Ireland star Kevin O'Brien eyes Indian Premier League contract

Ireland’s cricketer John Mooney is greeted by teammate Kevin O’Brien (right) after winning their ICC 2011 World Cup match vs England at The M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, on March 2. Ireland won the match by 3 wickets.

Bengaluru: Mar 3, 2011

Ireland cricket star Kevin O’Brien hopes his record-breaking World Cup century against England could pave the way for a lucrative Indian Premier League contract. O’Brien scored the fastest-ever World Cup century, off just 50 balls, as Ireland completed a stunning three-wicket win over England to revive their hopes of a quarter-final berth following an opening loss to Bangladesh.

The 26-year-old, who made a whirlwind 113 off 63 balls, currently plays for Irish club side Railway Union following a brief spell with English county side Nottinghamshire in 2009.

“Who wouldn’t (want to play in the IPL)? A lot of people have said that Twenty20 suits me, the way I swing the bat and hit a few sixes. If something comes of that, even better. If not, I’ll just concentrate on Sunday’s game against India and see what happens,” O’Brien said.

“From a personal point of view, and I think I speak for a lot of Irish teams not just cricket, beating England in any sport is always a fantastic occasion.”

His team’s win on Wednesday was fashioned from a dire position of 111 for five as Ireland, a non-Test nation, broke Sri Lanka’s previous record for a successful Cup run chase of 313 against Zimbabwe at New Plymouth in 1992.

“That’s a long way the best innings I’ve ever played,” said O’Brien, who smashed six sixes and 13 fours. “It even eclipses playing in the back garden with Niall (his brother who also plays in the Ireland squad), where hitting it out of the garden was out.

“I think anyone is going to struggle to beat that innings. A World Cup hundred off 50 balls, in front of a billion people under lights against England. It doesn’t get any better.”