Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien, whose fastest century in World Cup history flattened England, has emerged as a possible target for Leicestershire.
The Irishman’s agent is known to have e-mailed several counties on the evening of the game, on March 2, trying to cash in on O’Brien’s magnificent innings. Leicestershire were not on the agent’s e-mail list but coach Phil Whitticase is expected to talk to Matthew Hoggard when the county’s captain returns from a trip to Dubai.
Leicestershire are in the market for an all-rounder because Andrew McDonald, the Australian, will be unavailable for the first seven weeks of the season due to his IPL commitments.
The Foxes made a recent unsuccessful attempt to sign Scotland all-rounder Richie Berrington but O’Brien was also on their shortlist and their interest in him has been rekindled by his explosive 50-ball century and 113 from just 63 balls in Ireland’s three-wicket win in Bangalore.
“Kevin O’Brien was on the list of players that we drew up a few weeks ago,” Whitticase said. “When I looked at his details I was surprised that he was only 27 because he seems to have been around forever.
“That’s as far as it has gone at the moment but it’s something that we need to talk about. Matthew Hoggard is away playing cricket in Dubai at the moment but we will chat when he gets back.
“I’m happy with the squad that we will start the season with but if we get two or three injuries then our depth might be a concern.
“Someone like Kevin might be an option but I should imagine that there will be a few counties in for him after his performance against England.”
O’Brien, brother of Northamptonshire wicketkeeper Niall, has already had a brief flirtation with county cricket, playing eight one-day and five Twenty20 matches for Nottinghamshire two years ago. But he made little impression during his brief stint at Trent Bridge and was not retained for last season.