Snappy Q&As with the players

William Porterfield

'Test status will be massive for cricket in Ireland'

William Porterfield talks leadership, his first match for his country, and the super power he wants

Interview by Jack Wilson

March 7, 2014

Comments: 35 | Text size: A | A

William Porterfield drives through the covers, Ireland v England, one-off ODI, Malahide, September 3, 2013
"It's always nice for any Irishman to do well when they come up against England in any sport" © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: William Porterfield
Teams: Ireland

Think back to September 3, 2013. A century, while captain of Ireland, against England. How good was that?
It was a pretty special moment. To score a century for your country always is, but at the end of the day we lost. It takes a bit away from scoring a few runs when it's not in a winning cause.

Was it made more special because it was against England?
It's always nice for any Irishman to do well when they come up against England in any sport, but they are the closest team to us and a Full Member nation too.

What is it like to captain your country?
A massive honour. To walk out leading Ireland is something I dreamed about. I had a taste of captaining Ireland's junior sides from a young age and just wanted it more and more.

How much would Test cricket mean to Ireland?
It would be massive for the country and for cricket in Ireland. It would show how far we've come, but it's still a work in progress. I know it's not going to happen overnight but we've come a long way.

Will it happen in your career?
I hope so. The board have put a plan in place and a strategy to become a Test-playing nation by 2020. I'd like to think I'll still be around then.

There have been a load of great days in your career, but what has been best?
The 2011 win in the World Cup over England in Bangalore is up there. The 2007 World Cup was magnificent too: the tie with Zimbabwe and then the win over Pakistan that got us through. There are so many.

If you had to pick one?
I'll go with the win over Pakistan, as it meant we qualified for the Super Eights that year.

Who is the hardest man in county cricket?
I played with Steve Kirby and he was a fiery character on the pitch. Off it, he was a big softie.

Who is the greatest Irish sportsman or woman that has ever lived?
George Best.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
To turn back time.

Which of your Ireland team-mates can down a pint of Guinness the quickest?
I'll go with Paul Stirling.

Your team-mate Niall O'Brien told ESPNcricinfo he was a good sledger. What do you make of that?
I stand out of his way so I don't have to hear him! I've never heard it when we've played Northamptonshire as I haven't batted for long enough.

Who is the most laidback player in your team?
Kevin O'Brien is right up there.

Who's the easiest to captain?
Paul Stirling. He doesn't get upset about too much. He just goes out there to see the ball and smash it.

What is the last film you have seen?
I'm not a film man myself. I think it was Borat. How old is that?

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Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (March 12, 2014, 0:42 GMT)

Ireland can become a test match nation with the new qualification rules. They will need to beat Bangladesh in a four match test match play off, both home and away.

If they will that series they get into the test match group and Bangladesh drop down to associate level(on full pay benefits).

Posted by   on (March 10, 2014, 16:17 GMT)

Ireland must be given test status.they deserve it

Posted by   on (March 10, 2014, 5:20 GMT)

Cricket Ireland deserves test status

Posted by inswing on (March 10, 2014, 2:44 GMT)

Ireland and Scotland should join forces to create one team. That team would have a much better chance of winning the test status and maintaining a decent level of performance. Just like small countries in WI put up a combined team.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 9, 2014, 22:02 GMT)

@Moppa: Look at what you are saying. So you telling me that Ireland and Afghanistan will 'dilute' test cricket ? As if the format isn't diluted already with poor attendance around the world, back to back Ashes contests every other week etc. If anything, your beloved test cricket will only grow and expand by adding in more countries. If they lose by an innings, so be it. Every team started out like that. What about the good old history of cricket when ONLY England and Australia played each other. Did that dilute your test cricket ? All these are poor excuses to keep away Ireland and Afghanistan. I am sure neither Ireland or Afghanistan would lose badly as Australia did in India (4-0) or as England did in Australia (5-0). Give them a chance !

Posted by Rakesh_Sharma on (March 9, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

Ireland must be given Test status immediately. Their performance is definitely better than Bangladesh. Infact Bangladesh was much worse than top 3 other associates as far as quality of team was concerned. Despite gaining experience for 10-12 years Bangladesh nothing much has happenned. When Bangladesh was granted Test status Kenya was anytime 2 times better than Bangladesh, If just one win and one ICC qualification was a benchmark for qualifying for Test than Kenya was much better in 1996 when they beat West Indies. Ireland is much better than what Bangladesh was at the time of Test status infact for last 5 years. Even the latest ODI series against PAkistan in Ireland was very competitive and much more than what Bangladesh can imagine despite it being a Test team with vast test experience. Why than? why Ireland is not given Test. It will be a welcome new ground for cricket expansion rather than perception and being confined to just Indian sub continent.

Posted by izzidole on (March 9, 2014, 12:03 GMT)

Ireland deserves to be given test status . They have proved several times that they are good enough to compete with other teams on an even keel and have done very well against teams that are believed to be superior to them with test status. In recent times they have lost some outstanding cricketers like Eoin Morgan and Rankin to England and a few others believed to be in England's hit list. They also have an exciting batsman in Kevin O'Brien who hammered the English bowling in the world cup in India a few years ago to snatch victory. Initially Ireland should be given the opportunity to compete in limited overs cricket in T20 and ODI's which would give them enough encouragement to qualify for test cricket.

Posted by   on (March 9, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

@Moppa, why do they have to be better than Zimbabwe or Bangladesh to be granted test status? Surely that they can be competitive is enough. Even full ODI status would be a nice start! I don't think anyone will be expecting either of these sides to head off on a 5 test tour to Aus or SA as their first assault on test match cricket? Surely a few one off's against near neighbours and lower ranked teams would suffice for that. By the way Rankin did make the England team but I reckon he'd have been far more comfortable with a green trim on his kit and there is little doubt as to how talented Morgan is and for mine Dockrell would become a world class spinner if given the exposure to test cricket. There is plenty there to work with and if they hosted Bangladesh or Zimbabwe they'd be every chance of a win.

Posted by   on (March 9, 2014, 8:22 GMT)

The ICC had better get their skates on grant Ireland full member status, before England steal anymore of their best talent! simple as that.

Posted by gibbons on (March 9, 2014, 5:43 GMT)

The question for Ireland or the Afghans is not just what can they do now, but what could they be with proper infrastructure. Every side who currently has it has been 'granted' Test or ODI status at one stage or another, some of them have thrived (e.g. SL), others struggled (think Kenya from 2003 to now). I really hope that both those sides, as well as Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, can build and thrive. It'll be better for cricket.

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