Pakistan's tour of England, 2012-13 May 21, 2013

Great chance to show what Ireland can do - O'Brien

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kevin O'Brien, the Ireland allrounder, has said the upcoming ODIs against Pakistan are a welcome chance for his team to match skills with a Full Member side. Ireland, who last played a top team during the 2012 World T20, are set to play Pakistan in two one-dayers in Dublin on May 23 and 26.

"It'll be a great chance for me personally and for the team to show what we can do again," O'Brien told "It has been a while since we've played a Full Member."

Following their famous victory against Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup, Ireland lost their next two encounters when Pakistan visited the country in 2011. O'Brien said the he would not be overawed by having to face Saeed Ajmal, the No. 1 ranked ODI bowler. "We played against him two years ago and we know that he's obviously a tricky customer," he said. "[But] there are no specific plans for him, just go out and enjoy facing a great spinner. We'll have to give him the respect he deserves and try to score off as many balls as we can."

The question of giving Ireland Test status is one that has been floating around for a while. According to O'Brien, the team still has some way to go before they can make the step up. "We're still a few years away from being a Test team. Bangladesh, when they were given full status, were probably dominating Associated cricket for 10 to 12 years. We've only been doing it for six or seven years," he said. "We don't have as big a pool of players as Bangladesh either.

"Cricket Ireland needs to put a few things in place in terms of first-class cricket and multi-day cricket in Ireland, and I think they're certainly going towards that. In the future, possibly in three of four more years, Ireland could be playing a Test match against Bangladesh."

He empathised with scheduling issues facing the Full Member countries when it comes to accommodating Associates. "Bigger teams need to concentrate on Test series and one-day series that are already in place, and to add an extra two or three games on the tour to play us is really difficult. England have come over two or three times in the last couple of years and Pakistan had also come here in 2011. We're getting more and more opportunities.

"We'd obviously like more but we can't be too greedy. We just have to bide our time and when we do get a chance, perform well and get a few victories."

O'Brien was also pleased about "definite" progress made by Associate nations over the last five or six years. "Afghanistan are a good side, as are Holland who are improving all the time. Then you have the likes of Scotland who are getting better and better with their young team. It's definitely getting more and more competitive at the Associate level and it's great to see."

The two one-day internationals will be streamed live on YouTube - via the Cricket Ireland channel - after the board struck a deal with Google and Quipu TV to broadcast the game online. The matches were not going to be shown on television. However, the deal is unlikely to help fans in Pakistan were YouTube is banned.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mohammad on May 23, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    Ireland should get chances to Play Zimbabwe and Bangladesh every year. Then we will find out who deserves the Test status most among these three countries. Was test status given to all countries on merit? I doubt.

  • mohammad on May 23, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    If Irish bowlers can bowl well, Pak batsmen will be in trouble. It will be interesting to see how Pak batsmen chase 220 plus runs. Pak has an edge though through their bowlers. Moreover the Irish did not play much recently.

  • Khub on May 22, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    @Joe Thompson, only "lolz" i can say.. dont misunderstand me. um totally agree with u bt d prblm is where teams lyk WI, SA, NZ, BAN r struggling 2 get 20 odi nd 10 T20 regularly in a year, then IRE will get it against full members dis is nothing bt a s8 dream....

  • Dummy4 on May 22, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    according to obrien Ireland dominating over associate nations for six year actually he forgot their dominant contender Afghanistan the depending champion of Continental cup

  • Dummy4 on May 22, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    Good Attitude O'Brien :)

    Best of luck Team Pakistan

  • Dummy4 on May 22, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    Well Best of Luck Irish Players against my Green Team. You are Ambitious, Amazing & Talented enough to beat any opposition in the world. I wish to see maximum countries playing against top cricketing nations in the upcoming tournaments. Cricket should be a universal game like football where one can enjoy lot of competition among the maximum & well-deserve teams.

  • KH. RAFIQUE on May 22, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    As a Bangladeshi i would love to see IRELAND really doing well at international level...No doubt about that they are in right track to become a TEST nation...But i think they don't need to hurry and take at least 5 years from now as they don't have proper cricket stadiums, many no. of players, proper first class cricket and most important thing Financial abilities to run all the cricketing operations smoothly.So, they must buy more time to sort those issues...In between this i would be very happy if they organize 5 match ODI series in IRE as during July to August it rains heavily in BAN and visit to BAN anytime during October to March for the 5 match ODI series every year...I think both the series would be a very competitive one...All the best to IRELAND>>>>

  • Cyril on May 21, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    With three or four Australian first-class players who are qualified, Ireland could easily better Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. The majority of the team are already first-class regulars in England, 2 with the Champion County. Very, very few from Ban or Zim would get picked.

    They have obvious team spirit and continuity in squad and coach.

    With a little investment perhaps some of the established Irish clubs could tempt qualified Aussies to play for them in their off-seasons. If the result is full-member status then the initial spend would easily be recovered.

    Any ideas for Aussie Irishman?

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    A logical solution would seem to be to scrap the warm up games against counties for touring sides and get them playing the associates. Counties never field their strongest XIs against the tourists anyway, and if extended to first class matches it would give associates the chance to test themselves against the best in proper cricket as well.

    The Aussies play Somerset, Worcestershire, Sussex and Northamptonshire, all of which are likely to put out second XIs. The associates get a single ODI against Scotland. I'm pretty sure the likes of Joyce, Dobell, the O'Briens and Rankin would give them a sterner test than a Northants reserve team.