Varun Chopra has told why he opted to keep his loan move quiet when he played AGAINST the club who were signing him.

The Essex opener has joined Sussex on loan for the next three matches.

He is on board for the Championship match against Northants at Hove, which starts tomorrow (11am).

Chopra will also provide much-needed manpower for the tour match at Arundel against Australia A, which looks set to stretch the county’s resources to the limit.

His short-team deal ends with the Championship trip to Old Trafford to face leaders Lancashire.

Chopra scored 57 off 37 balls for Essex 2nd XI in the first of two Twenty20 matches against Sussex at Billericay on Thursday.

By then the deal was being done – not that his opponents knew it.

Chopra, 32, told The Argus: “I got a call from Sussex on Wednesday and they asked if I was available to come down and it was a good opportunity for me.

“We played Sussex on Thursday but I kept it quiet because it wasn’t all done and we hadn’t completed the paperwork.

“I’m hoping it will give me some time in the middle. I know they are good wickets at Hove, Arundel and Old Trafford.

“It’s a good opportunity to play some games and test myself and get back into that competitive mode.

“I’ll try and get runs and get some good points for Sussex.”

Sussex will look for Chopra to add presence and knowhow to a top order which has drifted badly this season.

Head coach Jason Gillespie tends to keep patience with players who are not putting runs or wickets on the board.

But that patience is not inexhaustible and has worn thin after a series of false starts to Sussex innings this term.

Gillespie said: “We haven’t been as effective with the bat this season as we would like. We’ve given guys lots of opportunities but feel now is the time to strengthen our line-up.

“Varun was available and as an experienced player with a proven first-class record he fits the bill perfectly for the strong batting performances we’re looking for.

“He’s desperate to play and to perform in Championship cricket, and we look forward to welcoming him into the dressing room.”

Chopra is a vastly experienced opening batsman with more than 10,000 first class runs at an average of nearly 35 in 187 matches since his debut as an 18-year-old in 2006.

The former Warwickshire batter knows some of his new colleagues well.

He said: “I used to room with Laurie (Evans) at Warwickshire and gave Aaron Thomason his debut as Bears captain a few years back and I did a couple of England Lions tours with CJ (Chris Jordan), so I know a few of the guys well.”

Chopra hopes to go back to Chelmsford in good nick for the Vitality Blast.

But he admits he has been frustrated not to play more longer-format cricket with Essex.

He said: “This was the right opportunity for me.

“I looked at the fixtures and the Sussex squad and the people at the club and it was an easy decision.

“I would have liked to be playing for Essex in the four-day stuff but, with opportunities limited, it was ideal to come and get some cricket with Sussex.”

Aneesh Kapil is also under consideration to face Northants, who went bottom of division two when Durham won at Hove on Thursday.