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Jimmy Neesham, the New Zealand allrounder, is to join Essex for this summer's Vitality Blast. The 30-year-old will arrive in England following on from the IPL and is set to be available throughout the group stage.
Neesham's previous involvement on English soil came during the dramatic Super Over finish to the 2019 World Cup final. He has also had stints in county cricket with Kent and Derbyshire.
His arrival will strengthen Essex's T20 options after the departure of Ravi Bopara to Sussex last year. Blast champions in 2019, their defence ended tamely as Essex finished second from bottom in the South Group, with two wins from 10 games.
"We sat down at the end of last season and concluded that we needed to add another allrounder to the T20 squad, and with all of his talent and experience, Jimmy fits the bill perfectly," Essex's head coach, Anthony McGrath, said.
"He's excelled with both the bat and the ball on the biggest of stages for his country, as well as in the global franchise competitions and it's a great match for both the player and the club."
Neesham was picked up by Mumbai Indians in last month's IPL auction for US$68,000, having previously represented Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils. He has played 143 T20 matches in his career, scoring 2001 runs at a strike rate of 138.76 and taking 132 wickets with an economy of 9.14.
He has had regular stints in the Caribbean Premier League and in 2012-13 played alongside Ryan ten Doeschate for the Otago Volts team that lifted the HRV Cup, New Zealand's domestic T20 competition.
Neesham said: "I am really looking forward to joining up with Essex Eagles for this year's Vitality Blast. I'm excited about linking up with Ryan ten Doeschate again, having played with him for a few seasons when he was with Otago, and hopefully we can replicate the success of 2019."