There are only 13 days left until Christmas Day. But many children in our region will be spending it in hospital. So to raise a bit of Christmas cheer the Essex cricket team decided to surprise those at Broomfield Hospital.
Essex Head Coach Paul Grayson said he was delighted Mahmood had joined the club.
"I like cricketers who feel they have point to prove to people and he has lots of ability, he's experienced and he's a fit guy who can bowl with good pace as well so we feel Saj will be a real addition to the squad."
Former England fast bowler Sajid Mahmood has signed for Essex.
The Bolton-born paceman was released by former employers Lancashire, his county side for a decade, in September.
The 30-year-old collected eight Test and 26 one-day caps for his country but last featueed in 2009.
Mahmood said: "I am delighted to be joining Essex. Playing at Lancashire was a great experience for me and I thank them for all they did for my cricket. I see this move as a new beginning and can't wait to get started.
Former England seam bowler Sajid Mahmood has signed for Essex.
Essex have pulled off a major coup after the signing of veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh for the second half of the season.Read the full story ›
Danish Kaneria has been handed a life suspension and labelled "a grave danger to the game of cricket" by the England and Wales Cricket Board after being found guilty of two charges of ECB regulations. Mervyn Westfield has been given a five-year ban after pleading guilty to one offence.