Kevin O'Brien whets the appetite for historic weeks for Irish cricket

Irish all rounder speaks to Off The Ball with one day internationals against England round the corner

cricket, Ireland, Kevin O'Brien

Turkish Airlines Announced as Cricket Ireland Senior International Men's Sponsor, Irish Aviation Authority at The Times Building, Dublin. Pictured (L-R) Ireland's Peter Chase, Kevin O'Brien, Ed Joyce, John Anderson, Andrew Balbirnie and George Dockrell ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Ireland international cricket Kevin O'Brien is relishing the prospect of being involved in a "massive" few weeks for Irish cricket.

Speaking to Off The Ball before the Irish take on England in a one day international series in May 5th and 7th - with the latter match at the iconic Lords venue - all rounder O'Brien says what it is to come is historic for the sport in the country.

"It's massive. They're going to be historic games and the first time we've been invited over from the English cricket board to play games over there," he said.

"There are a lot of Irish people living in London and various places in the UK and of course it's a 45 minute flight from here as well so we're expecting a big crowd. 

"We've massively excited for an opportunity to play at Lords first and foremost for Ireland in an ODI against England which is pretty huge. It's a big summer. Following the English games, we've got a tri-series here in Dublin with New Zealand and Bangladesh, so it's a big three or four weeks for Irish cricket."  

Irish cricket has been on the rise ahead of search for full test status.

"Ourselves and Afghanistan have really pushed at the door,"said O'Brien.

"We've challenged the likes of Zimababwe and even the West Indies and asking the ICC 'Why can't we join the table? Why can't we come here and play 5-6 test matches a year to get our foot in the door and try to grow the game here?' Because ultimately ourselves and Afghanistan, we want World Cricket to grow. I think everyone wants World Cricket to grow. If the ICC can accept more teams, cricket is only going to get stronger and grow around the world."

O'Brien also discussed the change in the balance of power as smaller teams that lose out financially in three of the four years, except in years when they face India, which has given one of the game's powerhouses a certain degree of leverage.

"India knows this and it's quite a scary thing that for so long India had a lot of power. But the change now is those countries and their Chief Executives have realised this can't happen. It's not sustainable and that's why the smaller teams are pushing the new schedule and bringing new test teams in to the table," he explained, adding that Sri Lanka, New Zealand and South Africa have led those changes.