Hamish Rutherford: Essex sign New Zealand batsman

Essex have signed New Zealand batsman Hamish Rutherford as a replacement for injured overseas player Rob Quiney.

The 24-year-old left-handed opener will join up with Essex once the Kiwis have completed their two-Test series against England, which starts on Thursday.

He is not in the tourists' squad for the subsequent one-day and Twenty20 series, or the ICC Champions Trophy.

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I was very impressed with how he played for New Zealand against England. Hamish comes highly recommended

Paul Grayson Essex head coach

Quiney suffered a shoulder injury taking a catch in Essex's Championship defeat by Lancashire last week.

It has ended the 30-year-old Australian's stay at Chelmsford, but Essex head coach Paul Grayson is delighted Rutherford would now be available for the remainder of the summer once his international commitments were complete.

"The coaching staff and myself look forward to working with him and pleased that he is joining Essex," said Grayson.

"He is an attacking opening batsman that will definitely benefit us in both the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition and Friends Life t20 too.

"I was very impressed with how he played for New Zealand this winter against England and Hamish comes highly recommended from some good judges in the game, so will be a great acquisition for us I'm sure."

Rutherford played his first Test against England in Dunedin in March and hit 171 - the seventh highest score by a batsman on debut.

He went on to make 246 runs in the drawn series and continued his impressive form with a century in last week's warm-up game against England Lions.

Later in the summer, he will be joined by Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait, a Twenty20 specialist who has already signed to play for Essex in the shortest format of the game this summer.