June 15, 2007

Ireland

Ireland announce depleted ODI squad

Will Luke
Eoin Morgan leaps for a catch during Ireland's training session, Guyana, April 2, 2007
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Ireland have announced a severely depleted 13-man squad for their one-dayers against India and South Africa due to get under way on June 23.

Though it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Ireland's talent, several of their star players are missing through injury. Andre Botha, Dave Langford-Smith and, most disappointingly of all, Boyd Rankin have all failed to recover from their respective injuries in time, though it is expected they will be fit in time for the quadrangular series in July.

The batting also lacks depth and, to compound their troubles, both Jeremy Bray and Eoin Morgan have declared themselves unavailable while their allrounder, Peter Gillespie, has decided to call it a day.

"There's no doubt we have been badly hit by injuries," Phil Simmons, their coach, said. "Langford-Smith has a side injury, and this type of injury can be very slow to heal. Both Andre Botha (elbow injury) and Boyd Rankin (stress fracture of the fibula), are still two or three weeks away from full fitness, but I'm confident all three will be ready for the quadrangular tournament."

Injuries, though unfortunate, are part and parcel of the game but it is Morgan's case which is a greater concern, as more and more Ireland players pledge their future to England.

"Morgan has informed me that he isn't available for the ODIs because of his commitments with Middlesex," Simmons said. "He wants to qualify and play for England, and feels that by obtaining a regular place in the Middlesex team is the best way to achieve that.

"Bray asked not to be considered for selection for these matches and Gillespie has decided to retire from representative cricket.

"The positive aspect to this is that a number of the younger players in the squad will now get a chance to show me what they are capable of," Simmons said. "They have the opportunity to firmly establish themselves in the squad. I'm already starting to look ahead to the World Cup qualifiers in the UAE in 2009, and the composition of the team."

Ireland squad
Trent Johnston (capt), Kenny Carroll, Alex Cusack, Thinus Fourie, Dominick Joyce, Gary Kidd, Kyle McCallan, Kevin O' Brien, Niall O' Brien, William Porterfield, Roger Whelan, Andrew White,Gary Wilson

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Tim Mcleod on (June 23, 2007, 2:09 GMT)

As soon as an Irish player becomes good enough to play international cricket, he is picked up by England and guess what, Ireland has to chose the best from the rest. If Ireland is to be the breeding ground for English cricketers, then they might as well be part of the English team. Why don't they make a combined team with players from Ireland, Scotland and England and call it like Great Britain or something.

Posted by Mark Sherwood on (June 20, 2007, 0:51 GMT)

Just a bit heartbroken that the talented allrounder won't be there. Eoin Morgan is my favourite cricketer and it hurts to see he won't be able to play against two important teams. I hope the new comers play well enough and score some runs and patch in valuable wickets.

Posted by JJ on (June 18, 2007, 15:07 GMT)

The amount of irrelevant and misguided comments on this page is astounding... Eoin Morgan is a complete disgrace, he should never be picked for Ireland again. Its as simple as that. Yes he was brought up here and played here and learned the game here, but he is not 100% committed to Ireland anymore. Ed Joyce left for England after dragging us into the World Cup (almost single handed). I always respected Joyce's decision as he was making a living from the game (something that is almost impossible to do in Ireland) and he wanted to play Test match cricket. He was in his prime and I still see him playing more matches for England. Morgan is 20... in 10 years time Ireland could be a test playing nation, and he isn't good enough for the current England setup, so why make this decision now? He contributed very little in the World Cup, and had the squad been stronger I believe he would have been dropped. His lack of 100% commitment showed. Up to very recently he led everyone to believe Middlesex we restricting his appearances for Ireland, but this was just a lie he never bothered to correct. At least the Aussie's and South Africans in the team want to play in the green of Ireland. I hope he is never picked again. Those like Gary Wilson, Alex Cusack and Thinnus Fourie deserve to be there more than Morgan.

Posted by Muthu on (June 18, 2007, 3:49 GMT)

England is no better than Ireland when it comes to quality of cricket - Morgan, I guess wants money more than anything else from the game ...

Posted by Shailesh Mahapatra on (June 17, 2007, 14:49 GMT)

It's sad enough to know that most of the the star players of the recently concluded world cup would not be turning up for the series against India and South Africa.The major concern is players like Morgan moving to England,this leaves Irish cricket high and dry.I hope that the upcoming lot of cricketers in Ireland commit themselves to their country and continue the chicken dancing trend.I really wish that Ireland goes places in international cricket.

Posted by ovais hassan on (June 17, 2007, 11:35 GMT)

i think that when a aide like ireland who has come a long way should not return to its previous standard

Posted by Don on (June 17, 2007, 10:32 GMT)

Although it is a sad story often seen in developing cricket nations, it can be used in a positive way as well.

Ireland have no hope of establishing a decent first class system - not in this decade and not in the next 2 or 3 either. This is not cricket crazy Bangladesh we are talking about. The Irish will always love their football (soccer), rugby and gaelic football more not to mention golf, so at best we are talking about cricket as a fifth or sixth option.

What can be done is already being done - and should be increased. Youngsters like Morgan went into cricket as kids and then teenagers because Ireland plays against the English counties - giving him a professional setup to aim at. ODI status means he can hope for international matches as well. Obviously he wants to aim at test matches - and therefore needs qualification in England - but meanwhile for every Morgan (who may eventually leave Ireland) several dozens go into cricket and stay.

Here is the important bit - without the hope for international advancement (that Morgan is seeking) those kids would never invest time in cricket as teenagers anyway. If they are looking to be professional athletes they'll go into other sports.

Right now, Ireland relies on several ex-Aussies in the national setup. That's fine for the short term, but getting more guys like Morgan into the setup should be the aim. If the price is losing several more to the county system - so be it. The main thing is to ensure that youngsters DO get into the system. With the numbers often is found the talent. It takes skill to take diamonds in the rough and make them into the polished article, but that is what the setup should be aiming at.

Ireland has already shown it is a cut above most associates. With a little more help it should broaden that gap and aim at disturbing Zimbabwe's and Bangladesh's status above them. Once that is done, both money and popularity will be far easier to come by - and that's when a first class system should be tried out (possible making a deal with Scotland for a shared competition).

Posted by Heath Moore on (June 17, 2007, 8:56 GMT)

The ICC need to stop putting money into Zimbabwe.its a waste there.The ICC need to put there money into a country/team that is going to progress into a decent team that will represent their country well. The Irish have some decent players that they need to hold on to. They need to have more exposure so players will stay and they need bigger pay so they will not be tempted to go elsewhere. Irish need a 1st class structure with 1st class coaches. Ireland have improved and thats what everyone wants to see.

Posted by Ted on (June 17, 2007, 8:25 GMT)

The real moves have to come from the I C C, surrely it's in everyone's interest who waants to see cricket develope around the world to encourage countries like Ireland to keep it's talent. There should be a new rule brought in where by a player may still play for his native country at one day level, whilst still being eligable to qualify for test cricket, this would prevent the Ed Joyce situation, picked for a fre games and then discarded. then lost to the smaller nations on the assumption that he may again be called up at some later date. If the rules were relaxed it would allow smaller nations to build sides with a little more confidence and not worry about losing a good player the moment the call of test cricket was felt. It's surely in the interests of cricket world wide to make smaller countries more competitave.

Posted by vimal on (June 17, 2007, 7:58 GMT)

hi guys. Ireland is an effective migrant. But India is an effective champions.Nothing to make discrimination.Neither they are champions nor we are migrants.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Luke
Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.

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