Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien has called time on his One Day International career after 15 illustrious years in the format.
The 37-year old Dubliner made 153 ODI appearances for Ireland, captaining the side four times, amassing 3,618 runs and taking 114 wickets – ending as Ireland’s highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket.
O’Brien also finishes with Ireland’s most number of catches in the field (68) in ODI cricket.
He played in three World Cups, his most famous hour a record-breaking 113 in the 2011 ICC World Cup against England — that century off 50 balls is still the fastest ever at a World Cup.
O'Brien will now concentrate on T20 cricket, in the hope of adding to the three Test caps he has to date.
“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. The hunger and love for the ODI format is no longer the same as it was and it wouldn’t be fair to Andrew, Graham, the team and our supporters to continue to play while no longer feeling at 100%.
“I’ve had some unbelievable moments with the team since 2006 - the three World Cups, the personal successes and spending time travelling and playing all over the world, but I will now shift my focus and remain fully committed to T20 cricket - with two world cups in the next 18 months - and hoping to add to my three caps in Test cricket."
Graham Ford, Head Coach of the men’s international side, added:
“Kevin has played an enormous role in the development of Irish cricket and has delivered regularly on the world stage - particularly in the ODI format.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with him as part of the ODI squad, and he has been a true role model for many teammates over the years.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Kevin in other formats, and while his decision to step away from ODI cricket is sad, he can do so in the knowledge that he leaves an indelible legacy on the ODI game in Ireland and around the world.”
Andrew Balbirnie, Ireland Men’s captain, said:
“We’re losing a big figure in our ODI squad – someone who has played over 150 ODIs for Ireland, and has been there since the very first one in 2006. He’s someone a lot of us in the team, and many who have gone before us, have looked up to.
“He’s consistently put in the big performances on the biggest stages, and he’ll always be remembered for that amazing world cup innings in 2011 – and that innings alone probably gave many of us the opportunity to become professional cricketers in Ireland. I think everyone within Irish cricket owes a huge amount to Kevin O’Brien for what he’s done for the sport in this country. I’m delighted that he’ll still be playing T20s and Test cricket for Ireland, because he’s a big player in those formats and I have no doubt he will make many more contributions in those formats of the game.
“We’re losing a big personality in the ODI squad, and a really good friend, but this is not the end of Kevin O’Brien and I look forward to seeing what he can do in the other two formats.”