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Somerset swoop for Irish star O'Brien

Record breaking batsman in line to make his first start on Wednesday

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien is on his way to Somerset for the next five games.
Ireland's Kevin O'Brien is on his way to Somerset for the next five games.
Image: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire/Press Association Images

CRICKET IRELAND HAVE announced that English county team Somerset have signed big hitting Irish batsman Kevin O’Brien for five of their forthcoming twenty-twenty matches in the Friends Life T20.

28-year old O’Brien, best known for scoring the fastest ever 100 in the World Cup with a 50-ball century against England last year, will make his first appearance against Warwickshire at the County Ground on Wednesday.

O’Brien will team up with his fellow Irishman George Dockrell at Somerset along with overseas signings Richard Levi and Albie Morkel.

O’Brien is also a more than useful, medium pace bowler so will provide another option for skipper Alfonso Thomas.

Speaking about the move, O’Brien said: “Following on from my stint last year in England it gives me another chance to gain more valuable experience in T20 cricket. I’ve played quite a lot of T20 cricket over the last 12 months and it’s a version of the game that I really enjoy.

“[Somerset is] a great club to be playing for, they’ve been at the finals day in the last two seasons, and so it would be amazing to get a chance to play at finals day.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to be involved with players of the calibre of Marcus Trescothick, Albie Morkel, Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler.”

O’Brien also added “It’s really good preparation for the huge summer that we have ahead, starting with the RSA Challenge against Australia and moving on to the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.”

Ireland coach Phil Simmons told the Cricket Ireland website: “This is another great opportunity for Kevin to improve his knowledge and skills in the T20 format, which will know doubt help improve him further as a player and help prepare him for the upcoming T20 Internationals against Bangladesh in July, South Africa ‘A’ in August which all build up to the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka this September.”

Somerset Director of Cricket Brian Rose said: “Kevin is a very attractive batsman who can score his runs very quickly and will add to our already exciting batting line up.”

O’Brien spent last summer’s T20 campaign at Gloucestershire, where he shined with the quickest hundred in English cricket last summer, a stunning 44-ball effort against Middlesex that helped Glocestershire post a county record 254 runs.

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Steven O'Rourke

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