10 interesting facts about Ireland Wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien

10 interesting facts about Ireland Wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien

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(Photo Source: AFP)

Niall O’Brien is an Irish Cricketer who has played some crucial knocks for his team and has been instrumental in two of their upsets against the big teams in Cricket’s biggest stage, the World Cup. Born on 8th November 1981, as he celebrates his 34th Birthday, here is a compilation of some interesting facts about this wicketkeeper-batsman.

1.Early Life:

Niall O’Brien is nicknamed Paddy and completed his education in Marian College Dublin.

2.A Sporting Family:

Niall comes from a sporting family of Ireland. His brother happens to be none other than the big-hitting Kevin O’Brien whose heroics saw England lose a WC game back in 2011. Apart from Kevin, their father Brendan O’Brien played club cricket for Ireland from 1966 to 1981 while his sister Ciara O’Brien is in the Irish women’s hockey team.

3.Losing Temper:

Niall has been known for losing his temper in the past.In 2006, he was banned for one Intercontinental match after criticising the groundsman for the condition of the pitch in a game against Scotland.

4.Initial Career:

He was a vital member of the county team Kent and played some crucial knocks for them. Also, his wicket-keeping abilities were top notch. He came into notice in just his second ODI when he took Ireland to victory against West Indies and made a quickfire 58.

5.Vital Contributions:

In the cricketing fraternity, Niall O’Brien will always be remembered as the man responsible for Pakistan’s early exit from the ICC World Cup 2007. He played a crucial knock of 72 which helped Ireland cause their biggest ever upset. He later made 63 against England in the same tournament.

6.Phenomenal 2008:

Not many would know the fact that Niall was the County player of the year in 2008 when he played for Northamptonshire. He had a long association with them which ended six years later when he joined Leicestershire.

7.Controversies:

Niall was always amidst the controversies and on one occasion, even angered Brian Lara. He also joined the controversial Indian Cricket League but soon left it and was not banned from playing International Cricket.

8.Record:

Niall O’Brien set a wicketkeeping World Twenty20 record when he was involved with 4 dismissals behind the wicket against Sri Lanka in the Super 8 stage of the 2009 ICC World Twenty20.

9.Recognitions: 

O’Brien was one of seven Ireland players to be nominated for the 2009 Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year, although he didn’t make the cut.

10.Major Teams: 

Ireland, Ireland Under-19s, Kent, Northamptonshire, Rangpur Riders