Category Archives: Dublin

Test cricket, in Ireland, just maybe?

Well, yes, apart from an unmemorable (and wet) 18 overs or so against England, the Ireland cricket season starts on Tuesday, in a big way.

Why, because this time around, the winners of the Inter Continental Cup will get the opportunity to play Test Cricket…maybe! Why maybe, because the ICC change the goalposts, and the end results so often, that many are far from convinced that the rules now, and the rules in nearly 3 years time, when this series are over will be the same, hmm? But in theory, if Ireland win the cup again, we will be in a position to play test cricket. Fine? Lets leave it at that statement for now.

So, in Dublin, on Tuesday, Ireland begin their 4 day campaign against the UAE. I think the Irish weather may come as a shock to our visitors lol! Or hopefully it wont, just a decent, mild day, and nothing more. Its fair to say that no one would have imagined this, for Ireland, in cricket, 10 years ago! Indeed, who, back then, would have imagined that twice, in recent times, 10,000 people (or thereabouts) have been to an Ireland cricket match!

Later this summer, along with Scotland, they will host the qualifiers for the 20 over World Cup, to be held next year as well. And then, at the end of the summer, the World Cup champions, Australia are coming to Belfast for a 50 over match. And on past form, they will be a lot more friendly to media, and fans, than the English will ever seemingly be!

No, at this point, I have no idea if I will get across this summer, or not. Bit of a Catch 22 at present, without a job, I shouldnt be wasting money on jaunts like that, but equally, when I get one, it will be about a 6 week training period, which will kill off most of the international cricket season. So, ideally, my latest interview offers me a job tomorrow, starting on June 15, and I can look at flights to Dublin this week!

I know, I know, this is me, not going to happen, but…

Irish domestic cricket is still growing, for the better. Now, not only do we have an Inter region competition for the men, the ladies have a 3 team contest in its inaugural year. Due to current circumstances in ladies cricket, all 3 teams are based in the Dublin area, but its beginning to develop in other areas of the country, so in good time…

So yes, I hope that in a few years time, I will be at Ireland’s first test match, now wouldnt that be something?

The video, well, its one of the all time greats. And its what I seem to have in Irish cricket

I have a dream

Its funny, isnt it, if anyone had said 7 years ago that Ireland would play a cricket match in front of 10,000 people in their own country, I would have roared with laughter at the thought. At that stage, the vast majority of the team were part timers, and hardly ever beaten a major test playing nation in their lifetimes. Alright, apart from the sporadic cup matches against counties, and the annual game against Scotland that occasionally got mentioned in the papers over here, I barely knew anything about the cricket team myself, and I love the sport!

Then came 2007, and the World Cup. First that memorable tied match with Zimbabwe, then that even more amazing victory over Pakistan. Into the next stage they go, and a win against Bangladesh. Fine, that was the end of the glory for that tournament, but suddenly people started noticing Ireland had a cricket team.

But even so, at home, outside of the cricket strongholds, the crescendo was noted, but no flow developed, certainly not in terms of crowds at matches.

Yes, 4 years later, that was when the crescendo developed into tsunami like proportions. Ireland play the old enemy England, by now with a team with full time players, and not just those in county cricket. England get over 325 runs, Ireland are struggling to make it respectable at 111-5, then Kevin O’Brien takes over, and as they say, the rest is history!

I’m not yet claiming that Munster, and even more so, Connacht have forsaken GAA sports for cricket, but there is a lot more played there now, thats for sure. Give it a little while, and there might be more than Leinster and Ulster amongst the provinces strong in the cricket world. Yes, it will take a while, but we’re getting there.

Today, a match was played at Malahide, on the outskirts of Dublin, on a new ground created for our national side. It looked magnificent on TV, though I suspect the wonderful weather might have played a part in that. And fine, so far the stands and facilities are temporary, but one day soon, that might not be the case. And fine, we might have been a few short of the magical 10,000 figure today, but we got pretty close!

The captain, William Porterfield played a magnificent innings of 112. Another Irish born player topped even that, and the top bowler of the day with 4 wickets, were also Irish! Unfortunately the latter 2 were playing for the opposition, but such is life. Its not hard to see that if they’d played for their home nation, we’d have beaten England again, but ah well, things like this happen at the moment. We dared to dream when England were at 25-3, and 48-4 but Morgan and Bopara took the game away.

Why, because at this point in time, Ireland cant play test cricket. They have an ambition to do so by 2020, but in the meanwhile, it seems we will leak the odd player to the old enemy. Another enemy is time, a stalwart of Irish cricket today played his last game against a test nation before retirement, Trent Johnston. He has a few more games yet before the end of the year, but this was the last non associate match game.

We needed a domestic competition, so the ICC said, this year we started one. We needed a top class ground, we now have one. Lets just say that my dream is to see Ireland play a test match very soon, even sooner than 2020 if possible, so that the diaspora from our national side can cease.

The video, no idea why this came to mind

The last time Ireland tied an ODI…

…They went on to beat Pakistan in the next game! Will history repeat itself on Sunday, all we can do is wait and see!

Alright, the last time that happened, it was Zimbabwe they tied with, back in 2007, and then on St Patricks Day, they went out and beat Pakistan. Things have changed a bit since then mind, back then, all (but one I think?) were part time players, nowadays the team that played yesterday had one part time player! Indeed 8 of the 11 play in the English county championship, and Kevin O’Brien has represented a couple of counties in the 20 over game in his time. Might again, after yesterday too.

The game had everything yesterday, including the seemingly inevitable short bursts of rain that seem to feature so often with cricket in Ireland. Thats why Ireland scored 9 more runs than Pakistan, but only got a tie unfortunately. Try putting Duckworth Lewis method into Google if you dont know why already.

No, I wasnt there, sadly. I was following it on the internet, care of an excellent online commentary thanks to Ian Callender and friends. It was shown on You Tube, care of Cricket Ireland, and Quipu, but as I was working, I settled for the written word. Waiting for the refresh on the last ball, absolutely unbearable! But then it came up, a four, Ireland had tied the match, tremendous stuff. I didnt punch the air or anything, I was still at work, but inwardly I did, what a result!

Me, I will get to see Ireland play this year live, and I dont just mean via Sky, for the England game. Three weeks from now, if you’re lucky, I’ll be blogging from Belfast, going over for the first couple of days of the game against Australia A. Sadly I wont get to see many, if any of the county players, I doubt they will be released. But I will get to see 11 proud Irishmen playing against the Aussies, and hoping we put up a good show.

Proud of you, hopefully I’ll be even prouder after the 2nd game on Sunday. Oh, and for those who care, here’s the last over. Yes, it takes nearly 8 minutes, due to various events. And yes, the commentators get the result wrong, Ireland didnt lose the game!

A point of convenience

I guess this is something most of you dont even think about, men go into the men’s toilets, and women’s go into the ladies. Simples, as Aleksandr Orlov would say (if you dont know, go to www.comparethemeerkat.com , and laugh.)

But then again, there are people like me! In the normal run of events I only tend to need to go, either at home (no labels), or at work, where the decision was made that I have to use the gents for now, presumably because I’m pre op, but…cant get convinced its right, but too easy going to argue. Do get some funny looks if there’s a visitor in there though lol! Would love to know some of the ladies opinions at work on this, but its hardly something you can just come out and ask!

Dont really need to use public toilets inbetween, so normally this situation doesnt arise. But when you’re away on holiday in Boston…even more so when the vast majority are calling you miss, madam, or lady…amazing just how well I seem to pass, considering that was with no use of make up! Hey, even security at Dublin Airport this morning thought I was a woman, and thats after a ‘red-eye’ flight overnight!

One piece of ‘entertainment’ was at MIT museum, restroom area seemed quiet, so I went for it, and maybe it was the work thing in my head, but I went in the mens. Fine, apart from the fact that several came in while I was in there. Got some very confused looks when I came out the cubicle. Even funnier was the airport last night, did the same thing, and again got funny looks while in there. Best moment though was the guy coming in as I was going out, he went back to check he was going in the right side!

So yes, alright, maybe I should starting using the ladies in public? But I dont want to cause trouble with the law or anything by doing so. But if I pass that well, and seemingly I do, do I need to worry about that happening? Mind, the irony of being asked why I’m going in the mens toilet does come to mind lol!

Probably be a couple of months or so before the situation arises again, I guess I just play it by ear, and then make a call on the matter, especially as it will probably be a shopping centre, with mothers there, and…

So the next time you go into a public (or even work) toilet, think how that choice might be easy for you, but for people like me…

Setting foot on Irish soil

Well if I say its 5 years or so since I last set foot on Irish soil, I would be lying. But for the Republic, then yes, it is, probably one of the longest periods without visiting that I’ve had. Been to the North a few times in that period (3, I think) but not south of the border, but will make that return at last on Saturday…and then again the following Sunday lol! Neither will be lengthy, and neither will be beyond the boundaries of an airport (Shannon out, Dublin back), but its a start.

Partly its convenience, if I go to Belfast for cricket, I dont have to change currency, I can still (for now at least) think in miles, not kilometres, though I suspect thats just my age, nothing more! Actually one of my amusements with the south (or was the case, dont know if still is?) was the fact you could come to one signpost in kilometres, turn off onto a minor road, and distances would be in miles, on an old fashioned milepost!

Itrs not hard to spot why I tend to go elsewhere for my holidays, its called being a non driver! Despite the comment that everyone drives in the US, public transport in the big cities (and indeed most places) is good, reasonably priced, and quite regular. Whereas beyond the biggest cities in Ireland…! Getting to Kerry might be practical, but getting around Kerry for a non driver would be a whole different thing. Noit sure if Offaly even qualifies on the first front!

Shannon I will be at least able to catch my breath in, Dublin is just going to be a whirl of Immigration, and then the plane home! It will still be nice to visit my ancestral homeland again, its been far too long.

One Big Day

Rather apt title after the last one, dont you think?

No prizes for working out what this very brief posting is about, its the cricket match against the ‘old enemy’ tomorrow, a ripe comment coming from me, born in Yorkshire, but anyway, my heart is still very Irish!

The Irish are guaranteed one win tomorrow, the toss lol! Some might need to think about that one, but…Hopefully they will also get a very much bigger win of course, but suspect that wont be so easy.

Sorry Eoin, I hope you’re the only Irishman not celebrating a win tomorrow night, nothing personal, but…well alright, maybe it is lol? Good luck guys, make us all even more proud of you than we are already.

Me, sorry, Sky Sports will have to suffice due to work, and a trip abroad next month, but I’ll be there in spirit

The Irish cricket season…

Is just about to get slightly lively!

Yes, the big match against England is now only a few days away, and a desk at work with Sky Sports TV has already been ‘grabbed’ for Thursday lol! Will miss the start of the match commuting to the start of my shift, but will get to see most of it, albeit without the benefit of sound.

The Irish squad was named a few days ago, no surprises there, but didnt really expect anything else to be honest. The development squad (or A team?) was also picked for a game against a Sussex side, and an Under 19 squad named too. The ladies team have been playing in Holland this week, mixed results, just have to mention that they have an amazing 13 year old in the squad, and she’s there on merit! Had a decent week too, it should be noted with the ball. England ladies, keep your eyes off her, though maybe they arent like their male counterparts lol!

The England squad was named today, they seem to be taking a chance by resting a lot of big names, and assuming they can still beat us. Hopefully they will be proved very wrong! Funny, you’d think they’d want their revenge after the World Cup, but ah well… we need the ranking points anyway, lol!

Then September brings 2 Associate Cup (4 day matches) to Ireland, the one against Namibia cancelled at the start of my blogging career will be played in Belfast, then Canada in Dublin, plus 2 one day games as well. That should keep them busy lol!

Yes, I will be wearing green to work next Thursday, cant possibly think why, lol!

Oh, and last but not least, a totally different sport, and showing support to one side of my Irish ancestry at least, Kerry play Mayo in the All Ireland senior gaelic football semi finals tomorrow. Good luck to them, hopefully they would win with, or without it anyway. The other side of my family, Offaly. Need to go back a fair few generations, but it seems those of us with an Irish background (especially Americans) dont seem to worry about things like that!

May the rest of your weekend be a sweet one, as they say.