5 cricketers from associate nations who became famous in T20 leagues
Unlike the longer forms of the game, T20 cricket levels the playing field to some extent, so that even the upcoming cricketing nations, those that haven’t made giant strides in the 50-over format and do not play Test cricket, are able to compete against some of the top sides in the world. The unpredictable nature of the shortest format of the game gives any player the chance to create an impact, mainly because there are only 20 overs to bat, and only 4 overs to bowl.
The conventional methods of playing the game take a backseat and all kinds of innovations take the centre stage, with power and muscle often dominating touch and finesse. This is also the reason why several cricketers from the associate and affiliate members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) do considerably well in the shortest format of the game. Here, in this piece, we enlist 5 cricketers who have made a name for themselves through various T20 leagues around the world.
#1 Kevin O’Brien – Ireland
Had Ireland not been an associate nation, Kevin O’Brien’s name would have featured in the list of the top all-rounders currently active in world cricket. From 163 T20 matches, O’Brien has scored 2603 runs at an average of 21.51 and a strike rate of 130.54 and has picked up 100 wickets at 21.42 and an economy rate of 7.31. If we exclude his international stats and consider the stats emerging only from the domestic T20 cricket that he has played all around the world, the 32-year-old has 1611 runs from 92 games at a strike rate of 134.25 and 44 wickets at 25.88 and an economy rate of 7.94, and has played for teams like Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Somerset, (all English clubs) and Northern Districts (New Zealand) amongst others.
O'Brien's also holds the record for the fastest century that has been scored in a World Cup game, when he blasted a century off just 50 balls against England in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, jointly hosted by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. O’Brien, however, is yet to feature in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Big Bash League (BBL).