Kevin O'Brien August 6, 2012

'I have no desire to play for England'

Nor does Kevin O'Brien wish to auction the bat with which he scored the fastest World Cup century, a feat that got him an award nomination and a book

So what has being the fastest World Cup centurion earned you?
It is hard to say, really. It has given me chances to play in T20 matches in England - last year I played for Gloucestershire and this season I am at Somerset. It has given me the chance to prove that I am a good enough player at all levels. Off the field I was nominated for the Sportsperson of the Year award last year in Ireland, something I would have never imagined. I was up against Rory McIlroy (golf), Robby Keane (football) and Katy Taylor (Olympic women's boxing). It was an honour just to be in that shortlist.

Are you planning to auction the bat with which you scored that century?
No. That bat is currently parked in a corner of my room back home in Dublin.

Who is the best Irish sportsperson of all time?
Roy Keane. His desire to win at all costs. He was a fierce competitor both for Ireland and Manchester United, so he was a good role model to have. He never gave up. He never let the opposition have it easy. He would always fight to the very end.

How come you're not playing for England?
Pretty simple: I'm Irish. I have no desire to play for England. I am happy to play for Ireland. There is nothing wrong with pulling on your country's national jersey in any sport.

Name an allrounder you have always followed.
As a youngster I enjoyed watching Kapil Dev. Later on it was Andrew Flintoff.

What is it with your colourful hair? You have been blond, pink, and green in the past three years.
It is for a charity, the "Shave or Dye" campaign to help the Irish Cancer Society raise money. A few more of the Irish squad have done the same. The more outrageous the colour, the more publicity it gets, and that's good for the cause. I haven't yet thought about the next colour, though.

Tell us more about your book Six after Six.
It is an autobiography, co-authored by Ger Siggins, a cricket journalist from Ireland. He came to me at the end of the 2011 World Cup and checked if I was keen. It is a pretty light-hearted read, only about 150 pages. It mainly focuses on the World Cup and where I came from and where I've got to today. It is good to have your own book, something I never thought I would have.

Tell us a secret about yourself.
I am a keen cook. Recently I made chicken and chorizo stew and it came out quite nice. I like to experiment.

What is the one thing a tourist should never do in Ireland?
You should certainly not go to the Guinness factory because you'll have more than a couple of pints and get knocked out.

What is the most you have sunk yourself at one go?
When I was in college I used to drink into the high teens.

Is there a game from history in which you'd want to be the player who turned the match on its head?
The first tied Test. I have never watched it, but it was one of the most historic Test matches, and it would have been nice to be around.

And a record you would like break?
I would not mind getting the most wickets in an over in an ODI. Probably four in four balls.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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