WARINGSTOWN have made the first big signing of the NCU close season after announcing that Greg Thompson has joined from Lisburn.
The 24-year-old has been capped 14 times by Ireland and is widely regarded as one of the best all-rounders in Ulster cricket.
The Lisnagarvey hockey player will link up with the 2011 Irish Cup winners in time for the 2013 season.
“I’m delighted to be joining Waringstown. It’s a club rich in history of winning trophies and hopefully I can contribute towards future success there.
“The Lawn is also one of the best grounds as there is to play at in the country,” Thompson said.
Thompson, who was once on the books of English county side Lancashire, sees the move to The Lawn as a chance to fulfil his potential as a batsman. He scored a sparkling 64 from only 54 balls against Waringstown at The Lawn last month.
He said: “I was pleased with my form towards the end of the season but looking back at my statistics for the last number of years I’m not overly satisfied with the number of runs I have scored.
“I look upon this move to Waringstown as an opportunity to fulfil my potential with the bat.”
Thompson took 14 wickets last season after reverting back to off-spin, after initially giving leg-spin, his first love, another go.
“I feel my bowling is probably as strong as it could be, even if I didn’t take quite as many wickets as I would have liked.
“I have moved away from leg-spin after having given it another short try at the beginning of the season.
“If you are going to make a success of leg-spin, especially with the conditions in this country, it’s something you need to be working on every day.
“I’m confident that my off-spin will be used at Waringstown and I think that my performances against them this year and in previous years show that my game will be suited to The Lawn.”
Thompson paid tribute to the role Lisburn have played in his development.
He added: “I spent last weekend talking to the hierarchy at Lisburn and I had some tough conversations. I wanted to speak to them as soon as the season was over to give them as much of a chance as possible to reshape their team.
“I have been there since I was eight and last season was my 10th year in the senior side, I have been pretty much an ever-present.
“I’m disappointed to be leaving but at the same time I’m excited about moving forward with a new challenge at Waringstown.
“Hopefully I can enjoy great success there. It’s nothing personal against Lisburn, I wish them all the best for the future.
“Now I’m looking forward to a break from cricket, I will enjoy the hockey season and look forward to next summer at Waringstown.”
Waringstown captain Kyle McCallan added: “I’m delighted that Greg has decided to join us.
“He is a superb all-round cricketer who will make a big contribution with bat, ball and in the field.
“Greg is someone who has done very well against Waringstown in the past and it will be nice to have him in the same team next season.”