Bopara to guest for Gladiators
Ravi Bopara will make a surprise appearance for Gloucestershire in Wednesday's 50-over match against the South Africans at Bristol.
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The Essex batsman returned to action for the first time since withdrawing from the England squad for the second Investec Test against South Africa due to unspecified personal reasons in a Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Holland on Sunday.
But he contributed just one run from 11 balls as Essex amassed a total of 314 for eight and was nominated by the England and Wales Cricket Board when Gloucestershire approached them about fielding a guest in the one-day clash against the Proteas.
The 27-year-old will be eyeing the game as a perfect opportunity to play himself back into form after being named in England's squads for the the one-day international series against South Africa and the Twenty20 internationals which follow.
Gloucestershire chief executive Tom Richardson told the club's website: "We are delighted to have a player of Ravi's ability and stature in our side for the tour match.
"We approached the ECB and asked if it would be possible to field a guest player and we are very pleased with their response.
"Ravi's appearance will add even more interest to a game Gloucestershire fans and players have been looking forward to since it was announced."
Bopara has nailed down a regular starting spot in the England ODI side, impressing against Australia earlier in the summer.
He came into the Test side hoping to finally take his chance but gave his wicket away cheaply in both innings as England crashed to a heavy defeat against South Africa at The Oval.
Bopara then pulled out of England's second Test last month due to unspecified personal reasons.
National selector Geoff Miller said: "We are grateful to both Essex and Gloucestershire for agreeing to allow Ravi Bopara to play for Gloucestershire against South Africa on Wednesday.
"Ravi has had some time away from the game and we feel that he will benefit from some extra cricket ahead of the start of the NatWest Series, and with no games for Essex before we begin our preparations for the first match this is an ideal opportunity for him."