Kevin O'Brien: "It's a very proud moment for us all"
The Irish cricket team have been promoted to "Test" status20:38 Thursday 22 June 2017, 20:38 22 Jun 2017
Irish bowler Kevin O'Brien has praised Thursday's decision by the International Cricket Council to award test status to Ireland.
O'Brien joined Thursday's Off the Ball and speaking to Nathan Murphy, he said: "It's a massive day. Just thinking about it now, it has finally sunk in. I've heard through the various media reports an hour and a half ago and it's only really sinking in now what has been decided over in London.
"So it's an absolutely massive day for everyone involved in the current team, in the current organisation. But also for the hundreds of players that came before us.
"All the tireless hours that volunteers gave over the last 20, 30 years - even longer. So it's a massive day for us as players and for everyone involved in Irish cricket. It's a very proud moment for us all
The Irish international was keen to point out improvements, both on and off the field, were critical to this decision being made.
"You've mentioned two landmark days in Irish cricket," he said, adding: "The '07 World Cup when we beat Pakistan, tied with Zimbabwe and beat Bangladesh certainly put Irish cricket on the map here in Ireland but also globally around the cricketing world. They all stood up and took notice.
Ireland players celebrate after beating England by 3 wickets in 2011. Image: ©INPHO/Sportzpics
"And, of course, the 2011 win over England. I think the major difference between then and now is what's been improved off the field and what's been achieved off the field.
"In terms of the provincial game, here in Ireland, has gone from strength to strength. The facilities have improved but still need more improving. It has come on leaps and bounds off the field and it's a reward for 10 or longer years of hard work for everyone involved," he added.
You can listen to the full interview here:
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