George O'Brien, the 22-year-old Bermuda fast bowler, is on the comeback trail and featured in an open day on Saturday. O'Brien, who has courted controversy in the past with many questioning his worth ethic, was axed from the side last year but is determined to put his differences with the board behind him.
"I just want to play cricket," he said. "I love playing cricket and representing my country. I spoke to the coach and to Neil [Speight, the Bermuda Cricket Board's CEO] and they pretty much wanted me to go back. All that other stuff is in the past."
O'Brien admitted his frustration and envy of watching two of closest friends, Oliver Pitcher and Delyone Borden, represent their country in the World Cup.
"It's inspirational to hear some of the stuff they went through, particularly Delyone, as a fellow bowler," he said. "Bowling to some of those guys like [Andrew] Flintoff and [Mahendra Singh] Dhoni and taking wickets. He said it was a whole different level from the Americas'.
"I'd like to bowl against those guys and see where I'm really at. I've had a little bit of that kind of experience when I was in Australia, bowling to guys like Matthew Hayden in the nets. I've had a taste of bowling to them, but not in game situations."
O'Brien, who broke his leg in a football match just days after losing his place in the cricket squad, said Saturday's workout was the first time he had really bowled since the injury.
"It was still a little painful at times, but it felt good bowling. I was glad to be back," he said. "I definitely need to work on my fitness for the level that we are at.
"If I was to make the next World Cup I'd be able to bowl faster and for longer than I can at the moment."
Reproduced with permission from the Bermuda Sun newspaper