You must be frustrated that the weather badly interfered with your debut for Essex when only 100 overs were possible on the first three days of the match with Gloucestershire?
People have told me that it has been wet for much of the season but we can’t do anything about the weather but what cricket we do get, we have to try and make the most of it. That’s all you can do as player.
How did you come to join Essex?
I was looking to play in England because at this point of time, India have no cricket and I am keen to play the longer form of the game again. So the people that look after my interests found out that Essex were looking for someone who could come over and play for them. It’s the perfect opportunity to come over and bowl well for Essex, take lots of wickets for them and take the team to the next level. It was also a good opportunity for me to bowl a lot of overs and get into the best of my rhythm to help me to get back into the Indian Test side. So it was a wonderful opportunity to join Essex.
This is your third experience of playing county cricket, what makes it attractive?
I really enjoy playing county cricket because it is something quite different; the format you play makes it feel that you are not just playing any ordinary cricket. It is an extraordinary set-up. Players get paid well, they are looked after well and treated like international players, so it’s nice to be back in England and I’m delighted to be playing for Essex. It’s an opportunity for me to do something special for them. I really enjoyed my two years playing for Surrey although it was only for a brief time on both occasions and hopefully, it will be even better playing for Essex results-wise and I’ll get more wickets than I did for Surrey.
(In 2005, Harbhajan’s 4 Championship matches brought him 20 wickets and then, in 2007, he made 6 Championship appearances claiming 37 wickets)
Essex are looking to you to take a host of wickets that would help them achieve both promotion in the County Championship and reach the final of the CB40 competition, is that unfair pressure on you?
Not at all, as a professional cricketer, I am there to play well and help them do well and that is clearly understood. I’m not here just to count the pounds, my job is to take wickets, score runs, enjoy my game and to play well for Essex and, as I said earlier, help to take the team to the next level. It’s nice to be among the guys in the Essex dressing room who are very keen to win games and go forward. They definitely have the desire and hunger to win and I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time with them both on and off the field.