DUBLIN: Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien on Friday announced his retirement from the 50-over format.
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. “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,” said Kevin O’Brien in an official statement.
“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,” he added.
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The 37-year old Dubliner finishes his ODI career having appeared 153 times in that format, 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 on the list with 96 ODI wickets).
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.
“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,” said Kevin O’Brien.
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.