Kevin O'Brien has announced his retirement from international cricket, 16 years after he made his debut for Ireland. The all-rounder has been one of the most prolific cricketers the country has ever produced and has helped script some of the greatest upsets in the history of World Cups.
Kevin O'Brien has decided to hang his boots in the international arena after a glittering career that spanned 16 years and involved 269 appearances for Ireland. He made the announcement by posting a letter on his Twitter account along with a couple of photos referencing some of his best moments in Irish colours. The 38-year-old will go down as a legend for his country and is considered by many to be the greatest cricketer produced by the nation.
He first made his debut in green in an ODI against England in 2006 and made an instant impact by taking the wicket of Andrew Strauss with his first ever delivery. The all-rounder has since gone on to add 218 more scalps to his international tally across all-three formats. His batting prowess was no less, evident in his tally of 5,850 international runs, making him the second highest run-getter in Ireland's history.
O'Brien's greatest strength has been his knack to deliver on the big stage, thus scripting memorable victories despite his team being the firm underdogs. The first glimpse of this talent of his came at the ICC World Cup 2007, where he stood firm against a fierce Pakistan bowling attack to take his team to the finish line. 11 years later, he made history against the same opposition once again, by becoming the first and so far only cricketer from Ireland to score a Test century. His 118 almost helped secure an unfathomable victory only for Pakistan to run away with the chase in the end. The feat also made him the only Irish cricketer to score centuries in all three formats, a record he holds to this day.
However, his most remarkable moment undoubtedly came at the ICC World Cup 2011 in a group stage game against England. Chasing a huge total of 300-plus, Ireland was reeling at 111/5 when Kevin took charge of the proceedings. He hammered the fastest ever century in the history of the tournament by taking just 50-balls to reach the milestone, therefore blitzing Ireland to perhaps their greatest ever win.
The veteran is all-set to remain in the cricketing fraternity as a part of the Italy delegation in the Cricket World Cup Challenge League, before joining Estonia as a consultant for their 2024 T20 World Cup qualification campaign.
Thanks ☘️ pic.twitter.com/E4335nE8ls— Kevin O'Brien (@KevinOBrien113) August 16, 2022