ENGLAND’S NEMESIS | KEVIN O’BRIEN

Who is he?
Students of the county game are fully aware of O’Brien’s prowess as a big hitter. He joined Nottinghamshire in 2009 and performed admirably in the 2007 World Cup, scoring a rapid 48 in victory over Bangladesh. Against the same nation he guided Ireland to a victory in the 2009 Twenty20 Cricket World Cup and was later nominated for the Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year.

What’s he achieved?
By reaching his century off 50 balls, O’Brien scored the fastest ton in World Cup history, smashing the previous record held by Matthew Hayden, who made 100 from 66 balls against South Africa in 2007. Furthermore, it was the fifth fastest ODI century of all-time.

What’s next for him?
England have a history of welcoming Irish players on board who are happy to be repatriated. Ed Joyce opened the batting for England at the last World Cup, while Eoin Morgan has emerged as one of the best limited overs batsmen in the modern game. O’Brien is not in that class but there are certain to be a few IPL franchises who noted his ability to clear the ropes.