tests, against England in Nagpur, in December. He has previously represented Sussex in county cricket in 2009, where he took 36 wickets at 27.25.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo