ICC World Cricket League Division 1

Ireland not a one-generation side - Johnston

Cricinfo staff

July 11, 2010

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Ireland with the trophy, Ireland v Scotland, ICC World Cricket League Division 1 final, Amstelveen, July 10, 2010
Ireland won all their matches in the Netherlands despite being less than full strength © Getty Images
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Trent Johnston, Ireland's stand-in captain, has said that critics who called Ireland a one-generation side were wrong after his team's unbeaten run to the title in the ICC World Cricket League Division 1 tournament in the Netherlands. Ireland won all five group games, as well as the final against Scotland, despite missing key players such as regular captain William Porterfield, wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien and fast bowler Boyd Rankin, who were playing county cricket in England.

"All those people who talk about the wheel turning, or that Irish cricket is a one-generation side, are very much mistaken and will be proven wrong if they look at the performances the kids have put in over the last 10 days," Johnston said. "It is great to win another trophy that keeps us at the top of Associate level. We had a few speed bumps against Afghanistan in the last 12 months, but it was not (the case) here as we beat Afghanistan pretty convincingly a few days ago with an inexperienced side."

Ireland's six-wicket victory in the final, however, was achieved after a couple of setbacks. Scotland's openers, Fraser Watts and Preston Mommsen, began the match with the highest opening stand of the tournament. "I was certainly not happy to see Scotland reach 141-0 after I had sent them in as we didn't bowl very well at the start. But we persisted and stayed focused which earned us two key wickets," Johnston said. "A couple of silly shots from their senior players later on got us back in the match and in the end we were left chasing 233 instead of anything in excess of 280."

Ireland's bowlers fought back strongly and triggered a collapse during which Scotland lost 10 wickets for 91 runs. Ireland also lost three early wickets during the chase of 233 but were guided to victory by Kevin O'Brien and Andrew White, whose 160-run partnership was the highest of the tournament as well as a record in ODIs between the teams.

"Kevin has matured as a cricketer and is working very hard on his game," Johnston said. "We call White a finisher so I was confident that the two would take us home after we were struggling at 51-3. The two were expected to build a partnership and they did exactly that, and though White couldn't take us over the finish-line, it was an excellent effort by him."

While Scotland were disappointed they couldn't capitalise on their chances in the final, their captain Gordon Drummond said he would have settled for second place at the start of the tournament.

"If you had offered me a second place and four wins out of six matches before the start of the tournament, I would have definitely taken it because we arrived here without a couple of key players and after having finished fifth in South Africa last year," he said. "We were constantly assessing the situation [in the final] but when we reached 141-0, we were targeting 280 and this is what we should have got at the end. Something that we need to learn is to convert good starts into winning scores and kill off the opposition."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by cric_bangla on (July 17, 2010, 7:40 GMT)

There is still some gap between Bangladesh and Ireland. Yesterday's match proved it. In first match BD were just getting used to Irish condition, where even sides like England and Australia face problems.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2010, 2:22 GMT)

Great win today v Bangladesh (any chance we can open chat on that games page?) For Ireland - "almost's or moral victories" like v Australia aren't good enough any more. If we want to make our case to be considered as a test team, no matter how long that takes, we need to consistently beat test teams, at least one a year. Bangladesh this summer give us our best chance of reinforcing our claim and today's win keeps our stakes on the table. A win tomorrow would help but Ireland's main ask this summer "Beat a test team" .... is ticked off. In reality nobody in the cricket world was "surprised" by the win and this is important ... perception is everything ....consistent beating of Zim/Ban creates the perception that we are a dangerous side and that perception over a number of years reinforces our call for a clear path to test status. Also interesting was that it came just after the ICC unbeaten run ....and the addition of the pro players (Rankin etc) lifted the team to a different level.

Posted by raghu86 on (July 16, 2010, 1:34 GMT)

Two sides that should be next in line for tests are ireland and netherlands. They are rich countries with some good players in their ranks now. They look like they can establish good cricket set-up. Besides their women teams already play tests.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (July 15, 2010, 23:02 GMT)

Congrats to Ire both for the tourney and their win vs Bangladesh. I mentioned b-4 that I expected Ire vs Bang to be a competitive series. I know some Bang fans may not like this but I do think that a full strength Irish team can give Bang a run for their money in Irish conditions in any format, I really do. With many Irish players playing professionally in Eng they may not have some of the probs that Bang have and hopefully, the board called ICC, will take their bid seriously. ICC did the right thing by continuing to support Bangladesh, who are improving and I call on them to give Ire the SAME OPPORTUNITY.

Posted by tfjones1978 on (July 15, 2010, 0:57 GMT)

ICC needs to extend Test Cricket to allow higher ranked associate teams to play test cricket against lower ranked test teams by including two new teams, being ICup Winner & Associate XI..

