Friday, February 15, 2008

In the international spotlight...Ireland Cricket

In The international Spotlight...Ireland Cricket:

Ireland National Cricket Team

Ireland vs West Indies

Leprechauns , kissing the Blarney Stone, Guinness, Gaelic Football....They are some of things that Ireland is world famous for, and as their saying goes- “to be sure, to be sure”, they also have a cricket team. As with almost every country that has ever played cricket, close-neighbouring Ireland was introduced to the cricketing world by the English. The 1800s was when cricket in Ireland started to grow its first seeds when the game was introduced in the towns of Kilkenny and Ballinasloe and during the following 30 years the game started to spread outwards and many clubs that were established during this early expansion still exist today.

The first official Ireland National Team was inaugurated and played their 1st game in 1855. This was long before any Test Match was ever played. Their first opponents were

An Englishman by the name of Charles Lawrence was a key influence for cricket’s growth in Ireland. He helped the games’ development and also played the game himself, and he was based mainly in Dublin. All this took place in the 1850s. Ireland also became a place for professional touring teams to ply their trade during the 1850’s and 1860’s and the first team to go over was the M.C.C in 1858.

The spread of the game in Ireland continued until the 1880s when there was an outbreak of land wars in which Landlord and Tenant were alienated. Also there was a ban placed on foreign games by the Gaelic Athletic Association who maintain and look after of games that are native to Ireland such as Hurling and Gaelic Football. They managed to hang onto this particular ban until 1970. The rule during this ban was as follows: “if a player played the extremely popular Irish games he could not play the ‘foreign’ games. If he did he would be banned from the Irish Games.” Another event which seemed to curb the development of cricket in Ireland was in 1921 when Southern Ireland was inaugurated as an Independent State and with this development came the exodus of the Lord Lieutenant and his court, the army and the civil servants, and from that the game of cricket lost many prominent players. However through this setback the game in Ireland prospered. Ireland sent teams to Canada and USA in 1879, 1888, 1892 and 1909. The high class teams that came to Ireland were highly entertained and in 1904 the South Africans were beaten in Cork. An Irish Cricket Union was formed in its infancy in 1890 but only lasted until 1923. The union people know of today is the one founded in that year.

The post was era began with a match -v- Scotland in 1946 and so there have been 50 post war seasons. The fixture list expanded. County teams began to visit Ireland, as well as the Test playing countries. Entry to the Gillette Cup (Nat. West from 1981 onwards) was achieved in 1980 and to the Benson & Hedges in 1994. Tours were made to America and Canada in 1973 and twice to Zimbabwe in 1986 and 1991. In 1993 began the Triple Crown Series, involving matches between Ireland, England N.C.A., Scotland and Wales. Entry to I.C.C. in 1993 allowed Ireland to compete in the I.C.C. Associate Members' Trophy in 1994 finishing seventh of 20 countries and qualifying for the semi finals in 1997. 1996 saw the initial European Championship, hosted by Denmark with Ireland being the inaugural winners. This is intended to be a biennial event.
The change in the game's overall structure to a greater preponderance of Limited Overs Circuit has been reflected in the programme of the Irish Cricket Union. Prior to 1981, the year of our entry into the Gillette Cup, Ireland had never played an official Limited Overs match. The few such games that had been played were non-cap matches. Thus the first 305 matches played by Ireland were all time games, including one-day games played. Since the first official Limited Overs Match in 1980, Ireland has played 203 matches in all, of which 123 have been Limited Overs. Even this percentage is continuing to rise. In 1998 there were 22 matches in all played of which 20 were Limited Overs and a further 5 Limited Overs matches scheduled were abandoned without a ball being bowled.

In the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies came one of the finest performances ever seen in an Irish team. They beat Pakistan in pool play to advance to the quarter-finals. The coach for the Pakistani team was very dismayed that his team lost to a “minnow” nation, and soon after one of the most controversial events of the World Cup occurred when Bob Woolmer (the Pakistan Coach) died supposedly of a heart attack. Ireland thoroughly deserved a place in the quarterfinals as they showed immense passion and no matter what they seemed to always be enjoying themselves and played in good spirits in the game. It is from this that the conclusion can be drawn that Cricket in Ireland has alot of potential and there is no doubt if they keep up the passion and enjoyment for the game they could one day remove their “minnow” status and be welcomed into the top echelon of cricketing nations. To see a video clip of Ireland bundling Pakistan out of the 2007 Cricket World Cup click HERE. Also an article on the same match can be found by going HERE. Scroll down to the article with the title "Ireland Dump Pakistan out of World Cup".

Trent Johnston- Ireland National Cricket Team

Ireland Cricket Fans  Are Very FUN!

Ireland Stun Bangladesh  by 73 runs 2007 Cricket World Cup in West Indies

*Acknowledgements to,,,,