Essex have bolstered their Twenty20 Cup squad by signing Mark Hardinges, the 31-year-old allrounder from Gloucestershire.
"I am really excited and pleased to get the call from Essex. If I can help in any way in what is already a good side I will be really happy," Hardinges said. "I have made two previous finals days of the Twenty20 Cup so I am keen to win it with Essex and this bunch of lads…[is] more than capable of going that step further. My aims for my time at Essex are to enjoy myself and to contribute to a really successful unit. I am available to play for Essex from now until the end of July."
Paul Grayson, the Essex coach, added: "The main reason we have brought Mark into the team is that we may not have four of our main players for the entirety of the Twenty20 Cup owing to ICC World Twenty20 call ups (Ravi Bopara, James Foster, Ryan ten Doeschate and Graham Napier).
"We are serious about winning the Twenty20 Cup this season and we want to be sure we have the best team available. We could have been left with a light squad and Mark brings experience as a consistent one-day performer. His name became available and this was an opportunity we could not miss."