Ireland v England, RSA Challenge, Malahide September 2, 2013

Ireland aim to prove their point


Match Facts

September 3, Malahide
Start time 10.30am (0930GMT)

The Big Picture

This is more than just another one-day international. Although Ireland-England at cricket does not match the level of the corresponding rugby clash in the Six Nations, this biennial meeting is becoming something of a grudge match, especially since that heady evening in Bangalore, which is forever etched in Irish cricket history.

This match, regardless of the result, will also mark a historic occasion for Ireland with a record 10,000 sell-out crowd expected at the new stadium in Malahide outside of Dublin.

The Irish have a point to prove. Or, rather, want to continue proving their point. There is a strong feeling their credentials are still not taken seriously by Full Member nations - there continue to be grumbles, some not entirely fair, about the ECB's role - as they maintain their push for Test status by 2020.

As in 2011, England are not sending over a full-strength side although that is not a one-off decision for this match - key players, including captain Alastair Cook, will also miss the Australia one-day series. Eoin Morgan captains the side as he did two years ago, which is another subject to spark debate, while the possible presence of Boyd Rankin in the England attack will stir the emotions.

Ireland had long-since accepted that they had lost Rankin, but to see him make his international debut in a T20 (a format he rarely plays for Warwickshire) and potentially begin the second phase of his ODI career against his former team-mates has not sat easily with many around Dublin and beyond.

Away from the debate about poaching players and the politics of world cricket Rankin is one of a number of England players eager to catch the eye. Gary Ballance, the Yorkshire batsman, is in line for an ODI debut while Jamie Overton, the Somerset fast bowler, will become England's youngest debutant since Brian Close if he makes the final XI.

Players on both sides will know each other well: Rankin could end up opening the bowler against Ed Joyce, a role reversal of the 2007 World Cup when Rankin bowled Joyce with his first ball when the latter was playing for England. William Porterfield, Niall O'Brien, Gary Wilson, Paul Stirling, Tim Murtagh and George Dockrell are all established county players, while Kevin O'Brien has just returned from the Caribbean Premier League. Points to prove, for a lot of people.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
Ireland TWLTW
England LWWLW

Watch out for...

Trent Johnston has decided to call time on his career at the end of this year, a surprise to many who expected him to continue until at least the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. But the knees and various other ailing body parts can only take so much. He has been a wonderful servant of Irish cricket; opening bowler, captain, motivator, spokesman, politician. A victory here would be a fitting send-off.

Two years ago, in the corresponding fixture, Boyd Rankin opened the bowling and claimed the wicket of James Taylor. This time they are in the same squad. If Rankin makes the XI, his second ODI debut will come after a record of 37 matches and 43 wickets at 32.34 for Ireland. A potential new-ball spell against Joyce and his county team-mate William Porterfield could be one of the highlights of the match.

Team news

England could hand out four new ODI caps - Michael Carberry, Jamie Overton, Chris Jordan and Gary Ballance - while giving Rankin his first appearance in 50-over cricket for the Three Lions. Quite what combination of pace bowlers they go for remains to be seen, but Steven Finn, with his experience, should lead the line. Danny Briggs was preferred to James Tredwell in the Twenty20s, but Tredwell's recent ODI form has been impressive.

England (possible) 1 Michael Carberry, 2 James Taylor, 3 Ravi Bopara, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Gary Ballance, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Jos Buttler (wk), 8 James Tredwell, 9 Jamie Overton, 10 Boyd Rankin, 11 Steven Finn

Apart from missing Alex Cusack through injury Ireland will be at full strength. Their side is packed with international and county experience; Tim Murtagh has helped compensate for the loss of Rankin - while George Dockrell is the latest player Ireland are desperate to protect from English interests.

Ireland (possible) 1 William Porterfield (capt), 2 Paul Stirling, 3 Ed Joyce, 4 Niall O'Brien (wk), 5 Gary Wilson, 6 Kevin O'Brien, 7 Andrew White, 8 Max Sorensen, 9 Trent Johnston, 10 Tim Murtagh, 11 George Dockrell

Pitch and conditions

A new pitch on a new ground so something of the unknown as Malahide hosts its first one-day international. However, Phil Simmons said that in some of the domestic matches played there the keeper has been standing a fair way back. There is good news on the weather front - after damp days for the 2009 and 2011 fixtures - with a dry, bright day forecast.

