NEIL Wagner has admitted he would love to return to Essex next season.

The fast bowler played a key role - over two spells - as Essex finished as the unbeaten County Championship title winners.

And should he be given the opportunity, Wagner insists that he would be delighted to be a part of the defending champions’ side next term.

Wagner said: “I would definitely love to come back to Essex next year.

“If I get the phone call from Silvers (head coach Chris Silverwood) or the chairman then I will without a doubt be making my arrangements to come back.

“I love the club, I love Essex and everything about it.

“It reminds me of what I have at Otago when I go home.”

Wagner departed the club in June as Mohammad Amir came into the squad as Essex’s overseas player.

But the 31-year-old was back at the Essex County Ground within three months.

“I was very pleased to return to the club,” added the South Africa-born New Zealand international.

“When Silvers asked me to come back, I was very happy to get the chance to come back.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen that soon but all the hard work the boys put in while I was away was instrumental.

“To come back and be a part of this has been really special and I am really grateful to the club.

“It’s been one hell of a ride.”

Essex went into the final County Championship match of the campaign looking to maintain their season-long unbeaten streak, and the title-winners succeeded by beating Yorkshire by 376 runs at Chelmsford.

Wagner took the final wicket, of Matthew Fisher, to make sure Essex finished a season without a single defeat for the first time since 1895.

And the bowler was pleased to make a telling contribution.

Wagner confirmed: “It was a pretty awesome feeling and quite surreal.

“To be a part of a Championship winning team is a pretty cool feeling because as an overseas player, not many people get that opportunity.

“I am very happy for the club and the boys.

“I have fallen in love with Essex and the lads because they are a great bunch that I have really enjoyed playing with.

“To see the excitement on everyone’s faces makes me a very happy man.”

Jamie Porter finished the season as the County Championship’s leading wicket-taker, having claimed 75 scalps.

And Wagner believes his opening bowling partner has a big future ahead of him.

Wagner insisted: “I get goosebumps when I see Jamie Porter bowl because he is a world class bowler.

“He is great to watch and I love the way he has grown this year.

“I’m pretty sure that if he keeps doing that he is going to go from strength to strength.”