Records tumble as Afghanistan clinch T20 series over Ireland

February 23rd 2019 by Jo Harman, Wisden | International

Records tumble as Afghanistan clinch T20 series over Ireland

Ireland have posted their 5th highest T20I total, but the innings was in vain

DEHRADUN - Paul Stirling’s highest score in T20 internationals wasn’t enough to deny Afghanistan, who produced a virtuoso display of hitting to win by 84 runs in Dehradun and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Stirling struck 91 from 50 balls – Ireland’s highest-ever individual score in T20Is – but the day belonged to Afghan opener Hazratullah Zazai, who struck an incredible 162 not out from 62 balls.

It was the second-highest individual score in T20 internationals, surpassed only by Aaron Finch’s 172 against Zimbabwe last year, and propelled Afghanistan to 278-3, the highest-ever score in the format. Zazai’s 16 sixes was also a new T20I record.

After Asghar Afghan won the toss and elected to bat, Afghanistan’s openers were quickly into their stride, Zazai hitting the third ball of the innings for four – the first of his 27 boundaries – as he and Usman Ghani (73 from 48) took the attack to Ireland’s bowlers.

Their partnership of 236 in 17.3 overs was the highest for any wicket in a T20 international, surpassing Australian pair Finch and D’Arcy Short’s previous record of 223 set against Zimbabwe in 2018. 

With the notable exception of Boyd Rankin, who returned the excellent figures of 1-35, Ireland’s bowlers were unable to keep a lid on Afghanistan’s powerful batting line-up who repeatedly peppered the boundary, clearing the ropes 22 times during the innings.

Ghani was happy to play second fiddle to his more aggressive partner but played some sumptuous shots of his own, registering his third fifty in T20 internationals and surpassing his previous highest score of 69.

Ireland missed two opportunities to break the partnership through dropped catches – both from the unfortunate Shane Getkate. But it was Zazai’s day with an exceptional performance from the 20-year-old left-hander, playing in just his fifth T20I.

When a wicket finally did come it deservedly fell to Rankin, with Ghani holing out to Josh Little at long-on, but there was no let up as Shafiqullah blasted his very first delivery for six. He didn’t stick around long though, finding Lorcan Tucker at mid-wicket off the bowling of Peter Chase to end his innings on 7 from three deliveries.

Mohammad Nabi wasn’t messing around either, dispatching his first delivery for four and hitting consecutive sixes off Little before the young seamer bamboozled him with a slower ball which rearranged his woodwork. 

Faced with a formidable target, Stirling came out all guns blazing, dispatching the first delivery of the innings for six and dominating a superb opening stand of 126 with O’Brien – Ireland’s highest-ever T20I partnership for any wicket.

While the openers remained together Ireland impressively kept pace with the required run rate, however the loss of O’Brien (37), who slapped a Fareed Ahmad full toss to deep cover, and the introduction of champion leg-spinner Rashid Khan signalled a collapse.

Rashid clean-bowled Andrew Balbirnie with a top-spinner from the final delivery of his second over and when Mujeeb Ur Rahman had Stirling caught at deep square-leg from the next ball, nine short of his century, the contest was effectively over.

Rashid turned the screw, removing Tucker and Dockrell in his third over before ending an enterprising innings from Getkate (24 from 16 balls) to finish with figures of 4-25.

Singh (17*) and Stuart Poynter (15*) kept battling until the last but Afghanistan ran out comfortable winners to seal the series, Ireland finishing on 194-6.

The two sides meet again in the final match of the series on Sunday 24 February.

 

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Afghanistan v Ireland, T20 international, 23 February 2019, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun

  Afghanistan 278-3 (20 overs; H Zazai 162*, U Ghani 73; Rankin 1-35)
  Ireland 194-6 (20 overs; P Stirling 91, K O’Brien 37; R Khan 4-25)

Afghanistan won by 84 runs

A full scorecard is available here.

 

 


MATCH PREVIEW: Ireland look to build on strong showing to level series

February 22nd 2019 by Rich Evans, Wisden | International

MATCH PREVIEW: Ireland look to build on strong showing to level series

Kevin O'Brien gets off the mark in Game 1

Ireland has reason to be optimistic heading into the second ODI against Afghanistan, despite succumbing to their eighth straight defeat against them in T20Is on Thursday in Dehradun. The tourists contested on equal footing with the hosts for most of the contest - almost eerily so - with both sides suffering top-order slumps before being rescued by record-breaking lower-order partnerships.

When Ireland reduced their opponents to 50-5 in pursuit of 133, they looked favourites, and it took Afghanistan’s highest sixth-wicket partnership in history to get them over the line in the final over.

That Ireland were perhaps just one breakthrough away from victory should be encouraging, while, oddly, their first-innings slump might also offer reason for cheer. In their Quad Series in Oman, it was mostly the top three of Kevin O’Brien, captain Paul Stirling, and Andrew Balbirnie did the damage. Here Stuart Poynter and George Dockrell showed that they can compete even without a platform to launch from.

The signs were there that Ireland aren’t far from breaking the hoodoo their opponents hold over them, but they will need to do so quickly if they are to stay in with a chance of claiming the series’ honours.

Key battle – taming Nabi

Experienced all-rounder Mohammad Nabi was outstanding in the first T20I. His 40-ball 49* sealed the game for Afghanistan, but as important as finding a way to stop him scoring will be figuring out a method to score off him. His second-innings fireworks followed first-innings figures of 2-16, with Nabi the most economical of all the bowlers on show.

Ireland captain Paul Stirling rated Rashid as the big danger pre-series, calling him “the main difference between the two sides in the recent past”. But, after losing two wickets to the leggie’s first four deliveries, Ireland negotiated his threat well, with Stuart Poynter even hitting him for a memorable six in the penultimate over.


Afghanistan


“The positive intent we showed even against Rashid, we were very intent on sweeping him,” said Stirling. “I don’t mind seeing that. He got a couple of wickets but the lads were prepared to play shots.”

Nabi’s off-spin is a different challenge altogether. Less eye-catching perhaps, less likely to completely bamboozle you, but certainly no easier to get away. In the first T20I, 23 of his balls were pitched on a good length, and Ireland scored just one four off him, with 50 per cent of his deliveries dot balls.

Perhaps this is where the solution lies, not in trying to hit him out of the ground and the attack, but just trying to milk him for near a run a ball. He is third in the ICC T20I all-rounder rankings for a reason, and Ireland need to find a way to respect his threat while also not falling too far behind in the game in the process.

Conditions

Another fairly slow, turning deck is expected. There might be a cloud or two, but the chance of rain is minimal.

