England v Ireland, Only ODI, Dublin August 22, 2011

Kevin O'Brien targets overseas deals

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Kevin O'Brien is targeting a repeat of his Bangalore heroics when Ireland take on England in Dubin on Thursday, but already has one eye on next year's challenges which include the World Twenty20, in Sri Lanka, and hopes to secure further deals with overseas sides to further his reputation.

O'Brien, who has released a book about the World Cup called Six after Six, produced one of the highlights of the tournament when he slammed 113 off 63 balls to take his country to a famous victory in a huge run chase. He has already benefited from that success, signing a one-day deal with Gloucestershire and a three-year contract with the Sri Lanka Premier League (SPL), although the first season of that has been delayed, but O'Brien has his sights set higher including the IPL and a possible stint in New Zealand.

"Looking ahead, for me next year is a big year for Ireland in Twenty20 with the World Championship and I'm looking to play as much as I can in the next 12 months," he told ESPNcricinfo. "I'd signed a deal with the SPL and hopefully that will take place next year, but the big one is the IPL. I've registered for next year's tournament so hopefully someone will sign me up. I'd love to play in such a big tournament against the world's best players. I'm also trying to get into the New Zealand Twenty20. I've put my name in the hat so hopefully something will come from that."

With the overseas Twenty20 leagues currently filling up their rosters ahead of the new season, this one-day international against England, which is being broadcast on TV unlike the 2009 game in Belfast, has come at a good time for O'Brien to remind everyone of his potential. However, they are also important matches for Ireland who were one of main forces behind successfully lobbying the ICC to overturn their decision to limit the 2015 World Cup to 10 teams

"We have to keep performing as a team and improving as players," he said. "We are used to these games now, we've played a lot against the big nations now and we enjoy it. There will hopefully be six or seven thousand at Clontarf and we can pull off another victory."

Ireland will face a new-look England side with a number of first-choice players, including one-day captain Alastair Cook, having been rested following the Test series against India. It will enable to them to assess the potential of Ben Stokes, James Taylor, Scott Borthwick and Jonny Bairstow plus a number of other fringe players but does mean that the Irish public won't get a chance to watch Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad at first hand.

Warren Deutrom, the chief executive of Cricket Ireland, has admitted it would have been pleasing to see England send a full-strength squad but is fully aware it is their prerogative what line-up they select.

"Of course, we would like to host more of the stars that have propelled England to No. 1 in the Test rankings, but obviously the role of the England selectors is to satisfy the priorities of the England set-up, not ours," Deutrom told ESPNcricinfo. "The RSA Challenge is an official ODI, and there are rankings points at stake, which means the match has context. Therefore, our guys will be highly motivated and, bearing in mind that this is more or less our 2011 World Cup squad, they will be drawing on recent history for confidence."

O'Brien also insisted that Ireland will not look at the England side any differently because they are without some household names. "We aren't too fussed, whatever team they send over they are playing for England," he said. "They are bringing over a young side, both in age and experience, but they are still a very good team full of promising players having good seasons in county cricket who are trying to prove their worth."

A couple of curious aspects to the match include Eoin Morgan, a former Ireland player, captaining England and that Boyd Rankin, the tall fast bowler, will be aiming to impress the visitors having been selected for England Lions last week.

"Eoin's been playing for England now two years so we've all come to terms that he's an integral part of the one-day team and has now moved into the Test team," O'Brien said. "I don't think it's going to be any different if he was just playing. Someone of Boyd's talent, and after the season he's had for Warwickshire, England will be looking at him. That's for Boyd to decide if he wants to play for England in the future. But this is a big game for Ireland this week."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY niyasindian on | August 24, 2011, 21:08 GMT

    GIVE IRELAND TEST STATUS..... THEY ARE A STRONG SIDE.....

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 22:38 GMT

    @dh74, tbh mate I think it Ireland are missing out on players to England than we should have equal opportunities to try gain some quality players back to replace any lost,

    Murtagh has never played for England and is able to get an Irish passport through his mother's side, so he is able to play on Thursday but reading interviews, he has told Cricket Ireland of his availability so I hope something comes from it soon, as TJohnston isn't getting younger, it would be nice to have Murtagh there to cover him,

    and Marshall as soon as possible, a team of Porterfield, Stirling, Joyce, N'Ob, Marshall, Cusack, K'Ob, Mooney, Murtagh, Dockrell, Rankin/Johnston would be able to compete strongly in the world stage IMO, @Anurag Banerjee your missing Joyce, he will come good and I think Thursday could be his day...

