CHRIS Silverwood believes Essex’s bowling options are ‘world class’ after a busy summer of recruitment.

Silverwood has added South African international Simon Harmer, while Kiwi seamer Neil Wagner and Pakistan pace man Mohammad Amir will play the first and second half of the season respectively.

With Jamie Porter, Matt Dixon, Matt Quinn, Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ashar Zaidi, Dan Lawrence, Callum Taylor, Aaron Beard, Aron Nijjar and Paul Walter also options, Silverwood has a host of talent at his disposal.

And the Yorkshireman says the addition of such talent is a huge boost to Essex’s ambitions for the new campaign.

“If you look at the Division One sides there were a lot of spinners taking wickets last season,” he said. “All the teams have them and we don’t want to be left behind and want to fight fire with fire.

“Simon Harmer is proven at international level. He can work with youngsters and has a fine record in all formats of the game.

“We have that quality now, alongside Dan Lawrence. We have a powerful unit that can push on.”

Harmer has taken 20 wickets at an average of 29.4 in his five Test matches for South Africa, while Amir and Wagner will provide the pace option.

“A few people may have raised their eyebrows when we signed Mohammad Amir (after he was previously found guilty of match fixing in 2010) but I firmly believe people deserve second chances and he is a world class bowler that can win games for us,” he said.

“He is here for the second half of the season and we want him to do that. He is a left-arm, is different and his skills are exceptional.

“We wanted continuity along those lines and Neil Wagner is a left armer who was very good at Lancashire. He has a proven record in international and Test cricket.”