Squads

Ireland – Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan – Asghar Afghan (c), Usman Ghani, Najeeb Tarakai, Hazratullah Zazai, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Rashid Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Farid Malik, Sayed Shirzad, Zia-Ur-Rehman, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Zahir Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf

 

 

 


Nabi breaks Irish hearts as record partnerships tumble

February 21st 2019 by Rich Evans, Wisden | International

Nabi breaks Irish hearts as record partnerships tumble

Afghanistan go one-up in the three match series

DEHRADUN - Afghanistan defeated Ireland by five wickets in the first T20I in Dehradun in a thrilling match defined by two record-breaking mid-to-lower-order recoveries.

In the first innings, an undefeated 67-run seventh-wicket stand between George Dockrell and Stuart Poynter propelled Ireland to 132-6 against a mighty spin arsenal led by the world’s highest-ranked T20I bowler, Rashid Khan, who tucked into two wickets in his first over.

But it was the experienced all-rounder Mohammad Nabi who was the standout performer; after conceding just 16 runs from his four overs in the first innings, the 34-year-old hit an unbeaten 40-ball 49 and combined brilliantly with Najibullah Zadran to break Irish hearts – and Afghanistan’s record for the highest sixth-wicket partnership – in the second.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat, as Afghanistan managed to tame a powerful opening partnership in Kevin O’Brien and skipper Paul Stirling – Ireland’s two highest run-scorers in their recent T20I series in Oman – with just 11 runs conceded from the first three overs. The innings soon had lift-off when Stirling bludgeoned a few commanding drives to double Ireland’s score in the fourth. 

Teenage sensation Mujeeb Ur Rahman removed O’Brien, who holed out to Nabi at long-on, before Karim Janat trapped Andrew Balbirnie leg before wicket. Nabi claimed the big scalp of Stirling (23), with Najibullah Zadran clinging on at deep-midwicket, as Ireland fell to 39-3. Simi Singh was soon stumped, with the economical Nabi (2-16 from four overs) claiming his second.


Kevin O'Brien
Image: Kevin O’Brien was caught on long-on

Stuart Thompson twice found the off-side boundary, but Afghanistan still had an ace up their sleeve in the world-class Rashid, who removed Thompson (18) and Shane Getkate in his first over to make it 65-6.

All-rounder Dockrell (34* from 28 ball) and keeper-batsman Poynter (31* from 28) carried Ireland to a respectable 132-6, with Afghanistan’s twirlers Mujeeb, Rashid and Nabi – who picked up 14 wickets between them in Dehradun in Afghanistan’s last series against Bangladesh – keeping a lid on the scoring rate. Dockrell helped himself to a career-best score during Ireland’s record seventh-wicket stand, also their best for the fifth wicket or lower.

Afghanistan made a lively start to their innings, with 16 runs scored off the first over, including a six from Hazratullah Zazai, whose top-edged pull just evaded the fielder at deep square-leg. Ireland were boosted when Asghar Afghan picked out Getkate off the bowling of Peter Chase, whose nine-ball over proved fruitful for the visitors, comprising just four runs and one wicket.

Despite spilling a catch, Rankin made amends with the wickets of Zazai and Janat. After that first-over blitz, Ireland had replied with three wickets for 14 runs off the next three. At 30-3, it was very much game on.

The experienced hands off O’Brien claimed a low-catch to dismiss Samiullah Shinwari off the bowling of Josh Little. Bowler then turned ‘grabber’ when Little took a tidy catch at third man to remove Sharafuddin Ashraf, and at 50-5, two balls into the eighth over, Ireland was seemingly in the box seat.

At the 10-over mark, Afghanistan’s target rate had crept over seven. Simi Singh offered the first glimpse of Irish spin when he had to complete Thompson’s over, who limped off with an apparent hamstring injury.


Josh Little
Image: Josh Little again bowled with variation to contain the scoring

No boundaries were recorded between the fifth and 13th over, but when Ireland finally brought on a spinner to start an over, in Dockrell, Najibullah Zadran rocked back and cut for four before Nabi’s powerful pull in the 14th.

Some quick running stole eight off the 15th over – Afghanistan’s best since the fifth of the innings – but it was the 16th when the tide started to turn, with a four and six from Zadran (40 from 36). The rate dipped under a run a ball, and Ireland desperately needed a wicket.

With nine runs required off the final two overs, the task became a tall one for Ireland, who slipped to their eight successive defeat against Afghanistan in T20Is.

 


Ireland captain Paul Stirling speaking after the game said regarding choosing to bat first:

“It was a tough call to start with - we didn’t know if the dew was going to come down, and we won our last game batting second. But we thought Afghanistan usually don’t like to chase, so that was at the forefront of my mind. If we could have made a good score of 150-160 then I thought that could be defendable, and I think that proved right in that we got them where we did in the second innings at 5 down for about 50 so. If we had 20-30 more runs on the board, and had them in the same situation, I think we would have been in the front seat.”

About George Dockrell and Stuart Poynter’s partnership, he said:

“They were the ones that set up the whole total in the first place. They still played with that sort of attacking intent even though we were five down, which was great to see. We could have lost two wickets there and been bowled out for less than 100, so the fact they gave us a fighting chance was great to see.”

About Ireland’s bowling tactics, he said:

“The trend for our T20 side in the past has been going the distance in the powerplay and then dragging it back, so we’re trying to tighten up in the first six, and also we need to maintain what we’ve had in the middle. In the past that has happened through grinding it out with spin bowling in the middle overs, but I think in this instance seam is the way to go, and we did the same job which was great to see as well.”

About the positives to take forward into the rest of the series, he said:

“From my point of view the positive intent we showed even against Rashid, we were very intent on sweeping him, I don’t mind seeing that. He got a couple of wickets but the lads were prepared to play shots, so from my point of view I don’t mind that. It was great to see us getting wickets up front, always helps in T20, and if you don’t manage to do that you’re always in for a tough time. So those would be the two for me. Hopefully, going forward, we can be better in the first ten overs of our innings and the second ten overs of theirs.”

 

SCORECARD IN BRIEF


Afghanistan v Ireland, T20 International, 21 February 2019, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun

  Ireland 132-6 (20 overs; G Dockrell 34*, S Poynter 31*; M Nabi 2-16, R Khan 2-21)
  Afghanistan 136-5 (19.2 overs; M Nabi 49*, N Zadran 40*; B Rankin 2-39)
 
Afghanistan won by 5 wickets


A full scorecard is available here.

Tour schedule (upcoming matches)

• 23 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
• 24 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
• 28 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
• 2 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
• 5 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
• 8 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 4th ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
• 10 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 5th ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
• 15–19 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - Test Match – start time of 10am (local time) or 4.30am (GMT)

 

 


MATCH PREVIEW: Can Ireland negate Rashid threat to carry on strong Quad Series form?

February 21st 2019 by Ben Gardner, Wisden | International

MATCH PREVIEW: Can Ireland negate Rashid threat to carry on strong Quad Series form?

