O'Brien signs Somerset deal
Ger Siggins (Irish Daily Star)
Ireland’s World Cup hero Kevin O’Brien will be off to try his hand at county cricket next week. The Railway Union all-rounder has signed a short-term contract with Somerset to play in the English twenty20 competition from 13th June.
O’Brien will play five games at first, missing out on one because of the RSA Challenge in Belfast.
The county then has an option on him for the rest of the tournament. Taunton is the place where legends such as Viv Richards and Ian Botham made their name, and O’Brien is looking forward to playing there.
“It’s a small ground, so hopefully it will suit my batting,” he said.
“I would have liked to go back to Gloucestershire, but the Somerset offer was too good to turn down.
“It’ll be fantastic to work with some of the great players they have, even if Marcus Trescothick is still injured.
“They’re one of the best teams in the country and it would be amazing to get a chance to play on twenty20 finals day.”
O’Brien has been enjoying the responsibility of captaining Railway this year, and has been in good form with bat and ball.
“I’m as fit as I’ve been in five or six years so it will be great to get going again with Somerset and Ireland.
“We’ve a huge summer ahead and then the Sri Lanka world cup.”
Somerset Director of cricket Brian Rose said:"Kevin is a very attractive batsman who can score his runs very quickly and add to our already exciting batting line up."
"He will join overseas players Richard Levi and Albie Morkel in the team to face Warwickshire in our opening FPT20 game on Wednesday."
O'Brien will play alongside George Dockrell in that game, with Ireland skipper William Porterfield in direct opposition.
Somerset will be O’Brien’s fifth county, having played at various levels, mostly on a short-term basis, for Durham (2004), Middlesex (2008), Notts (2009) and Gloucestershire (2011).