India discard Gautam Gambhir to play for Essex

Gautam Gambhir was dropped from the Indian Test side before the Test series against Australia © AFP

Aug 15, 2013

India discard Gautam Gambhir has signed for English County side Essex for the remainder of the season, replacing New Zealand’s Hamish Rutherford as their overseas cricketer.

According to Cricket365, the Kiwis cricketer will return home to prepare for their domestic and international season after the Friends Life t20 Finals Day.

Left-handed India batsman Gambhir is expected to make his debut for Essex in County championship match against Northamptonshire on August 20 for the Colchester Cricket Festival at Castle Park.

Gambhir will be available for the remaining County Championship and Yorkshire Bank 40 games in the season, the report added.

Gambhir was quoted as saying, “I am delighted to have this chance to make my county cricket debut with Essex. After the IPL ended I was looking to play some competitive cricket and playing for Essex will give me that opportunity.

“I am thankful to Essex for presenting me with this option and BCCI for allowing me to participate in county cricket. I hope I can make some meaningful contributions to Essex in the ongoing season.”

Essex’s Head Coach Paul Grayson said, “We are delighted with the signing of Gautam Gambhir and we very much welcome him to the Club. Gautam is a player with real pedigree, which has been showcased on the biggest stages in world cricket.

“He will no doubt bring his experience to the squad during an important stage of the season for us in the LV= County Championship and Yorkshire Bank 40 competition.”

Gambhir was dropped from Indian Test side following an unending poor run with the bat before the home series against Australia earlier this year.

The 31-year-old batsman has scored 4,021 runs at an average of 44.18 in 54 Tests with nine centuries and 21 half-centuries to his name.

In June 2013,  Gambhir sought the assistance of former international cricketer and Bengal coach WV Raman in a bid to make a quick comeback to the national side.

According to Times of India, the former India opener has joined Gambhir in New Delhi and they will be working together to get rid of the shortcomings.

“We had a talk during the national one-dayers in Vizag. Since then, we have been in touch over phone and when he asked me to come over to New Delhi to work with him, I couldn’t say no,” Raman said.

Read more: Indians in County cricket