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Kevin O'Brien 'upset' over snub by IPL franchises

Last updated on: May 4, 2012 18:13 IST

'I have grown up admiring Kapil Dev'

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Born almost a year after the Indian cricket team won the 1983 World Cup, Ireland all-rounder Kevin O'Brien says Kapil Dev was the one he looked up to as a budding cricketer.

"India won the World Cup in 1983 and I was born in 1984; I have grown up admiring Kapil Dev. And then, in 2005, it was Andrew Flintoff. I was there during that Ashes series and I really liked the way he played," said O'Brien.

The Irish cricketer became an instant hero when he helped Ireland thrash England in last year's World Cup match with a strokeful century in Bangalore.


Image: Kevin O'Brien
Photographs: Getty Images

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O'Brien in India to promote 'Education in Ireland'

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Set a target of 328, O'Brien blasted his way to a 50-ball hundred, the fastest in World Cup history, to help Ireland overwhelm the English. Since then, he says, a lot has changed.

"A lot has changed on the field. I signed for the Sri Lankan Premier League and for Gloucestershire. Off the field, I got recognition; I was nominated for numerous awards and I became the brand ambassador of Irish education.

"I also wrote a book. All these things would not have been possible without the World Cup success," said O'Brien, who is currently in India to promote 'Education in Ireland'.


Image: Kevin O'Brien of Ireland poses with the man of the match trophy after Ireland shocked England in the World Cup
Photographs: Getty Images

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'Really unfortunate not to be a part of the IPL'

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O'Brien, though, is "upset" about not being picked by any of the Indian Premier League franchises.

"IPL is a fantastic tournament; it is probably the biggest tournament after World Cup. It was really unfortunate not to be a part of the IPL. I was disappointed; upset would rather be the right word," he said.

Asked how difficult it was to pursue a career in cricket in Ireland, where the game is not among the popular sports, the all-rounder said it was an "easy pick" for him.

"It was pretty easy to pick cricket. I come from a sporting family. My dad played cricket for Ireland. I have grown up with the game. Cricket is in my blood," O'Brien said.


Image: Kevin O'Brien in action in the World Cup match against England
Photographs: Getty Images
Tags: IPL , O'Brien , Ireland

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'Response to Six After Six very good'

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The 28-year-old said that since the 2007 World Cup, where the Ireland national team surprised one and all by beating Pakistan, the cricket repository has swollen with more and more youngsters taking up the game.

"It's growing; since last four-five years, the numbers have nearly doubled, and with more kids essentially taking up the sport, the future looks well for the country," he added.

Taking about his new book -- Six After Six -- he said is proud of his work.

"The response has been very good. The book given good insight into where I have grown up and where I come from. Cricket is a pretty easy thing for me to talk about and it has come really well. It is a special thing and I am proud of it," O'Brien said.


Image: Kevin O'Brien
Photographs: Getty Images

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