Ireland's Kevin O’Brien Announces Retirement from International Cricket

Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket on Tuesday, August 16.
 
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O’Brien represented Ireland in three Tests, 153 ODIs and 110 T20Is.

Kevin O’Brien, Ireland’s most capped player, announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday, August 16. The 38-year-old all-rounder last represented Ireland in a T20 World Cup 2021 first round game against Namibia in Sharjah in October last year.

"Today I announce my retirement from international cricket after 16 years and 389 caps for my country. I had hoped to finish my career at the T20 World Cup in Australia but having not been picked for the Irish squad since last year's World Cup, I feel that the selectors and management are looking elsewhere," he wrote in his statement.

"I have enjoyed every minute playing for Ireland, made many friends on the pitch and I have so many happy memories to remember from my time playing for the National side.

"I have enjoyed every minute playing for Ireland, made many friends on the pitch and I have so many happy memories to remember from my time playing for the National side. It's now onto the next stage of my life and my career for me, the time is right. I want to continue to grow my own Coaching Academy here in Ireland and I have some exciting opportunities coming up in the near future. I also want to continue to gain coaching experience overseas and hopefully will have more opportunities with some international and professional sides in the near future."

O’Brien represented Ireland in each of their three Tests till date, and currently is the only centurion from the country in the format, having struck 118 in the second innings on debut against Pakistan in Dublin in 2018. He has 258 runs at 51.6 in the longest format, the most for Ireland.

His finest hour in the international game though, came in a 2011 World Cup game against England in Bengaluru, when he raced to his hundred off just 50 balls - the fastest ever in World Cups - to help his side gun down a 328-run target in a landmark win. O’Brien walked in at No.6 with his team down at 106/4 in the 23rd over, and took apart an attack comprising James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan, striking 13 fours and six sixes in an incredible heist.

Four years earlier, he had dismissed Shoaib Malik and hit the winning runs in the team’s historic triumph against Pakistan in a 2007 World Cup game at Kingston - a win orchestrated by elder brother Niall who scored a patient 72 in a tense 133-run chase.

Overall, Kevin scored 3619 runs at 29.42 with two hundreds and 18 fifties, while also bagging 114 wickets at 32.68 in the ODI format, before retiring in June 2021.

In T20Is, he aggregated 1973 runs at 21.21 and bagged 58 wickets at 19.81 from 110 games, and is one of the only two players from the country to have scored a hundred in the format, alongside Paul Stirling.

Kevin and Niall are sons of former first-class cricketer Brendan. 43-year-old sister Ciara too has played professional cricket, having represented the Ireland Under-19 and Under-23 teams.