Tsotsobe signs with English side

2011-04-09 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Lonwabo Tsotsobe has signed a three-month contract with England county Essex and is expected make his debut next week.

His contract will run from April 12 to June 1, which is perfect from a Proteas’ point of view as it will leave him with plenty of time to freshen up before the start of the 2011/12 South African summer.

At the same time he will gain priceless experience of playing under England conditions, which is also a bonus as the Proteas are due to tour England in 2012.

Essex, who are currently in Division Two of the Championship, are due to play Middlesex next week which will also give him the opportunity of playing at Lord’s, one of the cathedral grounds of world cricket.

Tsotsobe has been a regular choice for the Proteas in all three formats of the game over the past year and was unlucky not to win an Indian Premier League contract. His limited overs form has been particularly good and he has taken 33 wickets in this period at an average in the low teens.

Not surprisingly, his ICC ODI bowling ranking has risen to a career best No 6, just behind his Proteas’ team-mates Dale Steyn (four) and Morné Morkel (five).

“This is a wonderful opportunity for me, making my debut in the England first-class game, and I intend to make the most of it,” he said. “I also hope I can help Essex regain Division One status.”

His colleagues at Essex will include England batsmen Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara.

Alviro Petersen made his county championship debut yesterday, leading Glamorgan in their match against Leicestershire.

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