Kaneria spins back for promotion push!

ESSEX leg-spinner Danish Kaneria will finally make his first start for his county this season after problems with his visa were cleared up, writers MIKE SIMMONDS. The 28-year-old missed the first week of the season as he was stuck in Pakistan, but was nam

ESSEX leg-spinner Danish Kaneria will finally make his first start for his county this season after problems with his visa were cleared up, writers MIKE SIMMONDS.

The 28-year-old missed the first week of the season as he was stuck in Pakistan, but was named in a 13-man squad for the LV County Championship Division Two clash with Kent starting today (Wednesday).

"My passport was with the PCB ahead of the scheduled tour of Bangladesh, but because of security fears, the tour didn't go ahead," he explained.

"This caused problems in obtaining my visa and when I did get my passport back, I was told that I would have to wait 30 days.


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"Thankfully the cricket board and David East managed to sort it out in time for the game against Kent."

Kaneria has been a massive influence for Essex since he joined the county back in 2004, taking over 100 wickets in 2007.

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A firm part of the club's one-day success too, the spinner has set his sights on achieving promotion in the County Championship this season.

"Personally, I am focusing on the four-day game as we have struggled in comparison to one-day cricket," he said.

"My aim is to help the team win as many games as possible and get maximum points in order to get into the first division.

"And I also want us to play even better in the Twenty20 cup than we did last season and to go a step further than the semi-final of last year.

"I am really looking forward to coming over to England and specifically to Chelmsford.

"Now we are underway I am really excited about the season in prospect."

Although Kaneria has missed Essex's first four games of the season, he has been keeping himself busy back in Pakistan.

"I have been playing domestic cricket and I played in a Test series against Sri Lanka which was just one test match," he said.

" The second test was incomplete because of the attack in Lahore, but I have playing domestic cricket for Habib Bank and then training and working hard ahead of the new season with Essex."

Essex captain, Mark Pettini, was delighted to welcome back such a huge weapon of his bowling armoury.

"We are thrilled that Danish will be joining us for another season," he said.

"He is a fantastic player and a great addition to the team. We very much look forward to welcoming him back.

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