IRELAND'S leading spin bowler, George Dockrell, has moved counties on a short-term loan deal. Dockrell has been out in the cold at Somerset but hopes to revive his career at Sussex.

Dockrell said: “It's going to be an interesting few weeks in a new environment but it will be good to get some First Class cricket under my belt. I've played a lot of second XI cricket in the last few years but to develop my game I need to be playing first XI cricket and this will give me the opportunity. It's only for a month and I'll be coming back with a bit more experience which will hopefully help me and Somerset.”

The left-arm spinner has joined up with Sussex ahead of their Championship game against Durham starting today, and will have one more four-day game before the spell is up. He will be playing under his Ireland team-mate Ed Joyce who is captain at Hove.

Dockrell, 22, was the victim of a change of regime at Taunton and has yet to get a look-in this summer. He is a key bowler for Ireland for several years and has won 121 caps.

The Dubliner is believed to be excited about the deal and sees it also as a chance to tune-up before Ireland's World T20 qualifying tournament in July.

Somerset Director of Cricket Matt Maynard said: “George is a quality performer and has played a lot of International cricket but following the signing of Abdur Rehman he has had limited opportunities this year.

"He has been offered the chance to go to Sussex ahead of the World T20 Qualifiers and we have allowed him to make the temporary switch. I think this will be good for him and good for Somerset too because he will get some First Class game time which is vital at this stage of his career.

“Second XI cricket is less intense than First Class cricket and there is no substitute for playing for the first XI. That is what is behind this move. George has definitely got a future here in Taunton and is still very much a part of the squad. We look forward to seeing him back at the County Ground with a little more First Class experience under his belt.

“George is at the stage of his career where he quite rightly wants to be playing regularly at the highest level domestically. He's a great lad, is very ambitious and has done tremendously well for Ireland over the years.”