London: Irish wicketkeeper-batsman Niall O`Brien has predicted that Pakistan will win this year`s Twenty20 World Cup, which is being played in Bangladesh.
In an interview given to PakPassion.net recently, O`Brien, who has played 59 one day internationals and 21 T20Is for Ireland so far, when asked which team would go on to win the 2014 World T20, said: "I`m going to be very politically correct and say Pakistan!".
However, he said, Pakistan is such an up and down team, and it would all boil down to which team puts up the better performance on a given day.
Pakistan, he said, has the ability one day, but the next, they just don`t seem to turn up. India, on the other hand, he said, is probably a more consistent team.
Having played key roles in helping Ireland qualify for the last two 50-over World Cups and all four editions of the ICC World T20 since 2009, besides playing in overseas t20 leagues in India and Bangladesh, O`Brien also spoke about the reasons for Ireland`s defeat in the current World T20 tournament to the Netherlands and where Irish cricket is heading.
O`Brien expressed his disappointment over Ireland having to play in a qualifying tournament before the World T20 tournament actually started.
He said it seemed strange to go through a whole month of cricket and then go through another few weeks of preparation in Bangladesh.
However, he said that at the end of the day, Ireland didn`t perform well enough to go through.
He also said that he was surprised by Ireland`s defeat to the Netherlands, as the former had not lost to the latter in 18 or 19 attempts prior to that.
O`Brien said that Ireland was always looking to get to the next stage in the 2014 edition of the World T20.
He said that he was particularly impressed with Sri Lanka`s performance, but had agood words to say about all of the other participating teams.
He also said T20 is a spinner`s game!
O`Brien welcomed the role Cricket Australia was playing in developing future prospects of Irish cricket, and added that there is one eye on the future, and potentially at World Cup squads for next year.
The main objective was to get lads outdoors in the winter rather than bowling indoors. He said it is to get youngsters out of their home environment and get them fending for themselves a bit in another part of the world.
They would grow up and learn about life a lot quicker than they would do sitting at home being spoon-fed ideas.
He concluded by saying that Ireland was a good enough team to win 50 over matches against the bigger sides as well as T20Is, but was habitually snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.