Notes from the Emerald Isle
Two of the umpires on duty in Ireland this weekend are Billy Bowden and Aleem Dar, who have been punished for their role in the World Cup fiasco by not being considered for the Twenty20 World Championships in South Africa. And, for a while, at the end of the India’s nine-wicket win over Ireland, it appeared Bowden may have cocked up again.
Thinus Fourie bowled a wide that, according to the TV, took India to their Duckworth-Lewis target of 171. However, the match went on for another delivery, which Ganguly guided to third man and ran two. Bowden then signalled the end of the match and everyone shook hands.
Initially there was confusion as the scoreboard and TV totals didn't add up. Then it came to light that Billy had been right all along it had been TV which had caused the confusion. Should we ever have doubted him?
Summer has taken its annual leave across the UK and the Indians certainly felt the cold snap during their first match. Sweaters, and plenty of them, were the order of the day for the fielders while the slips prayed that nothing too quick flew their way.
Sourav Ganguly did well to cling onto a hot chance off Dominick Joyce’s edge but, between the innings, Ramesh Powar, one of the non-playing squad members, was less impressive during some fielding drills. Three times he failed to get underneath a high catch and he won’t be auditioning for backward point any time soon.
When India batted the team huddled in their pitch-side tent, clapping each boundary probably more in an attempt to keep warm than anything else. Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh were glad they were the next two men in as it meant they could sit with their pads on.
It’s always a useful sign to gauge how big an event is by what the taxi drivers know. The journey from the airport on Saturday wasn’t too inspiring as a request to go to “the cricket ground at Stormont” elicited a response of “who’s playing today.” The signs didn’t improve when he couldn’t find the right entrance to the ground.
So it was pleasing on Sunday morning to have a conversation about Irish cricket with another cab driver on the way to the match involving South Africa. His father had played club cricket for 40 years and the driver’s dream was “to go to Australia and watch a Test at the MCG.”
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo