NEW Zealand international Jimmy Neesham will link up with Essex for their 2021 Vitality Blast campaign.

The 30-year-old all-rounder returns to UK shores for a third stint in the competition after previously playing for Derbyshire and Kent.

Neesham, who starred for New Zealand in their 2019 World Cup final defeat to England at Lord’s, is no stranger to Essex after playing for club side Upminster a decade ago.

He told the official club website: “I am really looking forward to joining up with Essex Eagles for this year’s Vitality Blast.

“I’m excited about linking up with Ryan Ten Doeschate again, having played with him for a few seasons when he was with Otago, and hopefully we can replicate the success of 2019.”

Neesham will join the one-time Blast winners following his Indian Premier League commitments with Mumbai Indians.

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath said: “We sat down at the end of last season and concluded that we needed to add another all-rounder to the T20 squad and with all of his talent and experience, Jimmy fits the bill perfectly.

“He’s excelled with both the bat and the ball on the biggest of stages for his country, as well as in the global franchise competitions and it’s a great match for both the player and the club.”