I was undecided as to which one of them was more important to the Irish team, and which, therefore, should be the Player of the Week, until I realised that there was definitely one man more important to how the modern Irish side has faired: their father, universally known as Ginger, which indicates that his hair, like his sons', may not always have been such a distinguished grey. Born in Galway, hardly a cricketing hotbed, he rose to represent Ireland against such oppositions as India, Australia and the West Indies, batting freely in the top-order with panache. Still, his most lasting contributions to Irish cricket have been in his lineage and in the 21,765 runs he scored for his beloved Railway Union.
Ginger O'Brien not only represented Ireland in his day, but has produced two sons who've done the same.
1903 runs at 34.60, including 2 centuries, and 56 wickets at 28.50, in 71 matches (34 catches)
1318 runs at 26.89, in 54 matches (38 catches and 7 stumpings)
3221 runs at 30.97, 56 wickets at 28.50, 72 catches and 7 stumpings, in 125 matches
271 runs at a strike rate of 104, and 19 wickets at 22.26, in 30 matches (11 catches)
335 runs at a strike rate of 97, in 20 matches (11 catches, 8 stumpings)
606 runs at a strike rate of 100, 19 wickets at 22.26, 22 catches and 8 stumpings, in 50 matches
Should Ireland attain Test status, then both of these brothers will be vital cogs of the young Test team. Should they not, then both brothers will be considered greats of Irish cricket and the O'Brien family will be held up next to the Joyces as one of Ireland's cricketing dynasties.
You may notice that this blog is a day early. Unfortunately, I can't write tomorrow, owing to an all-day cricket match, hence the need for haste.