Cricket World Cup: IPL appeals to Ireland’s hero O’Brien

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien celebrates scoring his century during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India. PIC: PA
Ireland's Kevin O'Brien celebrates scoring his century during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India. PIC: PA
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Ireland hero Kevin O`Brien would be willing to play in the Indian Premier League were a franchise to make a bid for him.

The 26-year-old woke up yesterday morning a virtual unknown but went to bed a household name after smashing 113 to help Ireland surpass England`s 327 in Bangalore.

He brought up his century in just 50 balls - the quickest in the tournament`s history - and bamboozled England`s attack with a brutal display of power hitting.

Bookmakers have already offered odds on England asking him to play for them, while some talk has also suggested he could now be on the radar of some IPL sides.

“Who wouldn’t (want to play in the IPL)?” he said. “A lot of people have said that Twenty20 suits me, the way I swing the bat and hit a few sixes.

“If something comes of that, even better. If not, just concentrate on Sunday’s game and see what happens.”

O’Brien came to the crease with Ireland at 106 for four, when their chances of winning were rated at 400-1 by some.

The former Nottinghamshire man soon put paid to that, though, and was then happy to reflect on a “fantastic occasion” for Irish sport.

He said: “From a personal point of view, and I think I speak for a lot of Irish sports teams, not just cricket, beating England in any form of the game in any sport not only at a World Cup is always a fantastic occasion.

“I’m sure a lot of people watched that game, just like they watched the Bangladesh game (last Friday).

“We gave a lot of people something to smile about back home and a lot of people got behind us from then. It’s great to put a smile of their faces and really showed what we’ve been threatening to do for a while now and really back-up the performance.

“We’ve had that belief for a long time now that we can do something like that and to actually go out there and do it is a different story to thinking you can do it.

“It’s not just something that you can get overnight. We’ve had that belief for a couple of years now that we can beat anyone on our day and if we click in all departments of the game, which we know we have to in this tournament, then we can roll off results like this.”

While Ireland have now announced themselves as a nation capable of holding their own at a world cup, they may well not be at the next one following the International Cricket Council`s decision to reduce the number of participating teams to 10.

“The ICC have made a decision and it’s out of our hands,” said captain William Porterfield.

“It’s pretty disappointing cutting the teams to 10. I personally think they need to be some kind of qualification. It wouldn’t be a world cup if they are cutting out teams.”