The 2011 ODI World Cup produced a lot of cricket stars across the globe. Among all the names that impressed in the tournament, Ireland's Kevin O'Brien was right up there at the top after he played one of the best-ever innings in the history of the tournament against one of the strongest teams. With his side down to 111/5 while chasing a target of 328, the all-rounder wreaked havoc in Bengaluru to power his side to a famous win.
O'Brien became a national hero in a span of a couple of hours as he smashed 113 runs off only 63 deliveries, including 13 fours and 6 sixes. After an illustrious career in the 50-over format, the 37-year-old has announced his retirement on Friday.
I feel now is the right time to step away: Kevin
Reflecting on his decision to retire, O'Brien said, "After 15 years playing for Ireland, I feel now is the right time to step away and retire from ODI cricket. It has been an honour and a privilege to represent my country 153 times and the memories I take from them will last a lifetime. This has not been an easy decision, but after ongoing consideration, I don't feel I can contribute to the ODI team as much as I have in the past."
He admitted that the hunger and love for the ODI format are no longer the same as it was and added that it wouldn't be fair to Andrew, Graham, the team and our supporters to continue to play while no longer feeling at 100%. Kevin further stated that he will now shift his focus and remain fully committed to T20 cricket - with two World Cups in the next 18 months - as he hopes to add to his three caps in Test cricket.
Kevin O'Brien - An Ireland cricket legend
The all-rounder finished the 2011 World Cup with 198 runs and 4 wickets to his name. In his illustrious ODI career where he played 153 matches, Kevin amassed 3619 runs and scalped 114 wickets, becoming Ireland's leading wicket-taker in the history of cricket.
With 18 half-centuries, 2 tons and numerous match-winning spells with the ball, the Dublin-born cricketer has undoubtedly been one of the gems that the nation has ever produced.