New Zealand and Chennai Super Kings fast bowler Tim Southee has signed to play for Essex in the Friends Life T20 competition later this summer.
Southee helped New Zealand's progress to the 2011 World Cup semi-finals and has also played a role in helping the Chennai Super Kings begin the defence of their IPL title in style.
He will join up with Essex, subject to official clearance and approval from New Zealand Cricket, in time for the Eagles' first match against Gloucestershire on 3rd June.
The signing means that Essex will field two New Zealanders for the competition as Scott Styris will be returning to Chelmsford having helped them reach finals day last year.
"We are delighted to be able to add Tim to the squad for the FL t20 campaign," head coach Paul Grayson said. "His experience will be great for the team; he has had an excellent 18 months with New Zealand and so is going to be exciting to see him join up with the rest of the lads.
"He has shown on the biggest stage that he is great with the white ball, but is also able to give it a strike down the batting order. Tim will be a real asset the team, especially with his fellow International teammate, Scott Styris, joining him as our overseas players for the twenty20."
© Cricket World 2011