England tour of Ireland 2013

Ireland aim for 'embarrassing' case

Andrew McGlashan

August 30, 2013

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Boyd Rankin bowls Duncan Allan, Ireland v Kenya, ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, Dubai, March 14, 2012
The shoe on the other foot: Boyd Rankin will feature for England this time around © International Cricket Council
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Ireland's push for greater global recognition reaches another important landmark next week when they host England in front of what will be a record crowd at the new stadium at Malahide. The ODI is on course to be a 10,000 sell-out and, while the available seating at the new venue is one reason for the record figure, there is also a feeling that cricket in Ireland has hit a new peak this year.

The national side came very close to beating Pakistan in a two-match ODI series, while they continue to qualify for all the global tournaments put in front of them. The Inter Provincial three-day tournament has also been launched and Cricket Ireland's aim is to earn first-class status for that competition by 2015 in their pursuit of being a Test nation by 2020.

However, opportunities against Full Member teams remain rare and have to be fought for around the politicking tables of world cricket, but Cricket Ireland are determined to make the game so successful in the country that it becomes "embarrassing" for other nations not to play them more often.

"The perception of Ireland cricket continues to be one that is fairly low within the Full Member world due to the opportunities spurned by others to play us," Warren Deutrom, the Cricket Ireland CEO, told ESPNcricinfo. "But that doesn't stop us doing what we can; investing in our senior squads, investing in our facilities, getting public and private funding, and growing the sport where we can attract these big matches.

"Basically, it's about building the argument until it's one that is too embarrassing to ignore regarding how good we are becoming. We have few and far opportunities against Full Members, but look at what we do when they come along. People may still say we don't expect Ireland to win these games, we expect them to be competitive. Well, I'd say we are extremely competitive when we get the chance."

Phil Simmons, Ireland's coach, said that there is now a very different mindset within the team compared to a few years ago. "The way that we played against Pakistan showed we are learning every time we go out. We should have won the second match. We are learning how to win games. Since the 2011 World Cup, we've had that mentality. We go in to win the game and not just compete."

Deutrom was keen to stress that the England fixture on September 3 was not the "be-all and end-all" for Irish cricket. He is well aware that pinning all ambitions on one fixture every two years does not do Ireland any favours, and also the weather does not have a record of being especially fair to this fixture, but acknowledges that it does carry extra weight given England's recent Ashes success and the fact it will be covered by Sky TV.

"Above everything else it's about the perception of Irish cricket," he said. "Having 10,000 in an Irish cricket ground against England, in front of TV cameras, with the President of Ireland and chief executive of ICC, says everything that we in Cricket Ireland have been trying to drive home."

Neither is Deutrom going to be drawn into a debate over the strength of the England side that is coming over. A number of key figures - Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Kevin Pietersen - will not be making the trip to Dublin. So, as in 2011, it will be an experimental England side that is captained by Eoin Morgan, who was also the captain for the 2011 one-off encounter. This time there is also the presence of Boyd Rankin, the former Ireland quick who played against England in the 2011 fixture, to stir the emotions of the locals.

"The under-strength team still won last time," Deutrom said, referring to England's narrow 11-run success in a rain-curtailed match. "It's not as though we are hammering whoever they send over. It's a full England team that is being sent. It is at the ECB's risk that the team does not win, then they have to face the potential fall-out of that.

"If I was the ECB, I'd say whichever team we have sent over since 2006 has won. Ironically, the game we did beat them in, at the World Cup, was when they played most of their big names. We need to beat whatever they send over to justify."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by WorldWideCricket on (September 5, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

Ireland do not need TEST status, their players play for England and Ireland. What is the point granting TEST status for "same team" twice? Afghanistan deserve TEST status, and they should get it. Afghanistan's improvement in cricket is much better than Ireland. With full access to county and England, Ireland is not even close to Afghanistan where players dont get a chance to play much cricket, forget about county.

Posted by   on (September 1, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

The way Ireland is being run coupled with their remarkable success on the field is everything that Zimbabwe, and to a lesser extend Bangladesh, is not.

Realistically if you had to say which of those three nations had the chance of long-term success you'd have to say Ireland. Bangladesh may have the cricket-mad population base but the way Ireland is being governed fills me with confidence that I don't get from Bangladesh.