Paul Stirling, together with Kevin O'Brien, have formed a potentially devastating new opening partnership

Don’t be fooled by the final standings. Despite finishing third out of four teams in the Oman T20I Quadrangular Series, behind European rivals Scotland and the Netherlands, Ireland only did so on net run rate, and emerged from the competition with plenty of positives – a new big-hitting opening partnership chief among them.

Still next up is, on paper at least, a tougher challenge; Afghanistan, with whom Ireland’s rise has been intertwined, against whom they have clashed many times over the years, and a side who, in this format at least, have had the upper hand in recent contests.

“I think Afghanistan have gone better in the T20 stuff of late, though we know what they bring,” said Ireland captain Paul Stirling on the eve of the series. “They have very good spinners and a batting line-up that really comes hard against us. We know what to expect, we’ve played them a lot in the recent past and we hope to get off to a good start.”

Ireland come into the series as underdogs. They have lost their last seven T20Is against Afghanistan, and their opponents will be able to call upon their star players, with Rashid Khan, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi all available. But they also come into it a competitive T20 series under their belt, and familiar opponents.

Key battle – facing down the spinners

Afghanistan’s spin attack might just be the world’s best in limited-overs cricket. In Rashid and Mujeeb they have a pair of bowlers who can turn the ball both ways, and with little discernible change of action. They are in demand in T20 leagues around the world, and with good reason.

Rashid in particular has always enjoyed playing against Ireland, with 18 wickets in seven T20Is against them, a bowling average of 7.55, and conceding less than a run a ball all the while.

“[Rashid Khan] has been the main difference between the two sides in the recent past,” said Stirling. “Whenever he performs well for them, or we don’t play him particularly well, I think that really is a big advantage for Afghanistan, so he’ll definitely be one of the bowlers we’ll be trying to negate.”

Rashid’s presence will – as in recent encounters – be a challenge for Ireland’s middle-order batting. Ireland’s top three were dominant in the Quad Series – all of Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, and Andrew Balbirnie featured in the top four run-scorers across all teams – but Ireland will need to learn to finish an innings strongly after a top order has laid a strong platform.

Against Netherlands they were 99-1 in pursuit of 183 but stumbled through the middle overs, saved only by Stuart Poynter’s last-ball six, while against Scotland, not even a record-breaking opening stand of 115 was enough to lay the groundwork for a match-winning total. A batting improvement in those overs 13-18, and an improved method of combatting Rashid, could be the key to changing their fortunes against Afghanistan.

Conditions

A slow-ish, turning track is expected. With clouds and the possibility of rain in the forecast, chasing could be the way to go.

Squads

Ireland – Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan - Asghar Afghan (c), Usman Ghani, Najeeb Tarakai, Hazratullah Zazai, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Rashid Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Farid Malik, Sayed Shirzad, Zia-Ur-Rehman, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Zahir Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf

 


All you need to know: Ireland v Afghanistan - T20 International Series

February 20th 2019 |

All you need to know: Ireland v Afghanistan - T20 International Series

The T20I Series starts 21 February 2019

Ireland Men’s cricket team will take on Afghanistan in a three-match T20 International Series on 21, 23 and 24 February 2019. Here’s what you need to know.

MATCH #1: Ireland v Afghanistan

• Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
• Date: Thursday 21 February 2019
• Start time: 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
• Tickets: Online purchase
• Livescoring: http://bit.ly/IREvAFG_T20I
• Livestream: via http://bit.ly/IREvAFG_Livestream

MATCH #2: Ireland v Afghanistan

• Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
• Date: Saturday 23 February 2019
• Start time: 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
• Tickets: Online purchase
• Livescoring: http://bit.ly/IREvAFG_T20I
• Livestream: via http://bit.ly/IREvAFG_Livestream

MATCH #3: Ireland v Afghanistan

• Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
• Date: Sunday 24 February 2019
• Start time: 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
• Tickets: Online purchase
• Livescoring: http://bit.ly/IREvAFG_T20I
• Livestream: via http://bit.ly/IREvAFG_Livestream

 

Latest News

Match Preview - 2nd T20I: Ireland v Afghanistan
Match Report: Nabi breaks Irish hearts as record partnerships tumble
Match Preview - 1st T20I: Ireland v Afghanistan
Press conference pre-series: Paul Stirling
Interview witih Andrew Balbirnie
Stirling to captain Ireland T20 squad, new faces named for upcoming Oman and Afghanistan series

 

FULL TOUR DETAILS

Ireland Men’s Squads

Afghanistan series - T20 Squad
Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – ODI Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – Test Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Tour Schedule

• 21 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
• 23 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
• 24 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
• 28 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
• 2 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
• 5 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
• 8 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 4th ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
• 10 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 5th ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
• 15–19 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - Test Match – start time of 10am (local time) or 4.30am (GMT)

 


PRESS CONFERENCE: Paul Stirling ahead of the T20I Series against Afghanistan

February 20th 2019 | International

PRESS CONFERENCE: Paul Stirling ahead of the T20I Series against Afghanistan

Paul Stirling and Asghar Afghan pose with the trophies

DEHRADUN – Ireland T20I Captain Paul Stirling participated in a press conference ahead of the three-match T20 International series to be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in India.


Asked about the Afghan opponents, he said:

“I think Afghanistan have gone better in the T20 stuff of late, though we know what they bring. They have very good spinners and a batting line-up that really comes hard against us. We know what to expect, we’ve played them a lot in the recent past and we hope to get off to a good start come Thursday.”

Asked about Afghanistan’s spin attack, he said:

“We’ve played them a lot over the last few years, so hopefully we can go out there with a positive mindset. At the end of the day they’ve still got to perform as well, and I think if we play the ball and not the player in this competition then we’ll go a lot better.”

“[Rashid Khan] has been the main difference between the two sides in the recent past. Whenever he performs well for them, or we don’t play him particularly well, I think that really is a big advantage for Afghanistan, so he’ll definitely be one of the bowlers we’ll be trying to negate but they’ve got more than just Rashid Khan, they’re a really good outfit.”

Asked about Ireland playing its second Test match, he said:

“We got a taste of it [Test cricket] against Pakistan last year, so we’re just hungry to get our first win. We’ve got this opportunity against Afghanistan in a month’s time, but for the minute our focus is on the other two formats, particularly T20 - we’ll look forward to the Test match once the one-dayers are finished.”

Asked whether his experience in the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) gave him an insight into his opponents, he said:

“I think [the APL] showed the depth that Afghanistan have got - they showed they’ve got players who are ready to come in when they have an injury to a first eleven player, or are putting real pressure on the lads who are already there. It was good to get a feeling for who was behind the first eleven - in the Test squad and T20 they have picked a few people who haven’t played as many games, so [being involved in the APL] certainly helped from that point of view. But I think with the mainstay of the Afghanistan team we already what they’re capable of and I think it is about trying to counteract that.”


Paul Stirling
Image: Paul Stirling at yesterday’s press conference


Afghanistan Captain Asghar Afghan said:

“We have been training in India for the last one month as part of our preparations and are well prepared for the upcoming series”.

