Essex news November 15, 2011

Charl Willoughby signs for Essex

ESPNcricinfo staff

Charl Willoughby, the left-arm fast bowler, has signed a two-year contract with Essex. The former South Africa seamer, who has played two Tests and three ODIs for his country, joins the county after a six-year stint with Somerset.

Willoughby, 36, played 15 matches in the 2011 season, taking 53 wickets at an average of 32.47. Commenting on his transfer, Willoughby said his aim is to help Essex gain promotion to the first Division in the County Championship.

"I obviously have a lot of experience in the game and Paul Grayson ([he Essex head coach] wants a wise old head to help David Masters with the bowling attack," Willoughby told the county's official website. "Essex have some promising youngsters coming through the ranks and I can certainly pass on some of my knowledge as a left-armer."

Grayson said Essex were fortunate to get his services considering there were other counties keen on signing him up.

"I'm delighted with the signing of Charl," Grayson said. "He is a very experienced bowler and someone we wanted to add to our ranks alongside David Masters and Graham Napier. He is a quality left-arm bowler and we see him also helping Reece Topley and Tymal Mills in their development with his experience and knowledge of the game".