As for Zimbabwe, it's hard to see them getting anything but worse from here.

Posted by   on (September 1, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

Ireland and Afghanistan are the teams to beat. They are now predictable teams who are growing time to time and can cause upset to the full member nations if they are given more chances...

I hope Ireland will cause upset, and hope to see K Obrion remembering us world cup 2011.

I really love Ireland and Afghanistan competing the full members. Hope they will be given more and more chances.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (August 31, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

There is an obvious way in which England should be helping Ireland get full membership which after watching Bangladesh and Zimbabwe really struggle( the latter through no fault of their own) I have little doubt Ireland would fulfil really well simply because they work at it. But I would say that they need it soon before their present crop of players disappear and they still have the likes of Joyce to lead them. England have a crowded fixture list but one more ODI game would help them and not hurt us.Also a couple of Lions games would help. Compared to other minnows these guys are gold. Lets strike while the iron is hot.

Posted by markatnotts on (August 31, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

What people (usually from the outside the UK and Eire), fail to grasp is the ECB has done a lot over the years to help develop the game in Ireland. They played in one of our one day tournaments for years, and many players have enhanced their games playing for county sides. Obviously it is a blow to Ireland losing Morgan and Rankin but Irish cricket would have been in a much worse position without the help if all Irish cricketers were treated as official overseas players and were competing with players from Test playing countries for county contracts.

Posted by threeslipsandagully on (August 31, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

For all its faults, the ECB actually does a hell of a lot for Irish cricket, more than many other Full Members do for Associates. This annual ODI is a great cash injection for Cricket Ireland with the crowd it can attract, and is really good exposure for the game, and the involvement of the Irish team in English domestic cricket until recently surely aided their development as a nation. The loss of players like Morgan and Rankin is unfortunate, but it's worth remembering that Ireland has benefited greatly from overseas-born players, too.

Posted by   on (August 31, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

ireland have perfect chance to win one off game as English team is in transition in limited over format and aus can attest to the fact that how difficult can be transition at times. also ireland did defeated england in the world cup in 2011 when o brien scored a marvellous century. hope ireland repeat yhose wonderful feats and defeat england in ireland this time around.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (August 31, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

Test Cricket is clearly unrealistic for now but definitely Ireland should be playing at least 10 ODIs annually against full member nations whoever if possible along with their ODI games against their fellow associates. That way Ireland team will have like 16 games a year and along with the Cricket they play domestically, should bode them well when they compete in International tournaments in this case the World Cup. ICC should do more to help develop Irish Cricket because another major European Cricket country is obviously good for the sport and will mean that Cricket has major nations from all over the world playing at the highest level. Cricket is the fastest growing sport in Ireland now so that says something. Good luck Ireland against England!!! should no doubt be a great occasion for Irish Cricket and people.

Posted by shillingsworth on (August 31, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

@BRUTALANALYST - This 'ECB taking all the best talent' is a very old myth. The decision to play professional cricket in England and to qualify for England is made by individual players, not by the ECB.

@Jonathan_E - Where is the evidence that England are not supporting Ireland's candidacy? I'd suggest that reverse is true - in the absence of a proper first class structure in Ireland, county cricket has played a key role in developing the best Irish players.

Posted by D-Ascendant on (August 31, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

Ironically, a lot of the bigger teams don't play Ireland for fear of being embarrassed by them.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 31, 2013, 3:05 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster on (August 30, 2013, 16:16 GMT), so you're saying that India would won the CT final by fewer than 5 runs, or even lost it, to Ireland?

Posted by Jonathan_E on (August 30, 2013, 23:41 GMT)

I'd say England should be supporting Ireland's candidacy for Full Member status as soon as possible.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 23:28 GMT)

The reason the major teams dislike playing against minnows is fairly straightforward. Unless they win by a huge margin, they are criticised, and if they do win by a huge margin, nobody cares.

Posted by Optic on (August 30, 2013, 23:19 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster As usual in you're poor and boring attempt to put England down, you get you're facts wrong. Ireland didn't thrash England in any way shape or form, they won after a freak innings by O'Brien of 116 of 63 balls, with 5 balls remaining until that inning they were looking down and out but hey if it makes you feel better saying they thrashed England, crack on. I suppose saying it makes up for the back to back test series loses to England by India but you're not bitter about it are you. If England aren't a god one day side how bad must be the rest of the world. There's only really India that have any claim over them after the recent CT final.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 23:17 GMT)

In fairness to England, they are putting the same squad out against Australia. It's not like Ireland are being snubbed here.