He added that the upcoming series against Ireland will help his side with preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

The first T20 International between Afghanistan and Ireland is on Thursday. Afghanistan have won the last seven completed T20 Internationals between the two sides - the last time Ireland prevailed was in 2013 in the Final of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier.

A livestream of the series will be available from this Youtube Channel.

 

Squads for Afghanistan series


Afghanistan series - T20 Squad
Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – ODI Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – Test Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Tour Schedule

21 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
23 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
24 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)

28 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
2 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
5 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
8 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 4th ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
10 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 5th ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)

15–19 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - Test Match – start time of 10am (local time) or 4.30am (GMT)


Interview: Andrew Balbirnie on Oman series, watching Stuart Poynter bat and ‘feeling old’

February 19th 2019 | International

Interview: Andrew Balbirnie on Oman series, watching Stuart Poynter bat and ‘feeling old’

Andrew Balbirnie acknowledges his half-century against Netherlands

DEHRADUN – The Ireland Men’s cricket team arrived in India last night ahead of a nine-match series against Afghanistan starting on Thursday. Top-order batter Andrew Balbirnie sat down for an interview today and spoke about the Oman series, Stuart Poynter’s six and feeling old.

Andrew Balbirnie, 28, made his international debut in 2010 and has cemented himself in the top-order for Ireland. Last Sunday he scored his highest score in T20 Internationals – 83 runs from 50 balls - in a player of the match performance. Balbirnie, who underwent successful surgery in 2016 on a hip injury that threatened his career, has made 89 appearances for the national side.

Speaking about the recent T20 International tournament in Oman and the upcoming series, he said:

“It has been great to finally get going and playing outside - we’ve been doing a lot of indoor training at North County over the winter, which is great but does get frustrating after a while as the surface there is very different to the challenges we were to face in Oman and now here in India.”

“The conditions in Oman were excellent, the wickets and facilities particularly were first-class. It allowed me personally to just concentrate on my game – particularly moving well and doing the basics well. But one thing that really helped was the batting camp we had in Bangalore in December - it was very beneficial, not just for this tour but for any tour, as the volume of batting we did in tough conditions mentally gave us the confidence to produce during the big games in these warm countries.”

“Over the next few weeks we’ll be playing three different formats of the game and I think at this stage it will mainly be a mental adjustment to switch in and out of the formats. All formats are difficult in their own right, but for me the principles of batting mainly stay the same, like hitting the ball as straight and late as possible.”

“There’s a good feeling amongst the squad at present - Stirlo [Paul Stirling] has been excellent so far, leading from the front with the bat and demanding high standards in everything we do, and it has been great having the newer guys around. However, it’s my first trip that I’ve been representing ‘the oldies’ in the football matches, which is a big shock to the system.”

Video: Ireland Men’s team arrive in Dehradun

Asked about his player of the match performance in Sunday’s T20I against Netherlands, he said:

“My game plan going out to bat against the Netherlands, after losing Stirlo [Paul Stirling] early, was simple - give myself a couple of balls and then assess where my best scoring options were and go on from there.”

“It may sound obvious, but as a batting unit we found that the more time we had in the middle and acclimatising to conditions, the better we batted. However, we were disappointed with our batting in the middle overs against Scotland, and felt we underperformed, so to get a good run chase under our belts against the Netherlands was very satisfying.”

When asked about what he was thinking as Stuart Poynter faced that last ball yesterday, he said:

“Watching him face that last ball was nerve-wracking for all of us. I just sat there thinking: “Please hit this for 6 Stu, please hit this for 6”. There was as much relief as excitement when bat hit ball.”

The Ireland Men’s team is in action on Thursday in the first T20 International against Afghanistan. A livestream will be available, with details posted on Cricket Ireland social media channels when confirmed.

Cricket Ireland can further confirm that James Shannon will not be travelling to India for the T20 International series, and instead will remain in Ireland as part of his rehabilitation from injury to his shoulder. There will be no replacement sent.

 

Squads for Afghanistan series


Afghanistan series - T20 Squad
Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – ODI Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – Test Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Tour Schedule

21 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
23 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
24 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)

28 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
2 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
5 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
8 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 4th ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
10 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 5th ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)

15–19 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - Test Match – start time of 10am (local time) or 4.30am (GMT)

 


Three double-headers announced among 12-match international summer schedule for Ireland Women

February 18th 2019 | International, Women

Three double-headers announced among 12-match international summer schedule for Ireland Women

Ireland Women will face West Indies, Zimbabwe and Scotland this summer

DUBLIN – Ireland Women’s Cricket Team will face West Indies, Zimbabwe and Scotland in a busy year for the national side, ahead of a T20 World Cup Qualifier campaign in late summer – and fans will be able to enjoy three T20 International double-headers with the Ireland Men’s team in July.

The release of the 2019 fixtures comes off the back of the commencement of the development of a new Girl’s and Women’s cricket strategy and the recent announcement of the first-ever women’s part-time contracts to be offered in 2019 and ahead of another World Cup qualifying campaign.

Aaron Hamilton, Head Coach of the Ireland Women’s cricket team, said:

“2018 was a significant year for women’s cricket in many ways – we played 19 fixtures home and away, which culminated in an appearance in the Women’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean, saw top-class fixtures at home, and a tour to Zimbabwe. It was also a period of generational change as we farewelled our four longest-serving members, but ushered in a new era of professionalism of the sport by announcing that we would be offering the first-ever women’s part-time contracts in 2019.”

“This season we are to take women’s international fixtures around Ireland and the schedule has allowed us to create three double-header events, where men’s and women’s T20 Internationals will share the bill.”

“The larger goal for the squad at this point is twofold – to qualify for the next T20 World Cup in Australia in February 2020, and to ensure our world ranking is maintained so we are part of the new Women’s Championship post-2021. Last year almost 600-caps of experience retired – it will be a challenge to go into this next phase without those players, but when I look at the talent and potential coming through, I believe we are well placed to achieve those objectives.”

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, discussed the Girl’s and Women’s Cricket Strategy. He said:

“In December last year the Board of Cricket Ireland approved the development of a new strategy looking at all aspects of women’s and girl’s participation, administration and development within the sport. Female cricketers make up around 19% of regular players across Ireland (up from 9% in 2013), our women’s international team is ranked 10th in the world, and we are increasing the representation of women across our administrative and governance functions - but there is much more to do.”

“We are delighted that Maeve Buckley has agreed to become involved in the development of our new strategy. Maeve has 20 years experience in strategic planning, international top-level sports administration and marketing, and has worked on a number of recent strategic plans, both within Irish sport including for the Camogie Association and the IRFU, and internationally with FIFA.”