  • POSTED BY Navin84 on | August 23, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    There are alot of talented players in Ireland that can play test crickt and Ryan ten Dosechat from Netherlands. The ICC can grant them test status but put them in a different league with Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, West Indies, New Zealand and Pakistan. These 5 teams are bottom of the rankings by a long way, so let them play together and after a period of 4 years, review the rankings and promote 2 teams with the big boys league.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    Most important batsman in Irish side is Stirling.He scores extremely quickly and is capable of big hit and giving his team a fliyng start. Recently got century against a strong pakistani bowling attack. He got a quick century last week playing for middlesex. Niall is the most important batsman in the middle order. He is consistent and recently scored a century against a full strength Indian bowling lineup (playing for northamptonshire). John Mooney is the key man in the lower order. In past he has scored runs under pressure and has made the difference for his side. We have seen him do that in world cup against England and also recently against Namibia . He can be the dark horse.

  • POSTED BY Guernica on | August 23, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    @Colm Mooney I heard about Hamish Marshall but is Murtagh qualified for Ireland now ? Ireland poaching English players, whatever next?. Seriously though, I hope no more Irish players defect to England - Ireland needs them a lot more.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    If Ireland were given test status tomorrow then they'd certainly be a match for Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Especially when you consider the quality of players already in their squad and add the likes of Morgan and Joyce. I hope that if Ireland enter the test arena in the near future then players like Morgan are allowed to return to their native colours without an extended qualification period.

  • POSTED BY Nervewrecker on | August 23, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    England have played it safe by selecting a second string team for the Ireland ODI. If they lose, they can save face by saying it was not their full strength side.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    It would be great to see Ireland get test status - but I doubt that it will happen while any of the current side are still playing :( What the ICC do need to do is to change the rules to allow players like Joyce and Morgan to play for Ireland more quickly after they cease to be part of the England setup. Few would blame such players for wanting to test themselves at the tiop level, but it is counterproductive on the development of associate teams to make them spend so long re-qualifying to play for the country of their birth. I wonder what Kevin O'Brien would do if selected for the England T20 team?

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    @Kryon - Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had minimal FC structure when they first entered test cricket and if Ireland were given Test cricket the team making their debut would have considerably more FC experience than the equivalent SL or Bangladesh teams did. Zimbabwe only have 2 test grounds. Ireland have a couple of ICC rated grounds which means they can hold Test matches. Irish Cricket aren't going to throw money at things only to be denied test cricket cause England want to steal their best players.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    I think he is an ok player but not much more than that.He has hardly set the world alight playing for Glous this year , even when playing for the 2nd 11 his scores are very average.I do wish him good luck though in his quest for more fame and fortune.

  • POSTED BY niyasindian on | August 24, 2011, 21:08 GMT

    GIVE IRELAND TEST STATUS..... THEY ARE A STRONG SIDE.....

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 22:38 GMT

    @dh74, tbh mate I think it Ireland are missing out on players to England than we should have equal opportunities to try gain some quality players back to replace any lost,

    Murtagh has never played for England and is able to get an Irish passport through his mother's side, so he is able to play on Thursday but reading interviews, he has told Cricket Ireland of his availability so I hope something comes from it soon, as TJohnston isn't getting younger, it would be nice to have Murtagh there to cover him,

    and Marshall as soon as possible, a team of Porterfield, Stirling, Joyce, N'Ob, Marshall, Cusack, K'Ob, Mooney, Murtagh, Dockrell, Rankin/Johnston would be able to compete strongly in the world stage IMO, @Anurag Banerjee your missing Joyce, he will come good and I think Thursday could be his day...

