County news June 29, 2009

Essex sign Amla as cover for Kaneria

Cricinfo staff

Essex have signed South African batsman Hashim Amla as overseas cover for Danish Kaneria, away on national duty. Amla will play for the county until the end of July, or even longer, depending on Kaneria's return to England.

Amla's immediate aim is to ensure promotion for Essex, who are currently at third place in Division Two. "I am thrilled with the prospect of joining up with Essex at this important stage of the season," he said. "Promotion in the Championship is a major focus for the team and I hope that I can help achieve this goal. I am really looking forward to the challenge."

Kaneria is on tour with Pakistan's Test team in Sri Lanka and Amla will extend his stint beyond July if Kaneria is selected for the one-day series which succeeds the Tests. Amla is expected to form part of the squad for the game versus Glamorgan at home on July 7. Amla's signing is subject to him obtaining a working visa and Essex receiving clearance for him to play from Cricket South Africa.