Zimbabwean fast bowler Anthony Ireland has made the switch from Gloucestershire to Middlesex, signing a two-year contract at Lord's.
Following a successful 2010 season with the ball, which saw him help Gloucestershire compete for promotion from Division Two of the County Championship before they fell short, Middlesex have moved to bolster their pace attack for 2011 and 2012.
26-year-old Ireland played 26 One-Day Internationals and one Twenty20 International for Zimbabwe before moving to Gloucestershire following the 2007 World Cup.
“I am delighted Anthony has chosen to join Middlesex CCC where he will add strength, variety and quality to our fast bowling resources. I have always been impressed with Anthony, not just as a cricketer but as a person too," Managing Director of Cricket at Middlesex Angus Fraser said.
“Anthony is a wholehearted cricketer who gives you everything he has in each match. He is fit, strong, committed and enthusiastic and works extremely hard at his game. He possesses the values I want to see in a person and I expect each member of Middlesex’s playing staff to show such characteristics.
“As a bowler Anthony is aggressive and at a batsman. He is essentially an inswing bowler but in 2010 it was clear that his pace and aggression unsettled many batsmen. His record and statistics are improving all the time and at the age of 26 he has plenty of time to improve further and many good years ahead of him.”
Ireland added: “I met with Angus Fraser and was impressed with what he had to say and his vision for the club moving forward. It is a fantastic challenge for me at this stage of my career and I am really looking forward to playing regularly at Lord’s and helping Middlesex push for honours.
“I would like to thank Gloucestershire CCC for the role they have played in my career. I have happy memories of playing for the club and have many good friends there. I wish them all the best for the future."
He becomes the third high-profile signing by Middlesex in the close season following the impending arrivals of Derbyshire's Australian batsman Chris Rogers and Sussex's West Indian fast bowler Corey Collymore.
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