Warwickshire batsman Varun Chopra will be returning home after signing a three-year deal at boyhood club Essex, the club announced this afternoon.
Chopra, 29, has not been offered a new contract by the Bears and Essex were reportedly among a number of counties, including Nottinghamshire and Hampshire, that put in an approach for the player.
It appears that the lure of returning to the club at which he made his name was too strong for the Barking-born batsman to resist.
“I am delighted to be re-joining Essex, a club where I have fond memories from the start of my career,” Chopra said.
“I look forward to returning as a more developed player and being part of a talented, ambitious and exciting team led by Chris Silverwood.
“As I enter a key stage of my career, I am intent on contributing in all formats of the game and in doing that, I hope to achieve my desire to play for England.”
Chopra has lost his place in Warwickshire’s white-ball team despite being their top run-scorer in all formats for four of the last five years. In his only one-day appearance this season, he made 97.
In June, he admitted to being ‘really disappointed’ at the lack of a new contract offer at the county, where he has won all three domestic trophies since signing in 2010.
In his first spell at Essex, the former England Lion averaged 29.63 across 48 first-class appearances.
Essex have enjoyed a successful season, sitting top of Division Two in the County Championship and having qualified for the quarter-finals of the Natwest T20 Blast.
They are well in contention for the knockout stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup, depending on the outcome of today’s rain-affected game against Gloucestershire.
Their coach Chris Silverwood commented, “We are delighted that Varun is re-joining us and coming back to the club where he started his professional career.
“His Division One experience will be invaluable to our batting line-up and our younger players.
“It’s great to have an Essex man coming back to the club and he will be a great addition for us moving forward.”
In another piece of outgoing business today at Edgbaston, batsman Laurie Evans has signed a one-month loan deal at Northamptonshire for four-day cricket only.