Hard-hitting all-rounder Graham Napier has signed a contract extension with Essex that will see him stay with the club until the end of the 2011 season.
“I am delighted to be with Essex now until the end of the 2011 season," Napier said. "It is a great honour for me to play for Essex. This new contract will bring my time at Essex up to nearly 14 years."
“Going into last season I would have been doubtful that Essex would have offered me a new contract. It is a real pleasure to be involved with the club for a further three seasons."
Napier is in South Africa preparing for his stint in the Indian Premier League with the Mumbai Indians and his performances in the shortest form of the game last year, including an unbeaten 152 against Sussex, has seen him included in England's 30-man preliminary squad for the ICC World Twenty20 later this year.
Essex will begin their season with the defence of the Friends Provident Trophy and Napier is confident that his side can mount a challenge for the second season in a row.
“I am more than confident we can defend the trophy, we are even better than we were this time last year. The team are gelling together, everyone is working hard and we are still missing two big players in Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate. We have great prospects for the summer ahead."
© Cricket World 2009