ICM are excited to welcome one of the most prolific and most capped Irish Internationals
O’Brien, a left-handed batsman and wicketkeeper renowned for his competitiveness and relentless chirping behind the stumps, played the innings that forced the cricketing world to take note of Ireland. His magnificent 72, which were over three-quarters of Ireland’s runs while he was at the crease, underpinned the St Patrick’s Day victory over Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup. He later contributed 63 against England in the tournament. He went on to be one of Ireland’s most capped players.
As a player for Kent, O’Brien was already known to many of the English players. But when Geraint Jones lost his England place it led to O’Brien being released by Kent, and he moved to Northamptonshire at the start of the 2008 season. He enjoyed considerable success at the county, being named as Northants’ Player of the Year at the end of the 2008 season and securing a three-year contract. After Nicky Boje relinquished the captaincy and Andrew Hall took up the position, O’Brien was named as his deputy.
Despite continuing to perform consistently – he averaged 35.72 in first-class cricket for Northants – O’Brien moved to Leicestershire at the start of the 2013 season on a three-year contract, where his experience brought solidity to a vulnerable batting line-up. In 2014 he scored 971 first-class runs, his highest tally in an English season. He retired from county cricket at the end of 2016 as his 35th birthday approached and took up a career opportunity in talent management. Although he planned to settle in Leicestershire, he had plans to play for Leinster Lightning in the new first-class competition scheduled for 2017 and did not retire from international cricket.
The son of Brendan, a former Ireland captain, Niall has played alongside Kevin, his younger brother for Ireland.
A confident character and batsman, O’Brien’s dedications and hunger for success in match play and training will be valuable for aspiring ICM cricketers. We look forward to having this fantastic wicket keeping batter part of our coaching team.
Teams: Ireland International/ Kent/ Northants & Leicestershire
ODI Matches: 87
Highest ODI score: 109
ODI catches: 64
ODI stumpings: 10
T20 International Matches : 30
First class matches: 171
First class runs: 8658
First class catches: 482
First class stumpings:48