CSNI have signed Ireland all-rounder Stuart Thompson on a two-year deal from North West side Eglinton.
The 28-year-old was part of the Irish squad that qualified for the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia last month, playing in five of the matches against Hong Kong, Oman, Canada, Nigeria and a semi-final loss to the Netherlands.
An important member of the North West Warriors, Thompson has played in 41 T20’s and 20 ODI’s for Ireland alongside three Tests.
Thompson played in Ireland’s first ever Test match in Dublin against Pakistan in May 2018 and became the second man behind Kevin O’Brien to reach a half-century, eventually dismissed for 53 as the home side went down by five wickets.
He also played at Lords in a historic occasion for Irish cricket against England and picked up the scalps of Jason Roy, Sam Curran and Olly Stone in the second innings.
It is a massive addition to a CSNI squad with Thompson also expected to take on a significant coaching role at Stormont.
He will bolster a bowling attack that will be without Andre Malan and Morgan Topping in the 2020 season.
It also means he will link up with Ireland team-mate and T20 captain Gary Wilson, who returned to the club ahead of last season after a decade in England’s County Championship.
Ireland have a packed schedule in all formats next year, starting with a tour of the West Indies in January.
During the NCU cricket season, Graham Ford’s side have home series against Bangladesh, New Zealand, Afghanistan and Pakistan while they go to England for three ODI’s in September.
With the rescheduled Euro T20 Slam also set to take place next summer and Inter-Provincial commitments, it remains to be seen how often Thompson will get to turn out for his new club.
“It’s great to have Stuart at the club,” said Wilson.
“He is obviously an excellent player and we have no doubt that him moving to CSNI will be beneficial for both of us.
“We are also looking forward to Stuart working with our young players at the club and helping Stephen Dyer and the rest of our youth structure.”