London - India batsman Murali Vijay has agreed to join Essex
for the rest of the English side's County Championship campaign.
Vijay played India's first two Tests on their current tour
of England, but was dropped after struggling in their heavy defeat at Lord's.
The 34-year-old opener was twice dismissed without scoring
in that match, but caught Essex's attention with a half-century against his new
club during a tour match in July.
Vijay joins Essex as a replacement overseas player following
the exit of Australian seamer Peter Siddle.
Essex have three games left in the County Championship's
First Division and are currently in fourth place.
"We're delighted that Murali has chosen to come here,
he's a great batsman who can score runs at the top of the order," Essex
head Coach Anthony McGrath said.
"Vijay's run-scoring ability means he can be the
difference-maker in a game, and that skill is something we were looking to
bring in towards the end of the season and something that we're excited
Vijay added: "I was here with the India side about a
month ago and saw first-hand just how good the crowd is. I can't wait to play
for Essex and hopefully win some matches."