Middlesex have pulled off a coup by signing Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist to play Twenty20 cricket - with an offer in to free-scoring India batsman Sachin Tendulkar as well.
Middlesex, in conjunction with the MCC, have agreed a deal that will see Gilchrist play in the shortest form of the game in 2010 as well as work in a spirit of cricket ambassadorial role.
And having been the leading run scorer in last season's Indian Premier League and led the Deccan Chargers to the title in the second year of the competition, Gilchrist is now relishing the chance to play in England.
Gilchrist told Sky Sports: "One thing that I haven't done in my career is play in the county system. I played against county teams for Australia when I toured and I played there when I was 17 in the Middlesex League for Richmond.
"It was the one missing thing from my résumé I guess, so when Middlesex came to me with the idea and opportunity to play in a few Twenty20 games it was something that appealed to me.
"It is just in the Twenty20 competition as I have retired from all other forms of the game. I must admit that when I retired that I didn't think this opportunity would come along."
Middlesex captain Shaun Udal was understandably thrilled to be able to call on one of the greats of the game next season.
He told Sky Sports: "Adam Gilchrist has signed for Middlesex Panthers for next season's Twenty20 competition, in conjunction with the MCC in a spirit of cricket ambassadorial role, and we are absolutely delighted.
"It is amazing. I heard about it yesterday afternoon and a tingle goes down you to play with one of the all-time greats.
"When you think of the record he has got, the possibility of match-winning innings from him and the excitement of seeing him around the squad and what he can bring is fantastic."
Middlesex are hoping to seal a deal that will see Tendulkar also turn out for the county in 2010.
Udal added: "An offer has gone into Sachin Tendulkar. That is an offer for him to play Twenty20 cricket next season for us.
"Just because of his hectic schedule - he is playing Test match cricket at the moment and marking 20 years as a Test match player, so he has so much going on in his life - he hasn't been able to set up a meeting with the BCCI, who own his contract. He is just waiting for permission from them. He hasn't committed yet, but we are hopeful."