  • POSTED BY Navin84 on | August 23, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    There are alot of talented players in Ireland that can play test crickt and Ryan ten Dosechat from Netherlands. The ICC can grant them test status but put them in a different league with Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, West Indies, New Zealand and Pakistan. These 5 teams are bottom of the rankings by a long way, so let them play together and after a period of 4 years, review the rankings and promote 2 teams with the big boys league.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    Most important batsman in Irish side is Stirling.He scores extremely quickly and is capable of big hit and giving his team a fliyng start. Recently got century against a strong pakistani bowling attack. He got a quick century last week playing for middlesex. Niall is the most important batsman in the middle order. He is consistent and recently scored a century against a full strength Indian bowling lineup (playing for northamptonshire). John Mooney is the key man in the lower order. In past he has scored runs under pressure and has made the difference for his side. We have seen him do that in world cup against England and also recently against Namibia . He can be the dark horse.

  • POSTED BY Guernica on | August 23, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    @Colm Mooney I heard about Hamish Marshall but is Murtagh qualified for Ireland now ? Ireland poaching English players, whatever next?. Seriously though, I hope no more Irish players defect to England - Ireland needs them a lot more.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    If Ireland were given test status tomorrow then they'd certainly be a match for Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Especially when you consider the quality of players already in their squad and add the likes of Morgan and Joyce. I hope that if Ireland enter the test arena in the near future then players like Morgan are allowed to return to their native colours without an extended qualification period.

  • POSTED BY Nervewrecker on | August 23, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    England have played it safe by selecting a second string team for the Ireland ODI. If they lose, they can save face by saying it was not their full strength side.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    It would be great to see Ireland get test status - but I doubt that it will happen while any of the current side are still playing :( What the ICC do need to do is to change the rules to allow players like Joyce and Morgan to play for Ireland more quickly after they cease to be part of the England setup. Few would blame such players for wanting to test themselves at the tiop level, but it is counterproductive on the development of associate teams to make them spend so long re-qualifying to play for the country of their birth. I wonder what Kevin O'Brien would do if selected for the England T20 team?

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    @Kryon - Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had minimal FC structure when they first entered test cricket and if Ireland were given Test cricket the team making their debut would have considerably more FC experience than the equivalent SL or Bangladesh teams did. Zimbabwe only have 2 test grounds. Ireland have a couple of ICC rated grounds which means they can hold Test matches. Irish Cricket aren't going to throw money at things only to be denied test cricket cause England want to steal their best players.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    I think he is an ok player but not much more than that.He has hardly set the world alight playing for Glous this year , even when playing for the 2nd 11 his scores are very average.I do wish him good luck though in his quest for more fame and fortune.

  • POSTED BY AlanHarrison on | August 23, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    Ireland better hope K. O'Brien, and Porterfield, Stirling, N. O'Brien, Dockrell, etc, starts to lose form. If he continues to play well, he'll doubtless go the way of Morgan, Joyce and Rankin and be filched by England.

  • POSTED BY Harvey on | August 23, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster - For a while now England have been visiting Ireland every two years to play a ODI. Same applies with Scotland. As for the ECB being "leeches," are you saying that the ECB should not consider Irish players for selection when they become qualified to play for England? Sorry, but discriminating against them in that way would be racism. Nobody from the ECB went over to Ireland and stole Eoin Morgan or Ed Joyce. They chose to come to England to play county cricket and become England qualified so they could aim to have a Test career that they can't (at present) get with Ireland. As for saying the ICC should give Ireland full ODI status, Ireland have had full ODI status since coming second in the ICC Trophy in 2005. Please check facts before posting.

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | August 23, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    A crowd puller like Kevin is a must in T20 format for any team.....IPL its over to u !!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2011, 1:41 GMT

    Look at the Ireland team - the OBriens and Rankin .. good enough to have England interested - so therefore good. Stirling and Dockrell products of the ICC supported growth of cricket in Ireland. Well done ICC - guess what - they are still under 21 and fantastic talent - good job (and there are more). Now that the ICC have invested and supported growth in Ireland which is clearly showing results why would you make them leave Ireland to grow further? Does that make sense to anyone?

    Ireland will always grow good batters and seamers given our conditions but the Stirlings, Dockrells and especially Rankins dont come along often - the ICC must nurture our game - its lovely to beat a big team at the WC - it makes a nice story for you - and we will do that again and again (as we have before) but we want and deserve more for the players that we produce (with your support) ....England stealing Irelands ICC developed best is ironic no?