 

 

Ireland Women’s international fixtures 2019


Confirmed details:

26 May: Ireland Women v West Indies Women (YMCA CC, Dublin); T20I
28 May: Ireland Women v West Indies Women (Pembroke CC, Dublin); T20I
29 May: Ireland Women v West Indies Women (Pembroke CC, Dublin); T20I
3 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Oak Hill); 50-over*
5 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Oak Hill); 50-over*
7 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Oak Hill); 50-over*
10 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Stormont); T20I**
12 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Bready CC); T20I**
14 July: Ireland Women v Zimbabwe Women (Bready CC); T20I**

        * Zimbabwe Women’s cricket team does not have ‘official ODI status’, so these games are 50-over internationals but not ODIs under ICC classification
        ** Matches will form part of three double-header events in conjunction with Ireland Men and Zimbabwe Men

In addition:

• A three-match T20I series against Scotland Women has also been agreed between the two Cricket Boards, with dates and venues to be confirmed once the details of the Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier are announced.
• The next Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier will be held in late 2019 (timing and venue to be announced)

 

WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT…

Once again we would like to thank Hanley Energy, our great sponsors who are supporting the growth of women’s cricket in Ireland.

CI HE


Miracle in Muscat as Poynter hits six off last ball to win match

February 17th 2019 | International

Miracle in Muscat as Poynter hits six off last ball to win match

Ireland has recorded a miraculous last-ball victory

MUSCAT – Ireland’s wicket-keeper Stuart Poynter struck a miraculous six over mid-wicket off the last ball as Ireland won its final encounter of the T20I Quadrangular Tournament against Netherlands at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.

Ireland made one change to the line-up from the defeat against Scotland on Friday, with Stuart Thompson replacing Lorcan Tucker. Captain Paul Stirling won the toss and immediately elected to bowl first – the first such opportunity of the tournament.

Once more the Irish bowlers struggled to contain their opponents during the powerplay, and Netherlands raced to 79-0 after the six overs. The Dutch openers, Tobias Visee (78 from 36 balls) and Max O’Dowd (38 from 34 balls) hit a 116-run opening stand in 9.2 overs and looked set to launch their side to a score well beyond 200.

However, the wicket of Visee led to an Irish revival, led by the bowling of Stuart Thompson (4-18) and Paul Stirling (1-13) - at one stage combining to take four wickets in six balls.

Thompson’s four-wicket haul was his career best, and with Stirling, the two bowlers combined at a crucial middle-overs stage to send down six overs for the impressive return of 5-31. A late flurry of boundaries ensured the Dutch score was competitive, and they finished on 182-9.


Stirling
Image: Captain Paul Stirling claimed 1-13 from three overs

The Irish response did not get off to the best start, losing captain Stirling for four, but Kevin O’Brien (46 from 30 balls) and Andy Balbirnie (83 from 50 balls) put on an impressive 86-run stand to have Ireland well in the hunt at the halfway stage of their innings. Balbirnie’s effort was his best on T20I cricket and included 12 fours and a six in a well-controlled but commanding innings.

The Dutch side sensed an opportunity and Ireland’s middle-order stumbled, losing regular wickets while the run-rate slowed.

Come the final over, Ireland needed 12 to win with three wickets in hand. Two wickets and six runs came from the first four balls, leaving Poynter on strike with 6 needed off two overs. He failed to score off the fifth ball, but then launched an almighty pull shot over mid-wicket off the last to win the match in remarkable circumstances.

Andy Balbirnie was named Player of the Match for his 83 from 50 balls.

 

Captain Paul Stirling said about the last ball win:

“Poynter turned down the single off the second last ball, which was the right decision to make with Chevy [Peter Chase] being at the other end. He got one into the deck, slightly a slower ball, and he got a good bit of bat on it and hit it for six - which was brilliant to get the win.”

“[Earlier] it was excellent from Stuart Thompson, he got three wickets in an over at one stage, which has happened twice in this tour already. He’s missed the last two games through a hamstring niggle, and just to come back and bowl like that has been excellent - hopefully now he can go and kick-on with the bat. I think that little period which we were both bowling in tandem tied them down a little bit and kept the score to manageable at least.”

“Their score though was a little under par – the wickets have been excellent out here and the boundaries haven’t been too big, so 180 has been an absolute minimum you need, and 200 is a score where you’re talking that should win you the match. So I think they’ll be a bit disappointed given where they were at the 10-over mark, but we were thankful we could drag them back and make it a total we could chase.”

About the tournament, he said:

“Everything outside the cricket has been absolutely excellent - the facilities have been great and they looked after us really well. This is certainly something we could do on an annual or bi-annual basis. On the field it has been great for us, but we know the tasks now are only going to get tougher and tougher as we go on to Afghanistan. It’s 1.5 to 2 times the step up we’ll need from the standard we played here and we’re really going to have to up our game - but the tournament itself was brilliant.”

 

 

That completes the tournament for the men in green, finishing with two wins and a loss. The results see Ireland rise one place up the ICC Rankings, into 17th place.

SCORECARD IN BRIEF


Netherlands v Ireland, T20 International, 17 February 2019, Al Almerat Cricket Ground, Muscat

  Netherlands 182-9 (20 overs; T Visee 78, M O’Dowd 38; S Thompson 4-18, B Rankin 2-27)
  Ireland 183-9 (20 overs; A Balbirnie 83, K O’Brien 46; P van der Meekeran 4-38, F Klaassen 3-31)
 
Ireland won by 1 wicket


A full scorecard is available here.


Two new coaching courses announced

February 15th 2019 | International, Coaching

Two new coaching courses announced

Cricket Ireland has announced two new coaching courses to encourage people interested in getting into cricket coaching or looking to improve their skills and knowledge.

Coaching Cricket Course

The Cricket Ireland Coaching Cricket course is aimed at anyone who wants to coach club or school players aged over 11 years. The course is designed to provide new and emerging coaches with the knowledge and skills to deliver player-centred, enjoyable, and safe coaching support with an appropriate focus on cricket skills and long-term player development.

  >> Download more information (PDF)

 

Coaching Kids 5-11 Years Course

The Cricket Ireland Coaching Kids 5-11 years course is aimed at parents, teachers, and young adults supporting cricketers aged 5-11 years. The course is designed to provide new and emerging coaches with the knowledge and skills to deliver child-centred, safe, fun, and age-appropriate coaching sessions.


  >> Download more information (PDF)

 


Stirling, O’Brien break records but Scotland chase down target to defeat Ireland in latest T20I

February 15th 2019 | International

Stirling, O’Brien break records but Scotland chase down target to defeat Ireland in latest T20I

Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien put on a 115-run opening stand

MUSCAT – Ireland’s newest opening pairing of Ireland Captain Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien put on a record partnership in setting a competitive total, but Scotland powered their way to victory latest encounter in the T20I Quadrangular Tournament at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.

Ireland went into the match with an unchanged line-up from the one that defeated Oman on Wednesday, and after losing the toss the men in green were asked to bat first.

