Former MCC Young Cricketer (YC) and Ireland ICC World Cup hero Kevin O’Brien has joined Gloucestershire for the remainder of the season.
The all-rounder shot to fame when he scored the fastest ever World Cup century from just 50 balls as Ireland spectacularly beat England in March 2011.
The 27-year-old’s reward is a second stint in the English county game - he previously had a spell with Nottinghamshire in 2009.
He is available for selection from Sunday 15 May - including Gloucestershire’s fixture with Glamorgan.
The talented Irishman will be joining a Gloucestershire side heavy with MCC influence. Current opening batsmen Ian Cockbain and Richard Coughtrie are a former YC and current MCC University student respectively.
Others in the squad include three more former YCs: the Gidman brothers (Alex and Will Gidman) and Hamish Marshall; as well as MCCU student, Ed Young and MCCU graduate Vikram Banerjee.
O’Brien is looking forward to a successful season with his new county - who also include Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan in their Friends Life Twenty20 Cup squad.
"Hopefully I can have a great season, help Gloucestershire win trophies and improve my game even further." O'Brien said.
"It is going to be an honour to play with Murali, and hopefully I can learn from guys who have performed so consistently in domestic cricket for many years.
"I am very excited to have the opportunity to play for Gloucestershire.
"I am looking forward to getting over there and helping the team to achieve its goals in all forms of the game, but especially T20 and one-day cricket."
O’Brien spent two years as a YC in 2004 and 2005 under the tutorship of ex-MCC Head Coach Clive Radley.
Since graduating from the scheme O’Brien - whose brother Niall plays for Northamptonshire - has played an important role in Ireland’s rise up the international ladder.
His solid, hard-hitting middle-order batting and useful medium pace have been key components of a strong Irish unit.
O’Brien played an important role in famous wins over Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup and Bangladesh in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20.
His place in cricketing history was assured against England in Bangalore when he sensationally bludgeoned 13 fours and six sixes to finish on 113 from 63 balls and inspire Ireland to their most famous win.
Role: Right-hand batsman; right-arm medium fast bowler