Ireland's star all-round cricketer Kevin O'Brien announced retirement from international cricket career on Tuesday. Making his debut for Ireland in 2006, O'Brien helped the national team scale new heights in a career spanning almost two decades. O'Brien took to twitter to announce his retirement and said that he originally planned to retire after this year's T20 World Cup but was not selected in Ireland's WC squad. Hence he decided to call time on his incredible career.
"Today I announce my retirement from international cricket after 16 years and 389 caps for my country. I had hoped to finish my career at the T20 World Cup in Australia but having not been picked for the Irish squad since last year's World Cup, I feel that the selectors and management are looking elsewhere," Kevin wrote in the Twitter post.
O'Brien represented Ireland in three Tests, 153 ODIs and 110 T20Is, scoring 5850 runs and scalping 172 wickets during a fantastic career. O'Brien first rose to world-wide fame in the 2011 ICC World Cup when he hit a match winning 113 runs off just 63 balls against England. His century was then the then-fastest World Cup hundred. Thanks to his blitzkrieg, Ireland won the match by chasing the target of 328.
Reacting to his retirement, former Irish women cricketer Isobel Joyce commented "Congratulations on the most amazing career - one you can be incredibly proud of. Looking forward to seeing all you do next."
O'Brien thanked his wife, Ruth-Anne, his parents and his brother and teammate Niall O'Brien in the twitter post. Acknowledging the massive support that he received from his fans, he wrote "To the fans, not just in Ireland but around the world, I hope you enjoyed watching the way I played cricket. All my proudest moments and favourite memories were playing in front of Irish fans whether in Ireland or overseas, so thank you for the incredible support over the years."
He further stated: "I have enjoyed every minute of playing for Ireland, made many friends on the pitch and I have so many happy memories to remember from my time playing for the National side. It's now onto the next stage of my life and my career for me, the time is right."
Highlighting his post retirement plans, O'Brien added "I want to continue to grow my own Coaching Academy here in Ireland and I have some exciting opportunities coming up in the near future. I also want to continue to gain coaching experience overseas and hopefully will have more opportunities with some international and professional sides in the near future."