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In The Daily Telegraph Tony Francis travels to Ireland to see if the World Cup was a flash in the pan or something more significant. The findings are not that encouraging, but he does flag an interesting point when he talks to some players from Derry. They believe that:-
“The authorities should encourage indigenous cricketers and scale down their dependency on Australians, South Africans and Asians who migrated to Dublin when the economy took off in the Nineties. Unless they can block the drain of talent to England by contracting Ireland's young elite such as Boyd Rankin, Niall O'Brien and Eoin Morgan, who all play county cricket, they'll need more Johnstons and Bothas if they're to have any chance of building on their international success.”
The issue will continue to dominate as a number of players refuse to play for Ireland because of their count commitments.
“The Irish Cricket Union would rather avoid a repeat of the Ed Joyce scenario. While understanding his career decision and wishing him well at Middlesex, most followers were hurt to see an Irishman representing England in the World Cup. It was like watching Roy Keane sing God Save the Queen.”
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.