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Ireland submit plans for more ODIs

Ger Siggins

April 15, 2012

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

Craig Kieswetter fell to John Mooney as England struggled in damp conditions, Ireland v England, only ODI, Clontarf, August 25, 2011
Ireland want the chance to play the Full Members more often © Getty Images
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Ireland would play 12 to 15 one-day internationals a year if the ICC approves their ambitious proposals to be given further challenges to take recognition of their rising standards.

Warren Deutrom, the chief executive, told the Cricket Ireland annual meeting that the ICC has received its submission and it will be go before the ICC board meeting in June for final approval. Under the proposals, ICC will help to identify gaps in the existing Future Tours Programme where Ireland can be accommodated for ODIs.

Cricket Ireland has made the case that it has rapidly outgrown its fellow associates and needs further challenges. The senior side, coached by Phil Simmons, has won 30 of its last 33 games against associate members of ICC. And in recent years Ireland has also beaten Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, West Indies and England.

Deutrom told the meeting that he hoped ICC would adopt the bulk of the Woolf Report, which he described as "better than our wildest dreams" and potentially the key moment in the history of the game's ambition to be a world sport.

While Ireland gets funding from ICC, Deutrom pointed to the disparity between its $685,000 grant compared to the $7-9million received by full members, who are also guaranteed participation in ICC tournaments and the FTP.

"Our battle is to convince ICC to fund cricket nations on the basis of merit and need, not of entitlement," Deutrom said.

The newly-announced plan also seeks ICC funding for an ambitious academy structure which will see the best young talent nurtured in both the north and south of the island.

While at times over the past decade the senior side has relied on naturalised players, the Irish system has produced some startlingly good players, with three - Ed Joyce, Eoin Morgan and Boyd Rankin - playing for England at various levels and new stars such as George Dockrell and Paul Stirling attracting the covetous ECB.

There are currently ten Irishmen contracted to English counties - which is more than Pakistan and West Indies put together when you discount the fly-in fly-out Twenty20 players.

The third item on Deutrom's shopping list is ICC's assistance in progressing the non-existent domestic first-class structure. At present the game is based on club leagues in three unions, based around Dublin, Derry and Belfast. The ambitious plan is to form these districts into an inter-provincial structure similar to the successful Irish rugby provinces.

This last point is seen as crucial for the development of the game and helping Ireland to continue to produce top players.

The AGM in Dundalk also elected Jimmy Joyce of Merrion as president for 2012-13. Joyce is father of five Irish internationals, including Ed, currently at Sussex, and Ireland women's captain Isobel. The respected veteran journalist Robin Walsh was named as president-elect.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by murmur on (April 18, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

@clarke101 I am baffled by your comment about England not approaching players playing for other countries. They invited the Irish bowler Boyd Rankin to training sessions for fast bowlers, and then called him up to play for England Lions. How else would you describe that? And I am sure they will try it again for Paul Stirling. Players may make noises about being willing to play for England if asked (and why wouldn't they if they play for Associates - they have no choice if they want to play test cricket) but ultimately it is England's decision.

Whether you regard it as "acquisitive" or "giving opportunity" probably depends on which team you support. But you can't deny it happens!

Posted by shillingsworth on (April 18, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

@murmur - You state that England approach players who are representing other countries. There is no evidence of this. Nor does it make any sense. The ECB cannot offer an Irish player a place in the England side, any more than they can make a similar offer to any other qualified player signing their first county contract. You are correct that England do not have to select Irish players, even if they are qualified. I would suggest that they would not do so if it was actually damaging to the development of cricket in Ireland. The sole judge of this is Cricket Ireland, who have said nothing to encourage such a view. You appear to have given up on the idea that Strauss and Prior are South African in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Perhaps you need to apply the same standard to your statements about Irish players.

Posted by cricket2011 on (April 18, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

When BCCI invite IRELAND to India ? I wish to see their performance in India.

