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India opener Gautam Gambhir returning to Essex this week

Gautam Gambhir: Flew home after sudden family bereavement

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Essex have confirmed that batsman Gautam Gambhir will be available for the remainder of the County Championship season.

The India opener initially struggled after joining the county in late July, but he scored a century against Gloucestershire two weeks ago before being forced to return home due to a family bereavement.

However, the 31-year-old is expected to rejoin the squad in time to be considered for selection for this week's trip to Kent, starting on Wednesday.

A club statement read: "Essex County Cricket Club can announce that Gautam Gambhir will be returning to the club following a sudden bereavement in his family.

"Gautam returned home to India on 1 September but will now rejoin the Essex squad ahead of the trip to Kent on Wednesday 11 September in the LV= County Championship at Canterbury."

Gambhir was hoping to use his stint with the Chelmsford club to bat his way back into form after being dropped by India earlier this year.

He won the last of his 54 Test caps in the clash against England last December, and he was also omitted from the one-day side for the Champions Trophy and the series' against the West Indies and Zimbabwe.