  • POSTED BY Optic on | August 23, 2011, 0:51 GMT

    @Ravi.Ajay How does Ireland deserve test status? Is it because they've won a few WC games, or is it because they've got 3 or 4 decent players because even if those things are true, Test cricket and being prepared for it is a different kettle of fish. Even Bangladesh, who a lot of people say shouldn't have test status have their own system for playing and bringing through new players, Ireland doesn't. We can see how much money Bang has pumped into them and it hasn't worked yet, so imo with Ireland having even less players and no system, two wrongs won't make a right. The people who run Irish cricket know all this and that's why they know they have work to do before they can even ask for Test status. I mean they're just isn't enough Irish players coming through to demand it and there won't be until there is a Irish form of County cricket, whether that will happen is a different story.

  • POSTED BY Optic on | August 23, 2011, 0:39 GMT

    Cpt.Meanster I am sorry mate your talking rubbish, how can the ECB tell Irish cricketers anything, that's the job of the ICC and European law, it's up to them about who plays where. The comment about leeching players is uncalled for ,why don't the Irish players say no to England and stay loyal to Ireland, that's where you want be pointing your finger. They all have come out, from Porterfield to Rankin saying they want to play for England . The Irish players have got to where they are mainly down to the ECB and the Counties they've played for, all the hours the county coaches have put into their development, is through the ECB, they've all benefited from the English system.The ECB have invited Ireland on a few occasions to play in the County CB40 to help them improve, this year they choice not to, not a worthy big brother aye. How would O'Brien get picked for IPL he averages 10 in T20, that's very poor, one good innings does not make a good player, he's a slogger who rarely comes off.

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | August 23, 2011, 0:16 GMT

    This guy has become the most overrated player in world cricket, he had one very good innings but lets keep things in perspective, even by County Crickets standard he is a very average player, in list A games he averages 30 at a strike rate of 78, he's about the same for international games for Ireland, in T20 internationals he averages 10 at a s/r of 105, that is appalling by anyone's, especially for someone who is getting articles printed about him on Cricinfo

  • POSTED BY kryon on | August 22, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    Does Ireland have a first class domestic structure in place?How many international standard stadiums does it have?Or they have to depend on their big brother England for that too?

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | August 22, 2011, 22:57 GMT

    If Ireland gains test status I hope Morgan goes back to play for them.

  • POSTED BY Ravi.Ajay on | August 22, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    Porterfield, Striling, O'Brien brothers, Wilson are good batsmen. We have good bowling attack too and our fielding is better than many test playing teams. I wonder how ECB selects Irish players, cant they select their players ? ICC should give test status to Ireland, ICC should not listen to ECB and BCCI as they are not supporting associate cricket nations. ECB should send Morgan back to Ireland. If we have all our Irish players available we can do well.

  • POSTED BY on | August 22, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    Agree that poterfield, niall r better then kevin bt team always look at kevin for a big finish which only kevin can. Bt the most dengerous player of irish squad is Striling. Recently scored centuary for middlesex & last odi centuary comes against strong pakistanis attack in last month as well as last odi innines...... I love ireland cricket........

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | August 22, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    I think this guy has the potential to become a very good cricketer in all formats. Sadly, Ireland doesn't get many games against the big guys. What Ireland needs is the commitment, confidence, and full fledged financial support of the ICC and other big nations; preferably England. However, the ECB is not a worthy big brother. They are leeches trying to steal Ireland's cricketers. The ECB must be clear and tell Irish cricketers to play for their nation rather than permitting them to play for England. If Ireland are to become a major world force, the ECB must encourage Ireland by playing frequent matches. I think it's time the ICC take some responsibility and provide full one day status to Ireland. Kevin O'Brien will be a nice feature in the IPL. He will become a crowd favorite no doubt and a wonderful utility cricketer to whichever club that signs him.

  • POSTED BY STARFISH14 on | August 22, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Porterfield and Niall O'Brien are much better batsmen than Kevin O'Brien; with just one inning they have been overshadowed by him. but i would still say porterfield and niall deserve more chances

  • POSTED BY on | August 22, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    I wud be happier if Eoin Morgan plays for Ireland again. Most probably this is not gonna happen. But Ireland have got some real talents. One word for all the Irish players is not to leave the own country & the own team. Play for Ireland, not for England. I'm not an irish but I'm impressed by the effort shown by the Irish players in the last world cup.......

