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Ireland's Kevin O'Brien celebrates his century against England

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien celebrates his century against England

©INPHO/Sportzpics

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien in action

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien in action

©INPHO/Sportzpics

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien hits the ball for 6 runs during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien hits the ball for 6 runs during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Rebecca Naden

BANGALORE, INDIA - MARCH 02:  Kevin O'Brien of Ireland poses with the man of the match trophy during the 2011 ICC World Cup Group B match between England and Ireland at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on March 2, 2011 in Bangalore, India.  (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

BANGALORE, INDIA - MARCH 02: Kevin O'Brien of Ireland poses with the man of the match trophy during the 2011 ICC World Cup Group B match between England and Ireland at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on March 2, 2011 in Bangalore, India. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Tom Shaw

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien celebrates scoring his century during the ICC Cricket World Cup victory over England

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien celebrates scoring his century during the ICC Cricket World Cup victory over England

Fans celebrate Ireland's victory over England in their ICC Cricket World Cup match, during a post match party at Krystal night Club, Dublin

Fans celebrate Ireland's victory over England in their ICC Cricket World Cup match, during a post match party at Krystal night Club, Dublin

(Left to Right) Andrew Leonard, Stephen Moreton, Emmett Whaley and Brian O'Rourke from Pembroke Cricket Club celebrate Ireland's victory over England in their ICC Cricket World Cup match, during a post match party at Krystal night Club, Dublin

(Left to Right) Andrew Leonard, Stephen Moreton, Emmett Whaley and Brian O'Rourke from Pembroke Cricket Club celebrate Ireland's victory over England in their ICC Cricket World Cup match, during a post match party at Krystal night Club, Dublin

Niall Carson

Members of Irish cricketer Kevin O'Brian's Railway Union Cricket Club, celebrate Ireland's victory over England

Members of Irish cricketer Kevin O'Brian's Railway Union Cricket Club, celebrate Ireland's victory over England

Niall Carson

Ireland cricketer Kevin O'Brian's friends Rangan Arulchelvan (left) and Dick Forrest celebrates Ireland's victory over England in their ICC Cricket World Cup match, during a post match party at Krystal night Club, Dublin

Ireland cricketer Kevin O'Brian's friends Rangan Arulchelvan (left) and Dick Forrest celebrates Ireland's victory over England in their ICC Cricket World Cup match, during a post match party at Krystal night Club, Dublin

Niall Carson

Ireland cricketer Kevin O'Brian's (left to right) brother Conor, sister in law Aiofe, brother Gerard and club mate Rangan Arulchelvan celebrates Ireland's victory over England in their ICC Cricket World Cup match, during a post match party at Krystal night Club, Dublin

Ireland cricketer Kevin O'Brian's (left to right) brother Conor, sister in law Aiofe, brother Gerard and club mate Rangan Arulchelvan celebrates Ireland's victory over England in their ICC Cricket World Cup match, during a post match party at Krystal night Club, Dublin

Niall Carson

Gerard, brother of Ireland cricketer Kevin O'Brien, watches his match against England in the ICC Cricket World Cup, at Gerard's home in Terenure, Dublin

Gerard, brother of Ireland cricketer Kevin O'Brien, watches his match against England in the ICC Cricket World Cup, at Gerard's home in Terenure, Dublin

Julien Behal

Brothers of Ireland cricketer Kevin O'Brien, Conor and Gerard (right) and his nephew Sean watch his match against England in the ICC Cricket World Cup, at Gerard's home in Terenure, Dublin

Brothers of Ireland cricketer Kevin O'Brien, Conor and Gerard (right) and his nephew Sean watch his match against England in the ICC Cricket World Cup, at Gerard's home in Terenure, Dublin

Julien Behal

BANGALORE, INDIA - MARCH 02:  Kevin O'Brien of Ireland celebrates with Niall O'Brien

BANGALORE, INDIA - MARCH 02: Kevin O'Brien of Ireland celebrates with Niall O'Brien

Tom Shaw

Brothers of Ireland cricketer Kevin O'Brien, Conor and Gerard (right) and his nephew Sean watch his match against England in the ICC Cricket World Cup, at Gerard's home in Terenure, Dublin

Brothers of Ireland cricketer Kevin O'Brien, Conor and Gerard (right) and his nephew Sean watch his match against England in the ICC Cricket World Cup, at Gerard's home in Terenure, Dublin

Julien Behal

Ireland  beat England in g the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Ireland beat England in g the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Rebecca Naden

Ireland's John Mooney celebrates scoring the winning runs during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India.

Ireland's John Mooney celebrates scoring the winning runs during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India.

Rebecca Naden

John Mooney of Ireland celebrates after scoring the winning runs during the 2011 ICC World Cup Group B match between England and Ireland at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on March 2, 2011

John Mooney of Ireland celebrates after scoring the winning runs during the 2011 ICC World Cup Group B match between England and Ireland at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on March 2, 2011

Tom Shaw

Ireland  beat England in g the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Ireland beat England in g the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Ireland  beat England in g the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Ireland beat England in g the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Rebecca Naden

Ireland  beat England in g the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Ireland beat England in g the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Rebecca Naden

Ireland  beat England in g the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Ireland beat England in g the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Rebecca Naden

Ireland celebrate winning during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Ireland celebrate winning during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India

Rebecca Naden

Ireland celebrate winning during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India. P

Ireland celebrate winning during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India. P

Rebecca Naden

Ireland's John Mooney celebrates scoring the winning runs during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India.

Ireland's John Mooney celebrates scoring the winning runs during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, India.

Rebecca Naden

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien celebrates his century against England

Kevin O’Brien could be in line for a bumper 27th birthday bonanza today with the prospect of signing a lucrative contract to play in the multi-million dollar Indian Premier League.

The richest tournament in cricket thrives on just the sort of big hitting that O'Brien showcased in Bangalore on Wednesday when he smashed the fastest World Cup century of all time.

Watched by an estimated TV audience of one billion on the cricket-mad Indian sub-continent, the Dubliner stunned England with six sixes and 13 fours to reach his 100 off only 50 balls.

The IPL franchises pay big money for those sort of box office skills in Twenty20 games and a deal worth $500,000 would be the least he might expect.

Fellow Dubliner Eoin Morgan was the only Irish player to earn an IPL contract in the last auction and, almost unknown to Indian audiences, he was snapped up for $350,000 by the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Asked whether he would be interested in playing in the annual event, big hitter O'Brien said: “A lot of people have said Twenty20 suits me, it's my kind of game — get in and swing the bat and hit a few sixes.

“So if something comes of that [the IPL] even better — if not I'll just concentrate on Sunday's game and see what happens after that.”

O'Brien's ability to hit a long ball — he claimed the World Cup's biggest blow with a 102 metre six on Wednesday — has already attracted the attention of the English counties.

The Railway Union all-rounder has trialled for Nottinghamshire in the shortest form of the game but the money on offer in England is only a fraction of the IPL riches.

The biggest names in cricket — Shane Warne, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis — are paid millions of dollars to represent IPL franchises across India.

The competition lasts for five weeks in April and May — and the good news for Ireland is that it shouldn't clash with any international matches in the fixtures calendar.

Belfast Telegraph


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