Stirling and O’Brien cut loose from the first over, hitting a record opening stand of 115 runs from 70 balls - this was not only the highest first-wicket partnership for Ireland in T20I cricket, but the highest partnership for any wicket in T20Is.

O’Brien was the chief aggressor early, bringing up for 50 off 31 balls, eventually dismissed for 65 off 38 balls (including four sixes and five fours). O’Brien’s innings was his highest ever T20I score and took him past 3,000 career runs in the T20 format.

Shortly after O’Brien’s dismissal, Stirling brought up his half-century – his third in consecutive innings on this tour – but fell soon after for 56 (off 42 balls, two sixes and five fours). Stirling has not let the captaincy burden his performance, and in his four innings on the current tour he has hit 213 runs at an average of 53.25.

After the blistering start, Scotland’s bowlers pulled the scoring rate right back taking regular wickets, with the 22-year old left-arm spinner Mark Watt leading the counter-attack taking 3-26 off his 4 overs.

Late runs to Shane Getkate (16) and George Dockrell (15*) saw Ireland reach 180-7 from their 20 overs. This was the highest score by a team at the tournament so far, but after the start they had, Ireland would have considered the total at least 20 runs short of par.

Stirling
Image: Paul Stirling dives too make his ground


The Scottish response matched – and indeed, bettered the run-rate of - the explosive start of the Irish, and they put on 109 from 52 balls. George Munsey, after hitting a remarkable 32 from 11 balls in the last match, brought up his half-century from 26 balls, but was dismissed the next ball by Shane Getkate. His opening partner, Scottish captain Kyle Coetzer was not to be outshone – he brought up his fifty from 24 balls and went on to make 74 from 38 balls.

While the Irish bowlers reined in the scoring rate, Scotland’s middle-order batters led by Calum MacLeod (35*) saw the Scots home with nine balls to spare.

Ireland will rue a number of catches that went down at crucial times – and one catch claimed off a no-ball – however cannot deny that the Scottish side deserved the win.

For Ireland, the bowling of 19-year old left arm paceman Josh Little again impressed with 0-33 from 4 overs, following his 2-24 against Oman, and Shane Getkate claiming his first two international wickets to go with his batting effort, which again underscored his all-round abilities.

Following the game, Ireland Captain Paul Stirling said:

“The score was a little below par - we were positioned to get 220-plus, so it was disappointing to scrape the 180 in the end after the start that we got off to. Big improvements are needed in those overs from 13 to 17, we weren’t good enough at rotating the strike and finding the boundaries. That’s what cost us those 20 runs.”

“We have a lot we need to improve on [before the Netherlands on Sunday], both with the bat and the ball - so pinpointing one would be wrong of me. We’ll re-group and do a lot of learning before the Holland game, but make sure we treat the Holland game as separate from the Scotland game. We’ll do our homework on the Dutch and go in there knowing what we need to do to win the game.”

Asked about whether Kevin O’Brien’s elevation to opener has given him a new T20 lease of life, Stirling said:

“Yeah I think it has. It makes it slightly more easy for him earlier on with only two men out, and we’ve put a few partnerships together now, so that seems to be a positive so far. Hopefully he can go and kick on now - that was his first T20 fifty for Ireland so hopefully he can go and make many more now.”


In the other tournament fixture today, Netherlands defeated Oman by 8 wickets and lead the tournament standings with two wins from two (scorecard).

Ireland’s next match is on Sunday against Netherlands, with a start time of 5.15am, GMT.

 

SCORECARD IN BRIEF


Oman v Ireland, T20 International, 13 February 2019, Al Almerat Cricket Ground, Muscat

  Ireland 180-7 (20 overs; K O’Brien 65, P Stirling 56; M Watt 3-26)
  Scotland 181-4 (18.3 overs; K Coetzer 74, G Munsey 50; S Getkate 2-15)
 
Scotland won by 6 wickets

A full scorecard is available here.

Quadrangular tournament in Oman (upcoming matches)

• 17 February: Ireland v Netherlands (T20I); Scotland v Oman (T20I)

 

 


Interview: Boyd Rankin talks about the challenges of Oman wickets, bowling technique and foot baths

February 14th 2019 | International, Other

Interview: Boyd Rankin talks about the challenges of Oman wickets, bowling technique and foot baths

Boyd Rankin enjoying being back in action

MUSCAT – Boyd Rankin is one of Ireland’s lynchpin bowlers, and will play a pivotal role across all three formats of the game over the next six weeks. He sat down for an interview the day after his side defeated host-country Oman in the first match of the Quadrangular T20 tournament.

Standing at a height of 6’8”, the 34-year old fast bowler has come a long way since he first stepped out for Ireland at the age of 19 in 2003. He has appeared 118 times for Ireland, and is one of those rare dual-internationals at Test level having also played a Test for England in 2014. Rankin, who will forever be known as the bowler who claimed Ireland Men’s first-ever Test match wicket, recently announced that he would be joining the North West Warriors in 2019 after officially ending a successful 11-year stint at Warwickshire County Cricket Club.

He said:

“The feeling in the squad has been brilliant so far and the likes of these younger players like Getkate, Tector and Tucker coming in and playing with no fear - and having that energy around the squad - has been great. They’ve fully deserved their chance and hopefully they can show what they have been doing with the Wolves. Stirlo [T20 Captain Paul Stirling] has been pretty relaxed but you can see he’s thinking in every situation. He has huge experience of T20 cricket throughout the world so he’s ideally suited to captaining in the format.”

Reflecting upon the opening match of the current tour, he said:

“It’s really good to get some competitive cricket again after about five months of no cricket. I’ve been training at Edgbaston through the winter in the indoors and in the gym, so pretty much same as what I have always done apart from not being directly involved with Warwickshire anymore. They have been really good about allowing me to use their facilities there has been great while I’m still based in Birmingham.”

“The first week out here in Oman has been great and the facilities here are top-class. I’ve been enjoying getting some outdoor practice in and getting some overs in the legs.”

“Conditions here aren’t easy as a fast bowler, as wickets have been slow and low, but I’ve tried to just get back to finding my rhythm outdoors and hitting the pitch as hard as I can. You need to be on the top of your game on these wickets as any margin of error will make it easy for the batsmen to score. Slower ball variations and yorkers will be important throughout this tour and India so it’s just trying to improve every chance you train and play and the blowers have been working hard so far.”

Asked about his mental and physical approach to the long tour, and multi-format nature of upcoming matches, he said:

“Mentally it’s important to get away from cricket on days off and keep yourself fresh, as it is a busy tour - but nothing I haven’t been through before. As a fast bowler, games take a lot out of you. Recovery is really important and something our Strength & Conditioning Coach and Physio help with a lot the day after a game or during a Test match in the evening.”

