IT';S NOT every day that the opportunity arises to be coached by a World Cup record breaker, but that was the story in Carlow on Saturday, when Ireland star Kevin O'Brien came to town.
Kevin scored the fastest century in Cricket World Cup history in 2011, and helped Ireland to a sensational victory over England, one which still rates as probably the biggest upset in the history of cricket.
On Saturday, Kevin was invited down to Carlow by Carlow Cricket Club, for an autograph signing session in the Fairgreen Shopping Centre, followed by a coaching session on the club's pitch at Carlow Rugby Club.
The session was split into three groups - 6 to 12-year-olds, 13 to 18year-olds, and adults, and attracted keen cricketers from the local clubs (Carlow and Bagenalstown), as well as from as far afield as Tipperary and Portlaoise.
Kevin was helped by Patrick Collins, the resident professional from Dublin club Railway Union, and both proved to be very approachable and knowledgeable, both on and off the field.
The younger group were introduced to the basics of the game, while the older groups were given valuable tips to help them improve their bowling, batting and fielding. The juniors - all 22 of them - had a particularly good time, and enjoyed a slap up outdoor buffet afterwards, thanks to 'Bombay Diner' from Barrack Street.
The day was a great success for Carlow Cricket, which was reformed last year after a lengthy absence.
The club played a number of friendlies last year, and hope to build on that this year, with the ultimate aim of entering the Leinster League.
The club caters for all ages, with indoor training currently going on every Wednesday for 6 to 12-yearolds from 6-7, and training for adults will recommence in the summer.
All are welcome, regardless of race, colour or creed, and for more information, contact Thomas Farrell at email@example.com, or on 0599138703, or Sandra Corrigan at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 0599136205.
The club is part funded by OPMI, the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration, and the Carlow Integration Forum.