County news February 11, 2016

Essex pull off Wahab Riaz coup

ESPNcricinfo staff

Wahab Riaz will play seven matches for Essex © AFP

Essex have pulled off a marquee signing for the NatWest T20 Blast campaign with the signing of the Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz.

Riaz will feature in seven matches for the Essex Eagles, before being replaced by the New Zealander Adam Milne.

Riaz went into the Pakistan Super League with 106 Twenty20 wickets at an impressive average of 22.21, and has had spells with Kent Spitfires and Surrey in the past.

Head Coach Chris Silverwood said "We are pleased to have Wahab joining the squad for the first half of the NatWest T20 Blast season. He will add a different dimension to our bowling attack, being a left armer and bowling with real pace.

"We are looking at this competition with confidence. We need to improve our performance from the past few seasons, and drive our limited-overs cricket forward. Wahab's signing helps us with this."

Essex have been perennial nearly-men in limited-overs competitions, reaching a host opf quarter-finals in recent times without going on to land a top prize, but there is a fresh sense of ambition under their new chairman of cricket Ronnie Irani.