“Mobility has always been big for me to make sure I stay flexible in order to be able to continue to bowl with pace and consistency. Hydration is also very important to keep on top of and something we get tested each morning before a game or training. I’m always carrying a bottle of water around with me and sipping when I can.”

“Nutrition, and getting the right foods on board at the right time, can have major benefits on the field as well. Things like protein shakes and getting extra salts on board to stop cramping are all part of a fast bowler’s routine.”

“I have a routine that I ice my feet for 15 minutes after every time I bowl. It’s the nicest thing to do, and the rest of the lads say they don’t know how I do it, but it’s just something I have done for the last 6 or 7 years and helps with my recovery.”

“Getting in light gym sessions to keep topping up on strength is crucial as well on a long tour like this. I have my routines that I will always do the morning of a game in terms of getting myself where I need to be to be able to bowl and perform. There are so many things that people don’t see happening behind the scenes but we are constantly doing thing to help us perform better on the field to give yourself the best chance.”


Asked about his bowling approach and techniques, he said:

“T20 is more about having the variations and skills to bowl at any point of the game and being able to execute. 50-over and Test cricket, on the other hand, is more to do with bowling your best ball over-and-over for the majority of the game, and being as consistent as you can with that. The back-end of 50-over is similar to T20 in many ways - with all the white ball cricket it’s just being really clear in plans you have and bowl to that plan. And it’s all down to taking one game at a time and concentrating on that one game.”

“Every bowler has their strengths and what they prefer to bowl at certain stages of an over and game. It’s each bowler’s responsibility to set their field as they know what they want to bowl, but bowling as a partnership in T20 is crucial as well. A couple of good overs in partnership could have a massive impact on the game.”

“It also is very important we bowl in partnerships depending on what end you bowl, ground dimensions, wind etc etc. All these factors have to be taken into account when coming up with a plan and as a bowling group we would chat about these scenarios before the game so we are clear what we are looking to do. As the senior bowler, so to speak, in the team it’s my role along with Stirlo [Captain Paul Stirling] to help the younger bowlers out during the game where I can if they aren’t quite sure about the plan they want.”


The Ireland Men’s team is in action tomorrow (Friday) in the second T20 International against Scotland.

 

Oman Quadrangular T20 Tournament Squad


Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

 

Quadrangular Tournament Schedule

• 13 February: Ireland v Oman (scorecard); Scotland v Netherlands (scorecard)
• 15 February: Ireland v Scotland (starts 9.45am, GMT); Oman v Netherlands
• 17 February: Ireland v Netherlands (starts 5.15am, GMT); Scotland v Oman

 

 


Stirling fires Ireland to T20 International win over Oman

February 13th 2019 | International

Stirling fires Ireland to T20 International win over Oman

Paul Stirling hit 71 from 51 balls

MUSCAT – Captain Paul Stirling led from the front as Ireland claimed a 15-run win over Oman in their first match of the T20I Quadrangular Tournament at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.

Ahead of the toss, Ireland’s captain Paul Stirling presented Ireland’s 700th international cap to 27-year old debutant Shane Getkate.

Oman’s captain Ajay Lalcheta then won the toss and sent Ireland in to bat first.

Stirling and new T20 opening partner Kevin O’Brien continued their promising start as a top of the order pairing, putting on 44 from the first five overs. After losing O’Brien for 19 from 14 balls (two fours, one six), Stirling was joined in a 78-run stand with Andy Balbirnie, who hit 34 from 24 balls (four fours, one six). The partnership was Ireland’s third-highest second wicket stand in T20Is and set Ireland up for a seemingly big finale to their innings.

However, the brakes were applied to the visitors run rate as Balbirnie was dismissed with the score on 122, and Stirling dismissed three runs later. The Irish captain’s innings was his second score in the seventies in consecutive innings, falling for 71 from 51 balls (11 fours, one six).

The last five overs yielded just 34 runs, with Lorcan Tucker compiling a tidy 22* from 18 balls (three fours) and debutant Getkate chiming in with 10 runs from 8 balls. Ireland’s total of 159-5 was competitive, although the visitors were probably 15-20 runs short of what they were on target for at the halfway mark of the innings.


The Omani response got to a fast-paced start – despite losing two early wickets, the home side were well settled at 50-2 at the end of the power play. With the scoreboard ticking over regularly, Ireland were looking for inspiration – and received it in the form of spinner Simi Singh. Bowling the 10th over of the Oman innings with Oman at 73-3, Singh claimed three wickets in the space of five balls, rocking the home side, which slumped to 76-6.

Late wickets to George Dockrell, Josh Little (who claimed a dangerous looking Mohammad Nazeem for 25 with a deceiving slower ball) and Peter Chase, put the game beyond doubt and Oman finished on 144-9, giving Ireland victory by 15 runs.

After the match, Paul Stirling said:

“I think we just about got a competitive total on the board. There was a lot less grass on the wicket than over the last few days - so it wasn’t too bad a toss to lose. I think we got a score that was a minimum score we needed to get - and we knew if we got a couple of quick wickets we’d put them under pressure, and that’s exactly what happened.”

“The captaincy has been good fun, but I’m just happy we got across the line today. We didn’t really know what a good score was going to be. From a personal point of view it was good to take a few balls and get myself in and make a decent enough score.”

“I think there is plenty of work to do still - one game doesn’t make us a good team, and we need to continue to improve.”

“In terms of the tournament, the challenges keep getting harder and harder. We know what Scotland have got, and on their day - just like when they beat England the other day - they can be a real powerhouse. They’ve got a few key players that we’ll need to try and keep quiet. But I think we can get a win if we play our best.”

 


In the other tournament fixture today, Netherlands defeated Scotland by 7 wickets off the second last ball of the match (scorecard).

Ireland’s next match is on Friday against Scotland, with a start time of 9.45am, GMT.

SCORECARD IN BRIEF


Oman v Ireland, T20 International, 13 February 2019, Al Almerat Cricket Ground, Muscat

  Ireland 159-5 (20 overs; P Stirling 71, A Balbirnie 34, L Tucker 22*; F Butt 2-19)
  Oman 144-9 (20 overs; F Butt 25*, M Nadeem 25; S Singh 3-15, G Dockrell 2-20, J Little 2-24, P Chase 2-42)
 
Ireland won by 15 runs


A full scorecard is available here.

 

Quadrangular tournament in Oman (upcoming matches)

• 15 February: Ireland v Scotland (T20I); Oman v Netherlands (T20I)
• 17 February: Ireland v Netherlands (T20I); Scotland v Oman (T20I)

 

 


Test Triangle go into bat as new IT Services Partner of Cricket Ireland

February 12th 2019 | International, Other

Test Triangle go into bat as new IT Services Partner of Cricket Ireland

Praveen Madire (left) and Dennis Cousins (right) at Test Triangle offices in Dublin

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today announced a new partnership with IT services company Test Triangle in a deal that will see the company provide a range of IT support services to the national governing body.

