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County Championship: Essex re-sign New Zealand bowler Neil Wagner

PUBLISHED: 16:01 13 February 2018

Neil Wagner of Essex celebrates taking the wicket of Yorkshire's Matthew Fisher to win the final match of the season (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Neil Wagner of Essex celebrates taking the wicket of Yorkshire's Matthew Fisher to win the final match of the season (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Wagner to rejoin Essex in May and will be available to play in all competitions

New Zealand international Neil Wagner will return to County Champions Essex in May and be available for all competitions.

The 31-year-old made an excellent impression both on and off the pitch in 2017 and took 31 wickets, including best figures of 6-48, as Essex romped to a first Championship title for 25 years.

Wagner has since impressed over the winter for the New Zealand Test team and will initially sign until the end of July, with the club having the option to extend his contract for the duration of the season, subject to New Zealand Cricket approval.

Head coach Anthony McGrath is thrilled to have Wagner returning to Chelmsford and said: “We have been working hard on bringing Neil back for a while. His performances were excellent last season and he offers something to the squad with both bat and ball.

“Off the field he was very much a popular member of the squad and he brings international experience to our exciting group of young bowlers.

“He showed great commitment to the club last year and was integral to what we achieved. From the minute he joined he understood exactly what Essex is all about, and we are looking forward to welcoming him back this year.”

Currently ranked seventh in the ICC Test Bowling Rankings, Wagner is thrilled to return to the county he called home in 2017, and commented: “Once I knew there was an opportunity to come back to Essex, I was very keen to get back to Chelmsford and build on the hard work and success of last season.

“Everyone at the Club made me feel welcome last year from the members to the commercial team, and I absolutely loved my time there.

“The squad and coaching staff were brilliant with me and I am looking forward to catching up with the friends I made and bringing more success to such a special Club.”

Essex’s overseas signings are in partnership with Seven Investment Management, the Eagles’ Vitality T20 Blast official sponsor.

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