Posted by murmur on (April 17, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

@clarke501. Classifying England players on land of birth at least makes more sense than assuming all Irish players are foreign based on zero facts whatsoever, as done by Yevghenny in the post I was replying to. As to your other points - players gain residency because of day jobs playing in county cricket. However I can't imagine any kind of set up where anybody who is qualified by residency or birth to play for England can just turn up on the next tour. The invitation comes from England, not the other way around! The ECB doesn't have to approach players that are already playing for other countries. But they do. Don't know how you could describe it as other than acquisitive, given the wealth of talent already at their disposal.

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (April 17, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

@Meety: while I would like Ireland to get more matches against full members, I think the tri-series vs. bilateral series debate is more complicated than you suggest. I notice for instance that Cricket Australia can't seem to make up his mind which of these is better, and ditched the tri-series for a few series after 2006-7 (possibly in annoyance at Australia losing the final to England), before bringing them back this year. The problem with tri-series featuring one less prestigious or weaker team was illustrated by the series in England in 2005 and 2001; the qualification stage is basically a long formality, in 2005 only brightened up by Australia losing to Bangladesh, and in 2001 not brightened up at all because England were rubbish. By the way, while the last England-Australia ODI series finished 6-1 to Australia, the last such series in England finished with England winning the trophy. "7-0" has never happened in such a series; shutouts are more likely when England play Asian teams

Posted by Meety on (April 17, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

@Busie1979 - that idea comes up a bit, I wouldn't mind in T20s & maybe in List A, but I wouldn't want the Shield buggered up by having extra teams from another country. Whilst I would like to see Oz do it's bit, the only way I can see it happenning is via the Futures League. Maybe the recently completed Emerging/U19s comp recently held in Oz could be expanded for Affiliates? The ICC have got the pathways clearer over the last 5 or 6 years, with the Intercontinental Cup, which is dominated by Afghanistan & Ireland. The only thing the ICC hasn't got right is getting the "Star" up & comers like Afghanistan & Ireland regular top flight competition & a clear guideline of what boxes need to be ticked for Test status. Ireland are already better equipped than what Bangladesh were 12 yrs ago, but I think they are a long way from Test recognition.

Posted by Busie1979 on (April 17, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

The best associates could be invited to participate in list A / first class / T20 cricket competitions ala ireland and scotland in England, Netherlands in West Indies T20. They could play in Aus one season, NZ another, India the next etc. If they start making an impact, then they should progress and play more internationals against top nations. Not sure how realistic this is, but it would be a guage of how ready they are to compete .

Posted by Meety on (April 17, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

@Manmath Deshpande - yes good point re: Kenya. That being said, Kenya's plight did involve a lot of in-house issues. The Kenya situation however, IMO, led to the ICC getting more serious about development paths for the Associates to gain ODI/Test status. The Intercontinental got beefed up, & we had better pre-qualifying for major events for the Associates, I think Afghanistan & Ireland have benefitted the most from this. Lots of room for improvement, but this is one area the ICC have pulled their socks up on!

Posted by Meety on (April 17, 2012, 3:36 GMT)

Annoyed that my previous post didn't make it. So I'll start again. An EASY way to factor in more games for Ireland involves ditching 7-match bilateral ODI series. Most fans get bored of any bilateral series more than 3 matches with respect to ODIs. Take for example the upcoming Oz v England series, (who wants to see Oz thrash Eng 7nil? -LOL!) Instead of a 7 match bilateral series, they could make it a 6 match tri-series + a "Final" by including Ireland. Ireland have a respectable record against England- beating them inthe W/Cup & running them close fairly recently in Ireland. It would be each team plays each other TWICE, with the two top teams playing a final. Having a Final would be (IMO), far more marketable than any other individual match of a 7 game bilateral series. The only way it would flop in this instance is IF Ireland was too win thru to the final, (particularly at the expense of England). That scenario would boost overseas demand for the final - also cricinfo would meltdown!

Posted by Nerk on (April 17, 2012, 1:26 GMT)

Obviously Ireland should play touring sides. When a team tours England, they should play a first class fixture and a couple of ODI matches against Ireland. That would ensure Ireland had at least two international teams play in Ireland a year. Whilst it would be great for Ireland to tour other nations, the real problem is scheduling and finance. An annual series against England would be great however.

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