x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Purple-haired O'Brien makes English see red for a cause

Together with several teammates, O'Brien has dyed his hair in support of a campaign by the Irish Cancer Society despite pleas from his girlfriend.

Kevin O'Brien, Ireland's match-winner, said his hair would be staying a shocking shade of purple, despite the pleas of his girlfriend, after his record-breaking World Cup century against England.

O'Brien scored the fastest World Cup hundred of all time, off just 50 balls, as associate nation Ireland stunningly defeated Test giants England by three wickets to throw Group B wide open at the Chinnaswamy Stadium Wednesday.

Together with several teammates, O'Brien has dyed his hair in support of a campaign by the Irish Cancer Society.

Sportsmen are reluctant to change a winning formula and O'Brien, who in all made 113 off 63 balls, said: "My girlfriend doesn't really rate it, she is begging me to shave it off but I might just hold that for a couple more weeks."

O'Brien, whose brother Niall is Ireland's wicketkeeper, had family support in the stands Wednesday.

Both his parents were at the ground to watch an innings that surpassed former Australia batsman Matthew Hayden's 66-ball knock against South Africa at St Kitts four years ago as the fastest World Cup ton.

"There's two proud people in the stands and probably four million proud people at home," he said.