Assoc XI should be picked from a panel overseen by a board of 1 member from each associate country (teams 13-21) with the 25 best associate 5 day players being given annual contracts, all funded by the ICC..

Test Cricket should have 2 competitions (5 day tests): (1) World Cup: Teams 1-8 h&a series (1-4=5 tests, 5-8=3 tests) @ 4 years. (2) World Plate: Teams 5-12 h&a series (5-8=WC, 9-12=1 test[V5-8]/3 tests[V9-12]) @ 4 years.

Associate Cricket should have 3 competitions (4 day first class): (1) ICup: Teams 9-17 exc Assoc XI (9-11=WP, 13-17=1 match h&a) @ 4 years. (2) IShield: Teams 13-21 (13-17=ICup, 18-21=1 match h&a) @ 4 years. (3) Regional Qualifiers: Teams 22+ compete in regional comps yrs 1-3, playoff v 18-21 y4

"Friendly" warm ups against associate teams should replace warm ups against state

Posted by   on (July 14, 2010, 0:08 GMT)

And perhaps it shows how far Ireland have come that I fully expect to have a heated discussion at the WC on Stirling V Botha .... Joyce or Porterfield as an opener .... and who should be in or out and who should bat where .....

That on its own has been a great boon from this tournament - young tested competition for the current team.... can only be good .....

Posted by   on (July 13, 2010, 23:42 GMT)

Great performance by Ireland. A couple of new (very) young players coming through which is impressive and not unexpected given Ireland's performances in the last few years at all the underage levels. As "crackers" notes add Rankin, Porterfield, OBrien and Joyce and it looks like a team that could trouble some of the major nations given the right conditions. Batting is the bug bear and Joyces inclusion itself would allow a change to the teams batting order and dynamic. Hamish Marshall could also add a lot both for his batting and his experience (and the fact that he's a top bloke) - Morgans gone - I wish him well no moaning from me on that score (just an "if only" sigh).

Bangladesh is a chance for us to reinforce our credentials. We also need a national stadium and regular 4 day cricket but hats off to the grass roots coaching which continues to bring out talent from a small group .... something is working well in the development area in Ireland - and should be capitalised on.

Posted by   on (July 13, 2010, 23:42 GMT)

Great performance by Ireland. A couple of new (very) young players coming through which is impressive and not unexpected given Ireland's performances in the last few years at all the underage levels. As "crackers" notes add Rankin, Porterfield, OBrien and Joyce and it looks like a team that could trouble some of the major nations given the right conditions. Batting is the bug bear and Joyces inclusion itself would allow a change to the teams batting order and dynamic. Hamish Marshall could also add a lot both for his batting and his experience (and the fact that he's a top bloke) - Morgans gone - I wish him well no moaning from me on that score (just an "if only" sigh).

Bangladesh is a chance for us to reinforce our credentials. We also need a national stadium and regular 4 day cricket but hats off to the grass roots coaching which continues to bring out talent from a small group .... something is working well in the development area in Ireland - and should be capitalised on.

Posted by crackers134 on (July 12, 2010, 12:53 GMT)

Another great effort from Ireland, who could well be the 9th best team in the world. Add Porterfield, N.O'Brien and Rankin and they would compete with anyone, also add Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan and they would be deserving of Test status. Unfortunately that wouldn't be an extra vote at the ICC for Asia/Africa. This country is ready for higher honours, let them in and grow the game!

Posted by   on (July 11, 2010, 9:52 GMT)

So the Irish win another Associate torunament, this time playing a 2nd/3rd string line up. Is it now not time for the ICC to seriously consider promoting Ireland in the coming years to Test cricket? A few things of course are needed. An adequate domestic set-up needs to be created, involving the Provinces and possibly Dublin and Belfast to allow for 4 day first-class, List-A and T20 tounaments. 4-5 major grounds need to be developed and the spreading of the game needs to be taken to the next level, with increased fudning for academies. Ireland's victory in this tournament shows they have strength in depth. All that is now required is that ICC doesn't make the same mistakes as they did with Bangladesh and that the BCCI and its mob allow for the progress of Irish cricket to be rewarded with the chance to play Tests.

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Tournament Results
Canada v Kenya at Schiedam - Jul 10, 2010
Canada won by 3 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)
Ireland v Scotland at Amstelveen - Jul 10, 2010
Ireland won by 6 wickets (with 31 balls remaining)
Netherlands v Afghanistan at Rotterdam - Jul 10, 2010
Afghanistan won by 5 wickets (with 24 balls remaining)
Afghanistan v Scotland at Rotterdam - Jul 9, 2010
Scotland won by 2 wickets (with 37 balls remaining)
Canada v Kenya at Schiedam - Jul 9, 2010
Canada won by 6 wickets (with 85 balls remaining)
Netherlands v Ireland at Amstelveen - Jul 9, 2010
Ireland won by 39 runs
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News | Features Last 3 days