Essex strengthened by Siddle

06 February 2018 07:52:05 EST

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath is delighted to have secured the services of Australian seamer Peter Siddle for the start of the new domestic season.

The 33-year-old is expected to be available for the opening five games of the County Championship programme, as Essex begin the defence of the first division title they won in superb fashion last summer.

Peter is someone with proven quality at the highest level.

Anthony McGrath

And McGrath is excited about what Siddle - a veteran of 62 Test appearances - can contribute, both on and off the field.

He told the county's official website: "Peter is someone with proven quality at the highest level. He is vastly experienced and is a player who won’t just deliver on the pitch, but will help our younger bowlers as well.

"He recently played in one of the best International teams around, and we are looking forward to picking his brains and seeing what else we can produce as a bowling unit with his help.

"(Australia coach) Darren Lehmann spoke glowingly about him as a person and a bowler when I spoke to him recently, so we are looking forward to him joining us and making a real impact in the opening weeks of the season."

Meanwhile, England are 11/4 to win the 2019 World Cup on home soil, while they can be backed at 5/1 to triumph at the 2020 World Twenty20.

View all Cricket betting