Essex has recruited long-term target Mark Steketee for the first six games of the 2022 County Championship season in the hopes of regaining the crown they won last season. Steketee, 28, is the leading wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield this season, and his outstanding performance has earned him a call-up to Australia’s Test squad for the upcoming tour of Pakistan. After that tour, he’ll join the rest of the Essex team and be available for six games, beginning with the season opener against Kent on April 7.

“I’m delighted to be joining Essex for the first half of the LV= Insurance County Championship campaign,” stated Steketee. “I’ve always wanted to visit England and play county cricket there. Many of my Australian teammates have had the opportunity to compete in the County Championship, and they all have nothing but good things to say about it.”