Essex complete Harbhajan deal

Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar have a discussion AFP

Essex have confirmed the signing of Harbhajan Singh, the India offspinner, for the second half of the domestic season. As ESPNcricinfo reported last month, Harbhajan will be available from the resumption of the County Championship beginning with the match against Gloucestershire on July 11, subject to his visa coming through in time.

Paul Grayson, the Essex head coach, said: "We are delighted to have signed one of the best spinners in world cricket over the last 10 years or so. Harbhajan is a great character who is a match-winner and I believe that his winning mentality will rub off on the rest of the playing squad here at Essex.

"I am really excited at the prospect of having him in the squad and this signing for the second half of the season shows that Essex mean business and will continue to fight in the LV County Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40 formats of the game."

Essex will be Harbhajan's second county after previous spells with Surrey, where he collected 57 first-class wickets at 21.10 across two separate stints in 2005 and 2007. Harbhajan has been out of favour with the India selectors since being injured on last year's tour to England and has been replaced in the spin department by R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha. India are due to name a one-day squad shortly for their tour of Sri Lanka.