Halstead Cricket Club have pulled off a coup ahead of the new season by snapping up Bangladesh swing bowler Syed Rasel as their overseas player.

The 26-year-old is currently on tour with his country’s A side in South Africa and is expected to be available to play for the Star Stile side from the middle of next month.

Rasel has more than 60 international appearances to his name for Bangladesh, including more than 50 one day international caps and six Test appearances.

He is already familiar with conditions in this country, having toured with various representative sides in recent years.

Halstead’s Ian Pont, formerly Bangladesh’s bowling coach, played a big part in Rasel’s signing.

And Halstead skipper Tom Philp is confident his new bowler can make a big impact for the club in this season’s Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League, which starts tomorrow.

Philp said: “It’s a very exciting signing for Halstead.

“We spoke to Ian Pont back at Christmas time about possible players who might be able to come over and play for us.

“He has lots of contacts and we knew that Syed was keen to come over and play his cricket here.

“He’s played a lot of representative cricket in his time and he’s used to pressure situations.

“He’s the kind of player who thrives more in the one-day environment.

“Syed’s also familiar with the conditions here and has toured in the UK two or three times with the Bangladesh squad.”

Halstead travel to play Sudbury tomorrow, in their opening Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League game of the season.