Wahab Riaz's spell at Essex has been cut short by two games after he was required to join up with Pakistan's training camp ahead of Test series against England. The news is a further blow to Essex's NatWest T20 Blast campaign, after Adam Milne's involvement in the second half of the group stage was ruled out by injury.
Wahab had signed as Essex's second overseas player - alongside Jesse Ryder - for the first seven games of the Blast, with Milne expected to replace him for the final seven. New Zealand quick Milne suffered a hamstring tear during the IPL, in which he played one game for Royal Challengers Bangalore, and subsequently required surgery on a shoulder injury.
Essex are currently bottom of the South Group, having won one out of five games in the Blast, and have been looking for a replacement overseas signing.
Although Wahab only managed to take four wickets in five matches, at an average of 46.50 and with an economy of 9.45, he said he had enjoyed his time at Chelmsford. He could return if Essex manage to turn things around and reach Finals Day.
"Wonderful to be a part of the Essex team," he said. "I have enjoyed it a lot there, it's been fun with these guys, everyone really supportive and treated me well. I've learnt a lot about how to bowl in these conditions, so hopefully the experience I am taking from Essex I will try to put into my Test bowling."
Pakistan's Test squad are currently based at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl, where they will undertake a two-week conditioning camp before the first tour game against Somerset on July 3.
Essex's coach, Chris Silverwood, added: "It is a shame Wahab's spell has been cut short. Obviously we understand that his international commitments come first and that is the risk you take when signing international quality players. We thank Wahab for his efforts and his commitment to the club during his spell."