Ireland veteran cricketer Kevin O’Brien has announced his retirement from One-day international cricket with immediate cricket. Kevin O’Brien hangs up his boots from the 50-over format being the highest-capped ODI cricketer from Ireland, playing 153 ODIs after debuting in 2006 in Belfast against England. Nevertheless, the seam-bowling all-rounder will continue to be available for Test and T20I cricket.
Kevin O’Brien emerged into the spotlight after playing one of the greatest innings in the 50-over World Cup. The 37-year old smashed the fastest century in a 50-over World Cup, reaching three figures in 50 balls at the Chinnaswamy Stadium against England in 2011. Ireland, who had to chase 327 for victory, achieved the highest successful run-chase by scoring 329 with three wickets to spare. O’Brien scored 113 off 63 balls and earned the man of the match award. He retires with 3619 in the format at 29.42, with a strike rate of 88.78.
Kevin O’Brien revealed that it’s the right time to step away from ODIs and considers it as a privilege to represent Ireland 153 times in the format. The right-handed batsman underlined that he felt could not contribute well to the side and that the hunger is not the same to play the version anymore. Nevertheless, Kevin said he looks forward to the two upcoming T20 World Cups and hopes to add more Test caps. He is also Ireland’s first and only Test centurion thus far.
“After 15 years playing for Ireland, I feel now is the right time to step away and retire from ODI cricket. It has been an honour and a privilege to represent my country 153 times and the memories I take from them will last a lifetime. This has not been an easy decision, but after ongoing consideration I don’t feel I can contribute to the ODI team as much as I have in the past.
The hunger and love for the ODI format is no longer the same as it was and it wouldn’t be fair to Andrew, Graham, the team and our supporters to continue to play while no longer feeling at 100%.
I’ve had some unbelievable moments with the team since 2006 – the three World Cups, the personal successes and spending time travelling and playing all over the world, but I will now shift my focus and remain fully committed to T20 cricket – with two world cups in the next 18 months – and hoping to add to my three caps in Test cricket,” O’Brien released a statement.
Kevin O’Brien has played an enormous role in the development of Irish cricket: Graham Ford
Graham Ford, Ireland’s head coach, hailed Kevin O’Brien for playing a significant role to take Irish cricket forward and that he has been a role model for the upcoming ODI players. Ford also looks forward to working with the veteran in the other two formats.
“Kevin has played an enormous role in the development of Irish cricket and has delivered regularly on the world stage – particularly in the ODI format. It’s been a pleasure to work with him as part of the ODI squad, and he has been a true role model for many teammates over the years. I look forward to continuing to work with Kevin in other formats, and while his decision to step away from ODI cricket is sad, he can do so in the knowledge that he leaves an indelible legacy on the ODI game in Ireland and around the world,” Ford stated.