Kevin O’Brien eyes IPL chance

Kevin O’Brien is hoping to return to the scene of his finest hour by earning an IPL contract in Saturday’s franchise auction.

Kevin holds the world record for the fastest century ever scored at a World Cup, coming from 50 balls in the stunning win over England.

He now hopes to be back in India for IPL 5 and is one of 144 players from around the world looking to be picked up in the auction.

His base price of $50,000 makes him a potential bargain against the likes of Graeme Swann, VVS Laxman and Brendon McCullum who all have a reserve of $400,000.

“The IPL is a great tournament, the biggest in the world in my opinion given the crowds and media coverage, and it’s so exciting to be in with a chance of being there,” Kevin O’Brien said.

“The auction is pretty close now and it would be fantastic to get picked up. The eight weeks I spent out there at the World Cup was amazing, I loved every minute.

“Obviously the hundred against England meant my profile increased and then I went to Gloucestershire and scored the fastest century in England last season too.

“Those two innings stand out and hopefully I’ll have some support at the auction.

“Kochi wanted me last year after the World Cup but I wasn’t on the original list so I couldn’t sign which was a shame. It would be fantastic to be signed this year.”

O’Brien’s brother, wicketkeeper Niall, is also involved in the auction. He hopes appearing in the IPL would further boost Cricket Ireland’s hopes of gaining Test status.

He feels Twenty20 tournaments can help Irish players raise the nation’s standing on the world stage.

“Cricket Ireland have made a big, bold statement and that represents the progress we have made as players,” Niall O’Brien said.

“The stepping stones are in place to achieve that goal and it’s all very positive

“An IPL deal would be huge for me or Niall on a personal level but also in terms of what we can achieve for Irish cricket.

“If we could be out there for 6-8 weeks it would have people watching the matches, following the results and getting interested.

“What we can bring to the IPL is to raise the profile in Ireland and that can only be a positive thing because it can only improve and make the game bigger.”

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