Friday 20 April 2007 

Nel Cleared For Essex Duty

South Africa fast bowler Andre Nel has been given permission by the United Cricket Board of South Africa to play for Essex this season.

The 29-year-old is due to arrive in England at the start of May and will remain with Essex until mid-June. Nel’s first appearance is set to come against former county Northamptonshire in an LV County Championship match at Northampton, starting on May 2.

The pace man is currently participating in the ICC Cricket World Cup and is due to play for South Africa at the semi-final stage next week.

Nel will be in his second spell for Essex, having represented the County in August/September 2005. In that brief time he made a hugely positive impact on the Club, claiming a wicket with his first ball in the Championship match with Somerset at Colchester.

After taking three wickets against England on Tuesday, Nel now has 84 wickets in 61 ODIs to go with 97 wickets in 27 Test appearances.

Upon his departure in June, Nel will be replaced by Australian all-rounder Andy Bichel who will remain with the County until September. Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is contracted to Essex for the whole season, subject to international commitments.

Essex Batting Coach Graham Gooch told the Essex CCC website (www.essexcricket.org.uk): “This is fantastic news for Essex. Andre is the sort of cricketer who leads from the front with the ball and also lifts the side with his bouncy character off the field. He is a competitive and combative individual who fits well into our dressing room and will dovetail nicely with Andy Bichel as one of our overseas players this season.”

Essex Chief Executive David East said: “It is great to be welcoming back such a world-class performer. Andre slotted into our dressing room brilliantly in 2005 and I am sure that his enthusiasm, energy and undoubted talent will make a huge difference to our early season campaign.”