The spirit of The Wild Geese – captured by our brand – can be found throughout the world. In our search for modern day examples of “The Wild Geese”, we felt it was only fair to recognise Kevin O’Brien and the Irish Cricket team, who won an astounding victory over England last week.
On Tuesday, the Irish Independent reported that cricket legend Matthew Hayden had emailed current Irish hero Kevin O’Brien to congratulate him on his new world record. During Ireland’s astonishing win over England last week, O’Brien set a new world record for the fastest ever century scored at the ICC World Cup – with 50 balls against England. But, as the Independent points out, this was a remarkable show of sportsmanship. Matthew Hayden had previously held the world record for fastest century in the 2007 ICC World Cup, with 65 balls against South Africa.
On hearing the news, an impressed Hayden explained “it just didn’t sink in that not only did he smash my record but he smashed the Poms as well – something Australia found so hard to do in the Ashes“.
At The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey, we recognised the uncompromising spirit of O’Brien, something he shares with the Wild Geese of 1691. In an interview with BBC Sport after the match, a rapturous O’Brien – proud of his new achievement – explained that his century put Ireland “back in the Tournament“.
But according to Jim White over at The Telegraph, O’Brien’s efforts did much more than this. White explains that seeing an underdog achieving the unexpected has excited people and justified the presence of the smaller teams. “In a sporting world in which financial imperatives have all but eradicated the possibility of the genuine upset, in a competition in which the associate nations are invited along largely to provide gentle warm-up opportunity for the big boys… it was wonderful.” He continued that the attitude of the organisers should be effected by Ireland’s amazing effort – “After this, it would be a stupidly short-sighted ICC who now persisted with the plan to restrict the number of outsiders in the 2015 competition.”
By influencing the attitude of the game and encouraging a variety of participation, Kevin O’Brien has captured the spirit of The Wild Geese. An inspiration to a nation.