Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 19th 2013 Contents A48
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, July 19, 2013
Ireland all-rounder Kevin O Brien cannot
wait to get "back where it all started" when
he links up with the T&T Red Steel in the
Limacol Caribbean Premier League later this
The 29 year-old, who scored the fastest
hundred in ICC Cricket World Cup history
when he reached three figures from just 50
balls on the way to 113 from 63 deliveries
against England in Bangalore in 2011, has
admitted it will be a "massive" tournament
O Brien and Ireland burst on to the inter-
national scene in the Caribbean at the 2007
ICC Cricket World Cup when the men in
green tied with Zimbabwe and beat Pakistan
in Jamaica to make the Super Sixes before
recording another win against Bangladesh in
It means the region has a special place in
the hearts of all those involved in Irish cricket,
and O Brien is no exception when it comes
to that love affair.
"It is always fun to go back to the West
Indies," he said. "St Patrick s Day 2007 was
where it all started for myself and Irish cricket
with that famous win over Pakistan. It
announced Irish cricket to the world, and we
had tremendous support not only from our
own fans but the West Indies fans who backed
"It is great to play cricket in the Caribbean.
The fans are very knowledgeable and appreciate
entertaining cricket; that is what myself and
T&T will be looking to provide."
Since 2007 O Brien has gone from strength
to strength and now stands as Ireland s most
capped One-Day International (ODI) player,
the team s vice-captain and someone capable
of game-changing spells with his medium-
pace bowling and destructive hitting of the
sort he showed against England.
Form like that was enough to earn him a
place in the Bangladesh Premier League earlier
this year and he admitted the prospect of
lining up again among some of the world s
best players over the next couple of months
would be a big test for him.
"It is absolutely massive for me in terms of
my career, but having said that I do not want
to place too much pressure on myself," he
said. "It is going to be an excellent tournament
with global exposure and I ll be looking to
impress and improve as a player, and keep
putting my reputation as a Twenty20 player
out there on the world stage."
O Brien is looking forward to playing against
players such as Chris Gayle and Ricky Ponting
because he believes they will show him just
how far his bowling has come on.
"You always want to test yourself against
the best and these two certainly fit into that
category. There are going to be world-class
players in every team so it is going to be a
great challenge to play with and against them
in the tournament, hopefully learn from them
and improve my own game."
The younger brother of Niall, wicketkeeper
for Ireland, Kevin says he just wants to learn
and improve as a cricketer, and that he is not
going to put too much pressure on himself in
terms of statistics:
"Hopefully I will make all-round contri-
butions and T&T will be successful. I am look-
ing to enjoy my cricket, play with a smile on
my face and entertain. I am certain it will be
a wonderful tournament."
And what does he think of the prospects
for the Red Steel in the inaugural event, with
his side s campaign getting underway with a
match against Guyana Amazon Warriors at
Providence Stadium on 31 July?
"Looking at our squad, it is full of world
class players," he said. "As well as Dwayne
Bravo, Ross Taylor and Fidel Edwards, there
is also Davy Jacobs, Samuel Badree, who s
been incredibly consistent, and Kevon Cooper,
who had those stints in the IPL.
"We have got a lot of experienced and excit-
ing players who I think will do well in the
tournament. It is a great team to be involved
with and hopefully we can turn in strong per-
formances throught the competition."
O Brien will be helped by the fact that he
has previous experience playing in T&T, and
can also rely on some reliable inside infor-
mation of the venue and the region too.
"Our national coach Phil Simmons is from
Trinidad and we (Ireland) played a series of
games there in 2010 prior to the ICC World
Twenty20 in the West Indies," he said. "We
spent a week there in a training camp and
finished it off with Twenty20 games against
Trinidad and Tobago. They won the first game
by nine wickets but we gained revenge in the
next match by the same margin.
Ireland's O'Brien to battle for T&T franchise
Manager of the T&T Red Steel Colin Borde
says that his team has the best chance of
winning the upcoming Caribbean Premier
League (CPL) T20 tournament.
Borde said given the mix of the players
available in his squad he sees no reason why
they can t go on to win the inaugural tour-
nament. "We in T&T know the T20 brand
very well and although the team has a number
of players who are not from this country, the
core is really from here and this is a good
"We also have some very good international
and regional picks and this gives us a good
chance in the tournament. Looking around
the league all the teams are basically around
the same strength and the team that wants
it the most will get it. I say that because it
is all about mind games and I know our boys
and how hungry they are to get success.
"Just look at our captain Dwayne Bravo,
he is a very motivational player and gets the
men to play for him. Even when he is not
captain of T&T the players would tell you
that once he is around there is a different
vibe in the team. Added to this, he has loads
of experience in T20 cricket having played
it all over the world and also has a wealth
of knowledge about the players playing
in the league.
"If you sit and talk to this man you
would understand just how knowl-
edgeable he is about the game and
the players involved. This is defi-
nitely a plus for us in this tourna-
The T&T Red Steel goes into camp
next week and will begin preparations
for their opening clash against the
Amazon Warriors at the Providence
Stadium in Guyana on July 31. Three
days later they would clash with the
Barbados Tridents in Barbados, before
returning home for their next clash
Borde said the clash with the
Amazon Warriors who he described
as a good team, will be very inter-
esting. "The clash with the Amazon
Warriors should be interesting, as
there are a number of T&T players
in their line-up. We will be coming
up against T&T regular skipper Denesh
Ramdin, Lendl Simmons, William
Perkins and Sunil Narine, so that should
be really interesting. However, we are
confident of coming out on top and get-
ting a winning start to the tournament."
'Red Steel has
the best chance'
Colin Borde, right, with T&T Red Steel player Justin Guillen, centre, and Super Industrial Services
(SIS) Marketing Manager Daren Dabideen at the press conference to announce SIS sponsorship
of the team.
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