Kevin O’Brien, the former MCC Young Cricketer whose famous century led Ireland to World Cup victory over England, is eyeing a IPL contract.
O’Brien secured his place in cricketing infamy when his remarkable 50-ball century fired Ireland to one of the biggest upsets in international cricket in Bangalore.
The 27-year-old’s performance earned him a place in Gloucestershire’s one-day set-up for the 2011 summer.
His time in Bristol was made memorable for another remarkable display of power hitting, when he smashed a 44-ball ton in a Twenty20 match against Middlesex at Uxbridge as part of a record opening stand of 192 with fellow ex-YC Hamish Marshall.
The innings won him the 2011 Walter Lawrence Trophy for the fastest century of the domestic season.
Now O’Brien is one of three Associate nation cricketers, including his brother Niall, to add his name to the IPL auction – which takes place in the same city as his famous knock - on February 4.
“Last year's performance against England would be hopefully high up on the mind of the bidders come Saturday,” said the all-rounder.
The now disbanded Kochi Tuskers Kerala had made a late bid to sign up O’Brien for last year’s IPL as a reserve after seeing his efforts against England.
That approach proved fruitless as O’Brien had failed to register himself for the inaugural auction, but he has failed to make the same mistake twice, adding himself to the 144 player list.
Just one Associate player, Ryan ten Doeschate, has ever played in the IPL - which will continue to partner MCC’s Sprit of Cricket campaign for its fifth edition.
With Ireland having recently outlined a long term plan to gain Test status by 2020, Kevin believes a member of the O’Brien family playing in the IPL can help improve the game’s popularity on the Emerald Isle.
“A lot more Irish people are talking about cricket on the streets and a lot more people are coming to our games,” he added.
“If either myself or Niall were to be bought at the auction, it will certainly raise the profile of the game in Ireland.
“The public will surely have a huge interest in the IPL, if one of us is playing in it.”