Leicestershire have signed New Zealand international fast bowler Iain O'Brien as their overseas player for the 2009 season.
O'Brien, who has been impressive for the Black Caps under new coach Andy Moles, will join the club and current overseas player Boeta Dippenaar is to re-register as a Kolpak player in order for O'Brien to be able to join the playing ranks.
Having lost Dillon du Preez, Garnett Kruger, Ryan Cummins and Lionel Baker, the squad was in need of some bolstering in the fast bowling department and O'Brien, who is approaching 50 Test wickets and has experience of English conditions after he toured with New Zealand last season.
“Ian will fill the gap we currently have," coach Tim Boon was quoted as saying on Leicestershire's homepage (www.leicestershireccc.co.uk). "At the same time, he would also help our younger bowlers to continue their development.
“His recent record has been up there with the best. Ian is keen to progress the situation.
“I’ve spoken to a number of sources who recommend him. His qualities are that he hits the bat hard and wants to compete and give everything day in and day out.
“He has got a rhythmical action and that allows him to bowl for sustained periods. I think he would extract some pace and bounce from the pitches here.”
He will be available from the start of the season until the ICC World Twenty20, where he is expected to join up with the New Zealand squad.
© Cricket World 2009