DURHAM have signed Ireland international Stuart Poynter on a two-year deal after the wicketkeeper impressed for the county's second XI in the second half of last season.

Poynter, who has also represented Middlesex and Warwickshire in first-class cricket, follows in the footsteps of Michael Richardson, who also progressed from the MCC Young Cricketers side to the senior Durham ranks.

Poynter first came to Durham's attention when he scored 172 for the Young Cricketers in a Second XI Championship match against Durham at the start of last season.

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The 23-year-old joined up with Durham's second XI for the latter half of the summer, and produced a string of impressive displays with the bat which culminated in an eye-catching hundred against Leicestershire.

A current Ireland international, Poynter will provide cover for regular first-choice wicketkeeper Phil Mustard, and his presence could help relieve some of the pressure on Mustard, who is currently a stalwart of the Durham line up in all forms of the game.