MASTER-BLASTER batsman Jesse Ryder is set to sign for Essex County Cricket Club as their overseas players for 2014.

The New Zealander was confirmed as the Eagles international star today, but is still waiting on visa clearance before the deal is finalised.

The 29-year-old left hander has played 18 tests for his country with a top score of 201 and has a reputation of being a big hitter at the crease.

He will join a list of fellow New Zealand stars who have turned out for Essex in recent years including Tim Southee, Scott Styris, James Franklin and Hamish Rutherford.

Pending visa approval, Ryder said he is thrilled to be coming to the Ford County Ground.

Ryder said: “This couldn't have come at a better time as I want to get as much cricket as possible over the New Zealand winter.

“It's an added bonus that there are a few of the guys who I have played with before, the side looks very strong and they have got off to a good start for the season.”

Ryder is due to join up with the squad at the start of May.