Shah Essex debut likely to be late May

Essex will have to wait before seeing their new winter signing Owais Shah putting bat to ball in 2011.

The former England and Middlesex batsman is currently in South Africa where he has been playing for Cape Cobras and then he moves on to the Indian Premier League.

“I don’t expect to see too much of him for until the end of May, to be honest,” said Essex head coach Paul Grayson. “I spoke to him briefly last week and he’s been doing really well but he gets back while we are in Barbados continuing our pre-season work and then he goes off to the IPL before we get back to England.

“By the time he finishes out there, we’ll probably be well into our season and most likely it will be at the back end of May before he pulls on an Essex shirt. It’s a bit strange but that’s life these days with the IPL being around.

“Owais obviously wants to play in it and we have to respect that. I know we are all looking forward to the time when he does link up with us as it will be superb to have a player of his calibre around the club.”

The county will also have to wait on the services of Netherlands all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate who is also heading off to the IPL following Holland’s participation in the World Cup, while Essex have now received a further blow with the news that they could be without fast bowler Maurice Chambers for the start of the domestic campaign.

The Jamaican-born 23-year-old has been forced to quit the England Lions tour to the Caribbean with a hamstring problem and he has returned home to Essex where he will receive treatment.

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