Posted by Jeppo on (August 30, 2013, 23:04 GMT)

I'm loving some of these comments posted here - England are *so* bad they only managed to make the final of this year's challenge cup earlier this year!

Joking aside I think it is good to see Ireland pitting it out against the big boys of cricket. The fact that it is a 10,000 sell-out is very promising for the Ireland cricket administrators, and shows that there is interest for the bat-and-ball game on the green isle.

Ireland have proven themselves time and time again by providing shock win after shock win. It won't be long before these wins won't be much of a shock anymore.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (August 30, 2013, 21:25 GMT)

Ireland fully deserve full status. We want to spread and grow the game and Irish cricket has emerged hugely in the last 20 years. The complete disaster that is Bangladesh has ruined it for everyone!

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (August 30, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

I personally wish Morgan Rankin and co played for Ireland and Ireland should have got full recognition after that good 2007 world cup when they also beat Pakistan ! They are better than Zimbabwe and Bangla and the ECB taking all the best talent is not a good thing especially long term how must young Irish kdis feel seeing all players taken by England and not getting full recognition as International side ? I'm not Irish but I can't imagine they appreciate this . . .

Posted by FieryFerg on (August 30, 2013, 20:43 GMT)

Wish Ireland all the best but they have to sustain this over a longer time period to justify increased status. They're arguably the best Associate at the moment (you could argue Afghanistan depending on the format) but it's not so long ago it was Scotland and before them Netherlands and Canada. One golden generation doesn't make a sustainable case. The way forward is for two divisions in Tests and ODIs with Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ire, Sco, Afghans, Dutch and a potential couple of others seeded from the Intercontinental Cup.

Posted by Frayninho21 on (August 30, 2013, 20:31 GMT)

Again, I wish the ICC would pump more money in to Irish cricket rather than trying to force their way in to the US & Chinese markets where there is no real passion for the game.

Posted by salazar555 on (August 30, 2013, 20:29 GMT)

Ireland need to start hammering teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, Become the best associate and then the ICC will have to take notice. I don't think Zimbabwe or Bangladesh should have test status, they are not up to it. Teams should concentrate on being good ODI and 20/20 teams before anything else and Ireland need to start dominating the associates before anyone will sit up and take notice

Posted by EnglishCricket on (August 30, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

I do not understand why Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are not playing Ireland. ICC should do something about it. The top 6 associate have ODI and T20 status and therefore should be playing lots of these games...@CPT...I do not understand why Cricket should be restricted to certain countries. Its not like you own the game or something. Every country has the right to play Cricket at the highest level. Good luck Ireland for the England clash!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 30, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Well Ireland thrashed England in the world cup at Bangalore. So I am sure they can do it again. England are not a good ODI team by any stretch of imagination. So Ireland have a great chance. I hope the ICC open their senses and review the last two positions in the ICC ODI rankings. Bangladesh and Zimbabwe do not deserve to be there given they haven't won anything of substance for many years. Ireland should be made to play a qualifier/relegation style Tri series against these 2 teams. The loser should be pushed out and the winner and runner up should come into the table. Come on ICC, give it a shout.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Given that the shoddy squad they sent last time still managed a win, this argument may be invalid, but...

... As a full member, England (along with other full members) should have a duty to promote the sport on a global basis. This duty would of course include them making every effort to assist their associate counterparts in their struggle for recognition. This could be done in a number of ways but offering regular competitive fixtures to a leading associate side can do nothing but foster greatness. This doesn't appear to be what is happening!

Posted by PanGlupek on (August 30, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

Deutrom is right, you have a team begging for matches against strong oppo, some teams hardly playing any international games at all.

Perhaps if Zimbabwe do end up calling off their series against SL, that the Sri-Lankans might come over for a mini-series?

Only problem is that test nations have little to gain & a lot to lose by playing a side like Ireland...

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

Ireland are definitely in with a shout of beating our shocking one-day side.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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