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April 5, 2007
Zimbabwe seamer Anthony Ireland has signed a two-year contract with Gloucestershire, less than 24 hours after he retired from international cricket.
Ireland, 22, who played one match during the World Cup, quit the national side on Wednesday and, as such, he will be treated as a Kolpak player. It is thought that he signed a six-month contract with Zimbabwe Cricket in February, as did the rest of the squad, but there appears to be little the board can do to prevent his departure.
However, he is still owed his appearance fees and bonuses from the World Cup, and the board is likely to withhold these, given its track record on refusing to pay players who jump ship. The money, which is thought to be around US$3000, is due in June.
Ireland represented Gloucestershire 2nd XI last summer while playing club cricket for Thornbury. "I am really glad to be playing for Gloucestershire," he said. "I firmly believe that the intensity of the first-class game in England will improve my cricket quickly and I can't wait to get started."
"We are excited Anthony can now join us after featuring in the 2nd XI last year," said mark Alleyne, the county's head coach. "He is going to add significant depth to the bowling department and we look forward to his immense contribution."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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