Tuesday 15 April 2008 

Nel To Join Up With Essex For Start Of County Season

South Africa fast bowler Andre Nel has been given permission to join up with Essex in time for the start of the Championship season on Wednesday.

It had been expected that the 30-year-old would be required to play for Titans in Friday’s semi-final of the Standard Bank Pro20 Series against Cape Cobras at Newlands.

However, with fellow pace bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel returning from international duty in India, the Titans have chosen to omit Nel from the squad for their next match.

Nel is now scheduled to arrive in London early on Wednesday morning with a view to playing in the LV County Championship game against Northamptonshire at The Ford County Ground, which starts at 11.00am that day.

The Transvaal-born cricketer, who has had two previous spells with Essex in 2005 and 2007, will stay with the County until the Friends Provident Trophy match against Middlesex on May 18, after which Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria will take up overseas player duties.

Essex First-Team Coach Paul Grayson told the Essex CCC website (www.essexcricket.org.uk): “We are delighted that Andre will be playing for us earlier than anticipated. We know all about him, and he knows all about us, so we hope he will make a big contribution during the first month of the season before Danish (Kaneria) arrives. Andre is a popular player with both the players and our members and supporters so we are looking forward to having him back.”

Essex Chief Executive David East told the Essex CCC website:

“This is an unexpected bonus, particularly as the Titans have progressed to their domestic Twenty20 semi-finals. We always hoped Andre would be with us for the first match and, travel permitting, he should be with us for the Northants game.”

© Essex CCC