Harbhajan Singh leaves Essex early to join India squad

Harbhajan Singh

India spinner Harbhajan Singh has cut short his spell with Essex after being selected for the ICC World Twenty20.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India asked him to return home to prepare for the tournament, which starts in Sri Lanka on 18 September.

The 32-year-old played nine games for Essex in the Championship and CB40, taking 23 wickets.

He leaves with three Championship fixtures remaining and the club looking to win promotion back to Division One.

Harbhajan's departure his absence prompted Essex to call up 23-year-old leg-spinner Tom Craddock for the away game against Derbyshire which began on Tuesday.

Harbhajan has taken 683 wickets in all forms of international cricket but the World Twenty20 will be his first appearance for India since last summer's tour to England.

India won the inaugural tournament in South Africa in 2007 and have been drawn in the same group as England and Afghanistan for this year's competition.