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Irish all-rounder O’Brien announces retirement from ODI cricket

Kevin O’Brien. Photo: @cricketireland/Twitter

Dublin, June 18 (MNN) Fifteen years after Kevin O’Brien stepped onto the field at Stormont to play in his first One Day International for Ireland, the legendary all-rounder has called time on his 50-over international career, leaving behind a record-breaking and enviable playing history that has made him a household name around the cricket world.

The 37-year old Dubliner finishes his ODI career with 153 appearances, amassing 3,618 runs (Ireland’s third-highest ODI run scorer) at an average of 29.41 and a strike rate of 88.72, and took 114 wickets – ending as Ireland’s highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket (Boyd Rankin is second with 96 ODI wickets), Cricket Ireland said.

To further underscore his all-round contributions to the ODI squad, O’Brien also finishes with Ireland’s most number of catches in the field (68) in ODI cricket, and even captained the side on four occasions, registering three wins.

While there are debates about his most impactful innings in ODI cricket, few will doubt his most memorable was the record-breaking 113 in the 2011 ICC World Cup against England. During the innings he brought up his century off just 50 balls – ten years on, this is still the fastest century ever achieved at a World Cup.

O’Brien has been surrounded by cricket his whole life – his father Brendan (known as Ginger) and older brother Niall played 51 and 216 times for Ireland respectively – but has built his own career and reputation through performances across all three formats of the game for Ireland.

However, he has made the decision to close the book on his ODI career to concentrate on T20 cricket, and in the hope of adding to the three Test caps he has to date.

O’Brien said: “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 per cent.”

“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.”

Ireland men’s Head Coach Graham Ford said: “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.”

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