Ireland’s most capped and probably their most recognizable cricketer is the big hitting all-rounder, Kevin O’Brien. Born with cricket running through his veins as his father played over 50 times for Ireland and sharing much of his international career with his brother Niall, he recently became the first Irishman to play 300 times for his country.
Kevin most famously broke the record for the fastest century in Cricket World Cup history with his stunning 50 ball effort that shocked England in Bangalore in 2011 but he also has more than 3,000 career ODI runs and over 100 ODI wickets in a career that dates back to his debut in Ireland’s maiden One Day International match in 2006. Added to this he has quite a career around the world in domestic T20 leagues playing at several English Counties, as well as stints at the CPL, New Zealand’s Super Smash and the Bangladesh Premier League.
He’s currently playing for Ireland in the crunch ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe where they just advanced to the Super Six stage and he spoke to USA Cricket from the squad camp in Harare.
Here’s Kevin’s answers to the #SixHitter questions.
1.Tell us how you got involved in Cricket, what’s your role/association now?
Well being the youngest sibling of 6, I was born into a sports mad family so it was inevitable that I would play something. Dad played cricket for almost 50 years and I spent all day every day in my home club Railway Union with my brother Niall and a group of friends. I started playing at 5 and haven’t looked back. My role hasn’t really changed in the Irish team since I made my debut and that is something I think has helped me have a long stint in the team.
2. Describe yourself in three words
Relaxed, superstitious, confident.
3. What is your earliest cricket memory?
Playing stump test with the lads in Railway Union, Dublin from a very early age….
4. What is your favourite cricket moment of all time?
ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011. Match versus England in Bangalore, for obvious reasons!
100 runs off just 50 balls! ?#OnThisDay in 2011, @KevinOBrien113 blasted the fastest ever @cricketworldcup century as Ireland recorded the biggest successful chase in the tournament’s history in a famous win against England! pic.twitter.com/EyADIj3jdx
— ICC (@ICC) March 2, 2018
5. What is the one development you would like to see in domestic cricket, and in international cricket?
I think in Irish domestic cricket I’d like to see much more Twenty20 cricket being played, at both provincial level and also club level. In my opinion the T20 format is a great way to increase the media coverage and also get more fan interest and potentially make it more commercial.
6. Where do see cricket in the USA in 10 years’ time?
If cricket in USA is run properly it could become a big sport there. There is a big population who would have an interest immediately and if the games and competitions are successful the game could continue to grow, I’d love to do what I can in terms of coaching in the future as I’ve started to get involved in coaching with my Kevin O’Brien Cricket Academy in Ireland.