Sunday, April 15, 2007

The future of Irish cricket

Ireland's victory over Bangladesh today can only be good for cricket. And it would have been an awful anticlimax if they had qualified for the Super 8 stage and then lost every game.

If cricket is to carry on developing in Ireland then one thing that will have to be sorted out is that country's relationship with England. It will be hard for the game to develop further there is any good young player they produce follows Ed Joyce in ceasing to play for them and joining England instead.

One reason that 15-a-side rugby has not developed further in the South Sea islands is that their best players are liable to migrate to New Zealand and play for the All Blacks. It won't do Irish cricket any good either if the same process continues with England.

Nor should it necessarily be seen as limiting the opportunities open to Irish players. It is very arguable that Graham Hick would have enjoyed a more successful test career if he had made his debut for Zimbabwe at an early age. As it was, he waited around for years to qualify for England, by which time he found it hard to alter his technique when it was found wanting at the highest level.


Tristan said...

I believe Ireland now qualify for the ICC world one-day rankings which means they have to play a certain number of one day series a year.

I suspect they will mostly consist of offshoots of tours of England, but more games should help, as well as creating more interest for the game.

Also, it seems that more Irish players are being picked up by the counties to play professionally which will also help improve the quality of their game.

Anonymous said...

I agree in principle, but looking at the Ireland players CVs it seems most of their top guys were born in Australia.


Nick said...

Except Hick couldn't play Test cricket for Zimbabwe - they weren't granted Test status until 1992/93, after he'd made his debut for England. If he'd played for Zimbabwe, he might have had a few more international matches, but they'd mostly have been friendlies against touring A sides.

Anonymous said...

Be fair to the Irish, their topscorer in the tournament at the moment is Niall O'Brien, who's Dublin born (and his brother tops the averages), and their top wicket taker is a Derryman.