Cricket: Twin contract delight for World Cup hero O'Brien
Published 11/05/2011 | 05:00
Kevin O'Brien has been rewarded for his World Cup heroics with contracts to play Twenty20 in Sri Lanka and county cricket with Gloucestershire.
The Railway Union all-rounder has been hot property since scoring the fastest century in World Cup history -- a thrilling 50-ball effort as Ireland beat England in Bangalore two months ago.
O'Brien (28) will be available to play for Gloucestershire from Sunday, joining new Ireland colleague Hamish Marshall and legendary Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan in Bristol.
He will stay with Gloucestershire until his stint in the new Sri Lanka Twenty20 tournament towards the end of the summer.
"I am very excited to get this opportunity with Gloucestershire," O'Brien said. "It'll give me the chance not only to play county cricket but also to work with John Bracewell, who is one of the most successful one-day coaches.
"I'm looking forward to helping the team in all forms of the game, especially T20 and one-day cricket. And it's going to be an honour to play with Murali."
The details of his deal to play in the new Sri Lanka T20 tournament have not yet been finalised.
"I'm still not 100pc sure who I'll be playing for in Sri Lanka," he said. "But I have been told that Sanath Jayasuria will be captain and that Darren Bravo will be on the team."
O'Brien's magnificent career-changing innings against England came too late to earn him a place in this season's multi-million euro Indian Premier League.
But after making such a massive impression in India, he can hope to pick up a contract worth up to €400,000 at next year's IPL auction.