Ravi off to Auckland

Ravi Bopara has been signed by New Zealand team Auckland for the domestic cricket season. The 24-year-old Essex star will be available for the first four matches of the four-day competition, starting next week, ahead of the 50-over and Twenty20 events.

Ravi Bopara has been signed by New Zealand team Auckland for the domestic cricket season.

The 24-year-old Essex star will be available for the first four matches of the four-day competition, starting next week, ahead of the 50-over and Twenty20 events.

"We had only been looking for someone for the Twenty20, but he's very keen to come out for a longer period," said Auckland chief executive Andrew Eade.

After being left out of the final Ashes Test following a dreadful run of form, Bopara recently lost his one-day spot for the tour to South Africa. The former Brampton Manor schoolboy has vowed to return to the England Test side a better player after being dropped following a torrid series against Australia.