Hunger remains for Essex veteran Charl Willoughby

Charl Willoughby
Willoughby has signed a two-year deal with Essex

New Essex seamer Charl Willoughby wants to prove he still has the "hunger" for the game, despite his advancing years.

The South African, who will be 37 when the 2012 season starts, insists he remains ambitious following his departure from Somerset.

"I didn't think my career was over by any stretch," he told BBC Essex.

"Even though I might be 37 my mind's still young. I'm still passionate about the game and still hungry."

The left-armer will be expected to take a share of the bowling workload from fellow veteran David Masters next year.

The 33-year-old bowled more than 600 County Championship overs for Paul Grayson's side in 2011.

"David Masters was outstanding last year and Paul Grayson said he just needs somebody to back him up," said Willoughby.

"At key stages, when he might have been a bit tired, if you bring on somebody with experience or a bit of belief in his own ability it might have made a difference.

"At Somerset I've always bowled the most overs in a season and David Masters has done the same for Essex over the years.

"If we join up as a bowling unit, that might share some of the responsibility.

"He might enjoy bowling all those overs, but so do I. We've got guys who are hungry to bowl and want to bowl all the time which is a captain's dream."