Stats and trivia

  • England will field no more than four players who appeared in the Champions Trophy final against India
  • In the four ODIs he has played this year, Joyce is averaging 133 including a career-best 116 not out against Pakistan. Joyce also averaged 57.57 in the YB40 for Sussex
  • If England do hand out four new caps, it will be their most since they picked four new players against Zimbabwe, at Harare, in 2001-02


"I think we have brought a strong side, a young and very talented side. Given opportunities, hopefully they will show they are world-beaters."
Eoin Morgan was full of support for his young squad

"If you look through their side, there are some pretty exciting young players in there. If you look at the performances of all those lads, especially in country cricket, they have all got a future in the game."
William Porterfield was also happy to acknowledge the strength of England's options

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jeff on September 3, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Carberry? Why oh why? He is nearly 34... As for players transferring to England, it's the fault of the closed shop policy that means Zimbabwe is always a first class nation however bad they do, and Ireland is always a second class nation however good they do. It's not like a player swapping between counties or franchises, as they are all at the same level.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    It is totally annoying to watch the same player playing for two international sides and switching like in franchises.

  • John on September 3, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    Back to the cricket - I notice there are no part time spin options in the Eng squad so I guess they're expecting a pace friendly pitch. Luke Wright is a player who for me must play ahead of Ravi. Many of us have wanted to see how he does in this format and his shorter formats form has been better than Ravi's this year and Ravi's bowling has not been such an asset this year either.

  • Mark on September 3, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    @Samuel Cardwell The way to go might be the T20 mini-tournament. Ireland, Scotland, England and the tourist. It can be played in one day. Is self-contained and would allow players from both nations to have a guaranteed game against some of the best players in the world at a fixed time of year, so it can be planned for.

    On the poaching, it's a two-way street. Ireland's cricket undoubtedly benefits from the fact that most of its players have county contracts and can play as professionals in the English/Welsh system. Half the population of the UK has Irish roots somewhere and half the Irish population has an English connection. The world would be a sad place if economic migrants were banned from exercising their trade, especially if you have a link to the country that you choose to go to and an automatic legal right to a passport from it.

  • Gary on September 3, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Wonder if Morgan and Butler will fail with the bat again.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Hear hear, Landl47 on the poaching front. I'm an Ireland fan, but I can't understand the angst over Ireland players opting to try and break into the England side. Someday soon we'll be playing test matches and there'll be less incentive for our lads to play for England, but until then we should be proud that we can produce two cricketers who can break into one of the best sides in the world.

    I also think it'd be excellent for England to play an annual triangular with Ireland and Scotland, a Home Nations of cricket. Even if it's only one ODI each, it'd surely be no worse for England than having to play 5 ODIs against the West Indies or whoever!

  • Mark on September 3, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    Although a win seems unlikely today, all the best tot he Irish...

  • John on September 3, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    Since England has only 4 specialist batsmen in the squad, presumably they will all play. Quite why they brought over 6 bowlers and 3 all-rounders isn't clear. However, it will be exciting to see Ballance make his debut. Ben Stokes is coming off a century and 5 wickets in the match against the County Championship leaders, so he's in very good form.

    I've only seen Overton play under-19 cricket (he's still only 19 now) but he's reputed to be quick. It's about time Jos Buttler began to show he can play at this level- frankly, someone who keeps wicket regularly and has a better record as a batsman might be a better bet. Jonny Bairstow comes to mind.

    As for poaching players- what part of Ireland does Tim Murtagh come from? Or is it only poaching when Irish players decide to play for England, not the other way round? There's a lot of hypocrisy on this subject- SA, Aus, NZ, Ireland all have players born elsewhere, but only Eng gets abused for it.

  • Jawwad on September 3, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    Ireland is a good side and I am supporting them all the way.

  • Dummy4 on September 2, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    i really look forward to the Irish team putting up a good performance. of all the associate countries Ireland is one that has constantly progressed and its quite sad the politics of the day prevent them from being a full nation. No offense meant to bangladesh (i am an indian) but the truth is the truth. if Bangladesh could be handed a test nation status (since dalmiya at ICC made so much of an effort) and Zimbabwe hold onto their status why is an upcoming and deserving associate nation like ireland denied beats me. however they are focusing on their first class structure and the mighty powers cant stop them for long at the most a decade. true lovers of cricket should admire their grit.