Ireland news June 16, 2010

Ponting calls on ICC to halt Ireland exodus

Cricinfo staff
118

Ahead of Australia's tour opener in Dublin, Ricky Ponting has called on the ICC to ensure that Ireland, as a developing cricket nation, cease to suffer by having promising players lured away from Irish cricket by lucrative contracts and the promise of better opportunities to play international cricket overseas.

"I'm very sympathetic to countries like Ireland that potentially could keep losing their better players. It's something that shouldn't happen I feel," Ponting said. "I think the ICC should be worried about that as far as trying to develop countries like Ireland and having some of their best young players poached, even in county cricket."

As a leading Associate nation, Ireland's player drain has received exposure in recent times after Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce's move to England. Though Joyce has since made clear his intention to return to Ireland once more ahead of the 2011 World Cup, Morgan has cemented a spot in England's middle order in limited-overs cricket and made a start to his Test career with a debut against Bangladesh at Lord's last month.

England also appear to have an eye on Boyd Rankin, who plays county cricket for Warwickshire and was included in the ECB's enhanced England Performance Programme, and 17-year-old spinner George Dockrell's promising performances at the World Twenty20 will also surely have registered him on England's radar.

"If the ICC look at that and are fair dinkum about Ireland continuing to grow as a nation and maybe one day being a Test-playing nation they can't afford to have their better players going off at a young age. The counties are jumping on 17, 18-year-old kids who have maybe had a good tournament or a few good games here or there. They offer them some decent money and away they go."

Ireland have attempted to stem the player drain by professionalising their structures, and in January six players were given full-time central contracts while county-based players were offered additional financial support. They have also made their ambition to play Test cricket clear, but there are fears that unless Full Member status is granted soon, talented players will continue to drift away from Irish cricket.

"You can understand that as far as the players are concerned, but I think the ICC have to step in and do their best to ensure the young Irish kids that are coming along get a chance to play for their country first and foremost," Ponting added.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • siddharth.mishra on June 20, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    Ireland ia very talented team and it pines me when a player from the lesser cricketing nations is poached. Zimbabawe after all the recnet turmoil are coming uo which is very heartening to see.. Bangladesh are the only side out of the minnows to get maximum exposure courtesy their test status.. and are getting better by the day... they flatter to deceiev at times but players like Tamim and Shakiib al hassan who is the best all rounder is the worls rt now proves that they cant be discounted... Holland is another competitive unit... And we all know how Afghanistan played at thr World T20. An annual 6 nation tournament beween Bangladesh, Zimbabawe, Ireland, Holland, Afghanistan and Scotland and giving it the right coverage/mileage can really hold these teams in good stead!!!

  • jaanson on June 18, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    firstly it is important to know what the icc qualifying rules say. if a player is born in another country and holds a different passport then he has to wait for 4 years before he can play for the contry he was born in. earlier it used to be 7 years thats why greame hick had to wait that long before he qualified for england. what's happening now is players like nannes are taking advantage of the rules. so we had the crazy situation of him playing for holland in june 09 and october09 he was playing for australia. that's what needs to be looked at. once a player plays for an assocaite country then he should wait at least one year before playing for a full member country. ed joyce coming back to ireland is simply because he realises he has no chance of playing for england. icc must clamp down on such opportunism. make the qualifying rules in a way that it is fair to all concerened other wise countries like england austrlia south africa will keep poaching players from asso countries.

  • dummy4fb on June 18, 2010, 3:58 GMT

    All you poms complaining that Ponting stole Dirk Nannes from the Netherlands - Nannes was born in Melbourne!

  • dummy4fb on June 18, 2010, 2:10 GMT

    Wow! It is funny that whenever Ponting makes a statement or public appearance that so many Conspiracy Theorists jump out of the woodwork to analyse his words and motives and they always come to the conclusion that he is having a jab at someone, in this case the English. Why don't you all re- read the article and take it on face value. I, as a cricket fan, would love to see more competitive international sides. From reading this article I believe Ponting shares the same view. He is talking about bettering Irish cricket, he is not having a dig at the English!

  • mike9999 on June 17, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    How about some exhibition matches between "The Irishmen" wherever they are playing now and "The South Africans" who are presently playing in/for England? It could be both encouraging and entertaining. Give Ricky his due, they could play for the Ponting Cup.

  • dummy4fb on June 17, 2010, 16:41 GMT

    I think Mr. Ponitng is trying to show his generousity by supporting minnows like Ireland. But the truth is he is worried about England strength (likes of K.P., Eoin Morgan,) this is typical Aussie style of interviening into others business. Mr. Ponting i belive you have started the Aussie Tactics before the Ashes.

  • shameerpvt on June 17, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    It is the lack of cricket infrastructure in Ireland to be blamed here. The players themselves must be proud to play for their country & this is a concern for cricket in the long run. First ICC should take steps to keep out politics out of cricket. Ponting & Australians play a dual game here. They want their former PM to enter into ICC & want others to follow their wishes.

  • N00dles on June 17, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    Give Ireland full test status and I bet they could start to become competitive. The same way that England manages to find SA & Irish players the Irish could repeat themselves. I'm sure there would be more than a few Aussies who are fringe players who could play county standard and have a parent/grandparent situation similar to Nannes with his Dutch heritage but instead qualify to live in Ireland. Stop players switching back like Nannes did and they could build a team that could be respected. The younger generation would then have something to aim for and within a decade or so Ireland would be capable to bring through a full 11 in their own right.

  • theswami on June 17, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    English should be ashamed to field a team of mercenaries, it is like a SA 'A' team salong with the best players poached from associate nations ...

  • KalanaSam on June 17, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    Ireland deserves ful membrship. England should find their on plyrs. i mean 7 south africans & an irishman in their wrld cp winn in squad! anyways its fair for a plyr to play for the side he is pickd. any cricketers dream is to play test cricket. england can play tests & ireland cant so the irish wil obviously have to play for england to play a test. By the way i think ponting's sudden compassion towards ireland is that england is strong with these plyrs & he is jelous of that

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