Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan legspinner, will represent Essex during the 2007 season after gaining permission from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). He will be available for Essex's opening Championship match against Derbyshire, at Chelmsford, starting on April 18.
The Essex chief executive, David East, confirmed Kaneria's availability for the whole season and added that be would be free to honour his commitments with Pakistan at any point during the summer. There were doubts about whether certain Pakistan players would be able to fulfill their county commitments after the PCB raised concerns of player injuries, especially to the fast bowlers, during Pakistan's off season. Umar Gul has already been prevented from joining Gloucestershire.
"We are delighted that Danish Kaneria can now join Essex for the start of the 2007 season," East told the county's website. "It's been a challenging few weeks for us in terms of trying to clarify his availability and our thanks go to the Pakistan Cricket Board for their understanding and agreement to release their player."
This will be Kaneria's third season with Essex since his debut in 2004. He missed the 2006 campaign as Pakistan were on their tour of England. He took 95 first-class wickets in 18 matches at an average of 28.18 during his first two seasons. He also played a crucial role in Essex's National League success in 2005.