Essex have signed India opening batsman Gautam Gambhir for the remainder of the season.
The 31-year-old, who has made 54 Test appearances, replaces Hamish Rutherford as Essex's overseas player.
Rutherford will return to New Zealand after the Friends Life t20 Finals Day for pre-season training ahead of their domestic and international competitions.
Gambhir is expected to make his Essex debut in the LV= County Championship match against Northamptonshire which starts at Colchester on Tuesday 20 August.
He said: "I am delighted to have this chance to make my county cricket debut with Essex.
"After the IPL ended I was looking to play some competitive cricket and playing for Essex will give me that opportunity.
"I am thankful to Essex for presenting me with this option and BCCI for allowing me to participate in county cricket. I hope I can make some meaningful contributions to Essex in the ongoing season."
Essex head coach Paul Grayson said: "We are delighted with the signing of Gautam Gambhir and we very much welcome him to the club.
"Gautam is a player with real pedigree, which has been showcased on the biggest stages in world cricket.
"He will no doubt bring his experience to the squad during an important stage of the season for us in the LV= County Championship and Yorkshire Bank 40 competition."