Kev's Caribbean Adventure

Tuesday, 3rd December 2013

KEV’S CARIBBEAN ADVENTURE

 

Kevin O’Brien is the explosive Irish batsman who hit the fastest century in One-Day Cricket against England in the 2011 World Cup and who played for Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel in last year’s inaugural Limacol CPL. It was an unforgettable experience for the Irish all-rounder… 

What was your first reaction when you learned of the opportunity to play in the Limacol CPL?

I was really excited to be part of the first year of the Limacol CPL. I knew it was going to be a fantastic tournament which would be well supported by the locals as I had played in the Caribbean a few times before and enjoyed their passion for the game. When I looked at the teammates I would be sharing the dressing room with, I couldn't wait to get out there.

You have enjoyed some amazing adventures with Ireland over the past seven years. Was the CPL experience up there with them?

Absolutely. Although I have played in a few World Cups and have played over 200 times for Ireland, I have never played in an atmosphere like the CPL. Is was electric! The crowds were amazing, and at times a bit bonkers! I think Caribbean people have a special affinity towards the Irish and I certainly felt it.

Having hit that amazing world record century in 50 balls against England in the World Cup in 2011 do you feel there is constant pressure on you to repeat it every time you go to the wicket?

No. All I can do is go out and enjoy my batting, which is when I play my best. I can't think too much about past performances. I have to keep a clear focus on the job in hand and watch the next ball and stay relaxed as much as possible.

You played for Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel and produced some electrifying moments alongside many West Indians you have never met before. Do you feel this format is where the strength of West Indies cricket lies?

Perhaps at the moment yes, but that does not mean the West Indies are not a good One-Day team, or a bad test team. They have some of the best players in the world, and the more cricket the younger generation can play, be it T20, ODI or Test cricket, the better West Indies cricket will get as a whole.

You spent some time in Barbados at the start of the tournament and you have been here before with Ireland. What do you enjoy most about the island?

The relaxed atmosphere, although I suppose you can say that about most Caribbean islands!! However, there is something special about Barbados that I can't put my finger on. It is a lovely island, full of very friendly people, who love cricket and talk so passionately about it. Fingers crossed I’ll be back very soon.

Many people feel Kevin O’Brien is tailor-made for T20 cricket. Is it the format you enjoy most?

For sure! The atmosphere, the crowds, the style of play, the music-I can go on and on about T20 cricket. I love playing it, and hope I’ll be able to play more and more of it around the world.

Looking back on your travels in the Caribbean as a sporting tourist what do you like most and least in the region?

Like most-would be the local people who talk so passionately about sport. Whether it is cricket or the Barclays Premier League in England, everyone talks as if they are renowned commentators. Also, I really appreciated the warm welcome I received in all the islands whilst travelling around. I have always felt the locals are very friendly people, who want to see their islands being enjoyed by tourists.
Like least-perhaps the climate! It's too hot for my Irish skin!!!

What ambitions has Kevin O’Brien on the horizon for 2014 and beyond?

I simply want to continue enjoying playing cricket. I don't put too much pressure on myself in terms of doing this or winning that. If I continue to put the hours into training, practice and fitness it will improve my cricket skills and I know I will succeed. Hopefully that will be in the Caribbean region again.

 

Pictured with Pamela Hiles, Editor of Sporting Barbados are Ross Taylor and Kevin OBrien

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