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Gautam Gambhir joins Essex in English County, Piyush Chawla Somerset

In his bid to make a comeback into the Indian team, senior opener Gautam Gambhir will be plying his trade for the English county side Essex for the remainder of the English domestic season representing them in first-class as well as Pro-40 matches. 

31-year-old Gambhir will replace New Zealand batsman Hamish Rutherfod as the county's overseas recruit.

Rutherford will be heading home to prepare for New Zealand's upcoming international commitments.

"Hi guys, off to play county cricket tomorrow, will be playing for Essex Eagles," Gambhir tweeted.

Piyush Chawla and Gautam Gambhir
Both Gautam Gambhir (left) and Piyush Chawla are both going to ply their trade in the English county. Pic/AFP

Gambhir is expected to join the team ahead of the LV County Championship match against Northamptonshire in Colchester, which begins on August 20.

"We are delighted with the signing of Gautam Gambhir who is a player with pedigree, which has been showcased on the biggest stages in cricket," Paul Grayson, the Essex head coach, was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.

"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."

For nearly five years, Gambhir was India's first choice opener across all three formats before prolonged bad patch forced the selectors to drop him from the national squad.

Gambhir has played 54 Tests for India and scored 4021 runs at an average of 44.18.

Gambhir is the first Indian player to sign for Essex this season after Harbhajan Singh played for the same county last season.

Meanwhile, leggie Piyush Chawla is set to play for English county Somerset as BCCI has given him the No Objection Certificate (NOC).

Chawla is awaiting necessary visa and upon getting it, he will play for Somerset in the remainder of the season.

"The BCCI have provided the requisite No Objection Certificate but Chawla has yet to gain the necessary visa. Somerset are understood to have contingency plans should the visa issue further delay Chawla's arrival," a report in Cricinfo said.

Somerset play their next game on August 20 at Edgbaston. and with five games left, they currently sit seventh in the Division One table, eight points ahead of Surrey, in eighth, but having played a game more.

Somerset had originally signed Pakistan left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman but he pulled out after being named in the Pakistan squad to play Zimbabwe.

Chawla was in the Indian team When India hosted England in December.

He has represented Sussex in county cricket in 2009, where he took 36 wickets at 27.25.

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