Fraser likes the look of the Irish
Director of cricket Angus Fraser admits Middlesex no longer have their pick of the best Irish players, but is still hoping to maintain the special connection.
The county have thrived in recruiting from Ireland, most recently with Ed Joyce, now at Sussex, Eoin Morgan and Paul Stirling impressing.
Yet the relationship dates further back than that as Fraser explained to ecb.co.uk.
"We have been exceptionally lucky with that. You could go back as far as Dermott Monteith in the 1970s," he said.
"When I was playing, we had a couple of weekends in Dublin too – much to the enjoyment of everyone."
While Monteith impressed by taking 24 wickets in eight County Championship matches after being added as cover at the age of 38, it is the successes of the aforementioned trio that have really caught the eye.
Joyce gained international honours for England in 2007 and Morgan has become a mainstay of the limited-overs sides since debuting in 2009.
The latter’s success is illustrated by him standing in for Stuart Broad as Twenty20 skipper against India recently, notably steering a young side to a series draw by hitting the final ball for six in the second encounter at the Wankhede Stadium.
Stirling, meanwhile, has broken all kinds of records for Ireland at the tender age of just 22.
Fraser is understandably delighted with what Middlesex's past and present Irish players have achieved, but acknowledges Middlesex’s efforts have prompted others to follow suit, with Somerset's capture of George Dockrell one example.
He added: “We’ve had this Irish connection for some time, and with Ed Joyce, Eoin Morgan and Paul Stirling, I think everyone has got wind that there are some very talented sportsmen and cricketers in Ireland.
“They have obviously developed links as well, so we do not get Ireland to ourselves as maybe we did in the past, but we are very happy with the three cricketers we did get.
“If there are any more like them over there, we would like to think and hope Middlesex is an attractive destination. I like to think we look after them and they have all achieved significantly, played international cricket and had successful careers.”
Signing from those parts was not an aim this winter, but, significantly, Middlesex did manage to persuade the precocious Stirling to sign a new three-year contract at Lord’s.
Fraser said: “I struggle to think of many – if any – players in this country that hit the ball as well as he does.
“He is an outstanding talent who has established himself as one of the best limited-overs batsmen in the country. We are glad to make sure that he is here for as long as possible.”