Bracewell hails signing of Ireland’s “lion-slayer”

Gloucestershire have signed Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien for the remainder of the season.

The 27-year-old, who leapt to fame with his sensational match-winning century against England in the World Cup, will join the squad later this week and it is anticipated he will be available for the Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Glamorgan at Cardiff on May 15.

O’Brien said: “I am very excited to have the opportunity to play for Gloucestershire and work under one of the most successful coaches in domestic one-day history in John Bracewell.

“I am looking forward to getting over there and helping the team to achieve its goals in all forms of the game, but especially Twenty20 and one-day cricket.

“Hopefully I can have a great season, help Gloucestershire to win trophies and improve my game even further. It is going to be an honour to play with Muttiah Muralitharan and I hope I can learn from guys who have performed so consistently in domestic cricket for many years.”

Gloucestershire director of cricket Bracewell said: “We are delighted to have signed Kevin to our squad with particular reference to his one-day skills. Given his heroics in the World Cup, the Gladiators have a genuine lion-slayer in their midst.”

O’Brien holds the world record for the fastest century scored at a World Cup, his hundred taking him a mere 50 balls when England’s bowlers were put to the sword in the remarkable game played on March 2.

He made his one-day international debut in 2006 in Ireland’s inaugural match and his Twenty20 international debut in 2008. He played for Nottinghamshire in 2009 and in 2010 was awarded a contract with Cricket Ireland, making him one of six players with a full-time contract with the board.

His one-day international record now includes 58 matches with a batting average of 34.86 and a highest score of 142, while he has also taken 47 wickets. O’Brien has played in 18 first-class games with an average of 32.3 and a top score of 171 not out.

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