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O'Brien to Lead Irish Charge @ Hong Kong Cricket Sixes

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[HD video below] Kevin O達rien, the man who holds the record for the fastest World Cup century, a feat achieved against England at this year痴 tournament in India, will lead a powerful Ireland team for the Karp Group Hong Kong Sixes at the Kowloon Cricket Club next month.

O達rien, who stunned England with a blistering century off just 50 balls which resulted in Ireland successfully chasing down a total of 328, will captain a team that includes five of his World Cup teammates as the leading international cricket associate member makes its debut in Hong Kong.

O達rien痴 older brother Niall will keep wicket, while opening batsman Paul Stirling is another who looks perfectly suited to Sixes, having smashed an explosive century off just 72 balls which guided Ireland to victory over the Netherlands at the World Cup.

Left-arm spinner George Dockrell is also included, along with Alex Cusack and John Mooney, with the only uncapped player being Max Sorensen.

It痴 a perfect platform for us to get a look at Max, and see how he makes the step up, said Ireland痴 West Indian coach Phil Simmons. 擢rom what I致e seen, he痴 exactly the type of cricketer I知 looking for. He can bowl quick, hits the ball far and is an exceptional fielder who is supremely fit.

Ireland has been drawn alongside defending champions Australia, England and Bangladesh at the 28-30 October Hong Kong Sixes. After the heroics at the World Cup, opponents will ignore Ireland at their peril.

In addition to playing in the tournament, one player from the Ireland side will be invited to face the Hong Kong Cricket All Stars in a nine-aside T20 match on Friday afternoon at 3.00pm. The match will be the first international T20 match ever held in Hong Kong.

典his is a very strong side and one which is capable of upsetting anyone on their day. We saw what they did to England at the World Cup and I知 sure none of their pool opponents will take Ireland lightly, said Shahzada Saleem, president of the Hong Kong Cricket Association.

Both Kevin O達rien and Paul Stirling were amongst the shortlisted players for the ICC Associates and Affiliates 2011 Player of the Year which was ultimately won by Ryan ten Doeschate of the Netherlands, who will figure for the All Stars at the Hong Kong Sixes.

Ireland and Scotland will make their debut at the Hong Kong Sixes which has been expanded to 12 teams and three days of competition this year.

The shorter format will continue to play a big part of Ireland痴 calendar next year, with the ICC World Twenty20 qualifier taking place in the United Arab Emirates in March, with the top two from the 16-team event going on to the finals in Sri Lanka in September.

With a lot at stake, the stage is set for Ireland to make a stunning debut at the Hong Kong Sixes.

The Ireland squad for 28-30 October 2011 Hong Kong Sixes is: Kevin O達rien (Gloucestershire, capt), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), John Mooney (North County), Niall O達rien (Northants), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex).

Tickets can be purchased from the Hong Kong Ticketing website, the Hong Kong Cricket Association office in Olympic House, Kowloon Cricket Club, Hong Kong Cricket Club and at Jashan and DotCod restaurants in Central.

Pool A: All Stars, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Scotland.
Pool B: Australia, England, Bangladesh and Ireland.
Pool C: Pakistan, South Africa, India and Hong Kong.

Karp Group Hong Kong Cricket Sixes - Interview with Glyn Davies, Tournament Director

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