Niall O’Brien calls it a day
Ireland’s wicketkeeper-batsman Niall O’Brien, aged 36, has decided to call it a day after making 216 internation appearances for his country.
Making his debut in Ireland colours 16 years ago in 2002, O’Brien went on to become their most succesful wicketkeeper ever, effecting as many as 241 dismissals.
He is also the fourth highest run-scorer for Ireland with 6,097 runs at an average of 31.59. He scored eight centuries and 33 half-centuries for his country. His highest score of 176 came against United Arab Emirates in 2005, and it was almost eclipsed three years later against the same side, but eventully he fell short of just two runs.
While officially bidding goodbye to international cricket, O’Brien reckoned he has no regrets and will take the leave forever from cricket with utmost happiness.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement but I look back with nothing but smiles and laughter,” said O’Brien.
“I always tried to play with a smile on my face and with an enjoyment that I think all people could see whether watching from the stands, standing with me in the field or coming up against me for the opposition,” he added.
“From playing relatively small fixtures at the start of my career to competing and winning world cup matches to being there to play in our first Test match meant I have achieved more than I could have ever dreamt and for this I look back with nothing but fondness.”
O’Brien’s played for Kent, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire in the English county cricket, while he finished with North-West Warriors in the Irish interprovincial series. He also played for Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).