  • POSTED BY on | August 22, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    To be fair ''Yolk'' he's done pretty well in the T20 league in England even scoring a faster 100 than the one in the World Cup and many more good fast knocks,

    Niall is the better player but Kevin is very important to this Irish team and hopefully on Thursday we can get another scalp on our belt,

    and hopefully see Murtagh and Marshall in the team soon, which will really give us a very strong team...

  • POSTED BY Yolk_Eater on | August 22, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    I think that 113 might have been a flash in the pan, maybe not. But the real talent in the Ireland team is not this man, but his brother, Niall o'Brien. Just one innings by Kevin overshadowed him whereas Niall has been performing pretty much consistently, if not scoring a thunderous century.

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  • POSTED BY Yolk_Eater on | August 22, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    I think that 113 might have been a flash in the pan, maybe not. But the real talent in the Ireland team is not this man, but his brother, Niall o'Brien. Just one innings by Kevin overshadowed him whereas Niall has been performing pretty much consistently, if not scoring a thunderous century.

  • POSTED BY on | August 22, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    To be fair ''Yolk'' he's done pretty well in the T20 league in England even scoring a faster 100 than the one in the World Cup and many more good fast knocks,

    Niall is the better player but Kevin is very important to this Irish team and hopefully on Thursday we can get another scalp on our belt,

    and hopefully see Murtagh and Marshall in the team soon, which will really give us a very strong team...

  • POSTED BY on | August 22, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    I wud be happier if Eoin Morgan plays for Ireland again. Most probably this is not gonna happen. But Ireland have got some real talents. One word for all the Irish players is not to leave the own country & the own team. Play for Ireland, not for England. I'm not an irish but I'm impressed by the effort shown by the Irish players in the last world cup.......

  • POSTED BY STARFISH14 on | August 22, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Porterfield and Niall O'Brien are much better batsmen than Kevin O'Brien; with just one inning they have been overshadowed by him. but i would still say porterfield and niall deserve more chances

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | August 22, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    I think this guy has the potential to become a very good cricketer in all formats. Sadly, Ireland doesn't get many games against the big guys. What Ireland needs is the commitment, confidence, and full fledged financial support of the ICC and other big nations; preferably England. However, the ECB is not a worthy big brother. They are leeches trying to steal Ireland's cricketers. The ECB must be clear and tell Irish cricketers to play for their nation rather than permitting them to play for England. If Ireland are to become a major world force, the ECB must encourage Ireland by playing frequent matches. I think it's time the ICC take some responsibility and provide full one day status to Ireland. Kevin O'Brien will be a nice feature in the IPL. He will become a crowd favorite no doubt and a wonderful utility cricketer to whichever club that signs him.

  • POSTED BY on | August 22, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    Agree that poterfield, niall r better then kevin bt team always look at kevin for a big finish which only kevin can. Bt the most dengerous player of irish squad is Striling. Recently scored centuary for middlesex & last odi centuary comes against strong pakistanis attack in last month as well as last odi innines...... I love ireland cricket........

  • POSTED BY Ravi.Ajay on | August 22, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    Porterfield, Striling, O'Brien brothers, Wilson are good batsmen. We have good bowling attack too and our fielding is better than many test playing teams. I wonder how ECB selects Irish players, cant they select their players ? ICC should give test status to Ireland, ICC should not listen to ECB and BCCI as they are not supporting associate cricket nations. ECB should send Morgan back to Ireland. If we have all our Irish players available we can do well.

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | August 22, 2011, 22:57 GMT

    If Ireland gains test status I hope Morgan goes back to play for them.

  • POSTED BY kryon on | August 22, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    Does Ireland have a first class domestic structure in place?How many international standard stadiums does it have?Or they have to depend on their big brother England for that too?

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | August 23, 2011, 0:16 GMT

    This guy has become the most overrated player in world cricket, he had one very good innings but lets keep things in perspective, even by County Crickets standard he is a very average player, in list A games he averages 30 at a strike rate of 78, he's about the same for international games for Ireland, in T20 internationals he averages 10 at a s/r of 105, that is appalling by anyone's, especially for someone who is getting articles printed about him on Cricinfo