Niall O'Brien relishing teaming up with Leicestershire CCC's top talents
Niall O'Brien has set his sights on helping Leicestershire's up-and-coming players reach their full potential.
The Irish international wicketkeeper has completed his move from County's neighbours, Northamptonshire, signing a three-year deal with the Foxes.
He recently represented his country in the World T20 tournament in Sri Lanka and will bring much-needed high-level experience to the Leicestershire top order. O'Brien will also provide competition behind the stumps, where Ned Eckersley currently wears the gloves.
"I'm very excited to be joining Leicestershire," said 30-year-old O'Brien, who previously had a spell with Kent. "I'm looking forward to teaming up with quality young players like Josh Cobb and Nathan Buck, and assisting these young, impressive cricketers to reach their potential.
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"I want to help Leicestershire be competitive in all forms of the game."
O'Brien still had a year remaining on his contract at Wantage Road but was given permission to speak to other counties.
"I would like thank Northants and their supporters, with whom I have a great relationship, and would like to wish them the best for the upcoming season," said O'Brien.
"All in all, I have plenty to offer and would like to contribute in a huge way at Grace Road."
County have been searching for an experienced batsman following the unfortunate loss to injury of Will Jefferson, whose absence at the top of the order was badly missed in 2012.
Leicestershire chief executive Mike Siddall said: "With Will's untimely retirement, the club needed an experienced opening batsman and Niall fits the bill perfectly.
"He is a top-class international cricketer who will bring his personality and knowledge to the dressing room, and we are really pleased he has chosen Leicestershire."
The figures stack up well for O'Brien – and County.
He has scored plenty of runs in all forms of the game, and his limited-overs knowledge will be particularly helpful to Foxes' one-day skipper Cobb.
O'Brien is the fourth man Leicestershire have added to their squad, following seam bowlers Robbie Williams and Ollie Freckingham, and batsman Angus Robson.
All-rounder Tom Wells has also signed his first professional deal, while teenage ace Shiv Thakor has committed to County for two years.