Dublin-based Test Triangle was founded in 2012 and provides IT consultancy and support services to a range of industries, including Banking and Finance, Healthcare, Retail, IT and Education. The company employs over 200 staff and is proud of its work in supporting Ireland’s emerging, and leading edge technology needs.

Dennis Cousins, Commercial Director for Cricket Ireland, said:

“The growth of cricket over the last decade has not only been a credit to those within the cricket family, but also to our committed and enthusiastic commercial partners. Today we welcome Praveen and his team from Test Triangle to this group of dedicated supporters.”

“It is crucial with commercial sponsorships to find partners that share common values and can leverage the relationship to mutual benefit. In Test Triangle, we have a team that will bring their core expertise to help sustain and grow our sport.”

Praveen Madire, CEO of Test Triangle, said:

“Test Triangle is very proud that we have become the official IT Services Partner for Cricket Ireland. As well as its vast and devoted worldwide following, cricket has a long and distinguished history in Ireland and is growing in both participation and popularity. As a fast growing Irish IT services company ourselves, we hope to utilise our expertise in supporting Cricket Ireland in its mission along with showcasing our own emerging range of leading edge technological services to an expanding Irish and global audience.”

The partnership, starting in February 2019, will be for an initial two-year period.

Test Triangle
Image: The Test Triangle team

 


Interview: Ford, Stirling open up about Oman tournament, and bigger challenges ahead for Ireland

February 12th 2019 | International

Interview: Ford, Stirling open up about Oman tournament, and bigger challenges ahead for Ireland

Graham Ford talks to Paul Stirling (centre) and coach Ben Smith (left)

MUSCAT – On the eve of the first match of the Quadrangular T20 tournament in Oman, Head Coach Graham Ford and Captain Paul Stirling sat down for an interview. They discussed Ireland’s preparations, the challenge in Oman and the squads future focus.

Ireland Men’s Head Coach Graham Ford, 58, first took control of the senior squad in December 2017. His previous coaching posts included successful international stints with South Africa and Sri Lanka, as well as head coaching positions at Kent and Surrey in English County cricket.

He said:

“It is a busy year for our cricketers, but also an exciting and challenging phase for Cricket Ireland. Achieving results is something we all want but there is also an understanding of the importance of bringing through some of the younger lads. Their progress is vital to our cricketing future.”

“We have the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League ahead of us in 2020 through to 2022, and of course qualification for the 2023 World Cup is a huge priority. We therefore need to have an eye on the future and give some of the younger talent an opportunity to play alongside some of the established players.”

“The support and knowledge-sharing by the senior players is very important to the process. The T20 cricket we are currently playing gives us a chance to do this and hopefully some of the younger lads will show that they have what it takes to become the match-winners of the future.”

“To be frank, over the past few years our T20 performances have not really been anything to get too excited about. Currently we are working hard on all the basics of T20 cricket – particularly skill execution with the ball, being the mastering of variations and becoming more accurate when aiming for the blockhole during the closing overs. Batting-wise players are working on expanding their scoring options, particularly against spin. And, of course, improving our speed, agility and energy in the field.”

“The recent Wolves matches were extremely important and crucial to developing a greater depth in our cricket. The step up from Inter-Pro cricket to international cricket is massive, and the Wolves matches give our younger players an opportunity to sharpen and develop their skills at a more testing level - one that is a lot closer to International level. This tougher cricket also gives the selectors a better indication of who has what it takes to become a performer at the top level.”


Graham Ford
Image: Graham Ford oversees a training session

Asked about the opening warm-up matches, he said:

“Unfortunately the warm-ups were rather disappointing. I guess the major positive is that there was a big improvement in the second match although we are still a way off where we need to be. Some players have been playing competitively and some have only had indoor net preparation and I guess it is fair to say that those that have not been playing competitively may need a bit of time to adjust.”

“All in the camp are very determined to improve their contributions and the work ethic within the group is impressive. At this stage it is about working very hard to improve those important basics of white ball cricket.”

Asked about the selections of the squads for the Oman tournament and Afghanistan series, he said:

“The selectors gathered as much info on player performances as possible, particularly plenty of statistical information from Scott Irvine, our Performance Analyst, which certainly helps. In other systems it is a lot easier with players being watched and monitored in their competitive domestic matches, while at this stage of our development the selectors are not able to watch all performances, but hopefully we will get to that down the line.”

Paul Stirling, 28, who was recently announced as the Ireland T20 International captain in the absence of Gary Wilson, has been enjoying his first experience in the international captaincy role:

“Captaincy has been a brilliant challenge. The skill of being able to focus on my personal fielding as the ball is delivered has been the most tricky bit so far, but that will naturally become easier with time.”

“Our performance during the first warm-up game on Saturday was almost certainly down to lack of match practice and most of the guys coming from indoors. It was clear that the skills required that you can’t practice in the nets environment weren’t up to scratch - most notably the running between the wickets and hitting the fielders. At this stage, the time for working on your game in the nets is limited, it is just about getting prepared as best you can knowing that the games come thick and fast from here on. Most of our improvements will come from learning from our mistakes in the middle and showing that we can solve the problems when we cross the rope.”

“I have certainly learnt a lot by playing in overseas competitions – particularly the level of detail that players think about the game has been noticeable throughout this winter, and it rubs off on everyone else.”

“One takeaway relating to captaincy has been that it isn’t acceptable to bat or bowl without a plan and hope that it will happen, but it is OK to have a plan and it doesn’t work. From a team point of view, it is important to find what style of play you want to go with. For instance, if we don’t have the firepower of the West indies or Afghanistan, then we’ll need to limit our dot balls and be precise with our gap-finding for boundaries to get to the match-winning scores and give our bowlers the chances to defend.”


Paul Stirling
Image: Paul Stirling in the nets

Asked about the elevation of Kevin O’Brien to the top of the order, he said:

“Kev has certainly got the attributes to succeed at the top of the order and has always been one of our best ball strikers. I am sure he is looking forward to the new challenge of getting the Irish team off to a good start in T20 cricket, and, of course, this change has also created opportunities for batsmen in the middle order to take their chance and cement a place in the side.”

Asked about why he has yet to bowl himself in the warm-up games, he said:

“I certainly haven’t ruled myself out with the captaincy armband. If the situation dictates that I need to bowl then I will have no hesitation. We’re lucky to have plenty of part-time options who can come and do a job for the side with one or two over bursts. It was important to get the main bowlers overs in for these two games with the tournament commencing on Wednesday.”

Asked about the injection of several new faces in the senior squad, he said:

“It has been great getting guys like Harry Tector, Shane Getkate and Lorcan Tucker involved in the senior set-up, and their call-ups have been thoroughly deserved on the back of performances in Sri Lanka.  They have all impressed so far with their attitude and it is now about going out and grabbing the chance with both hands.”

The Ireland Men’s team is in action tomorrow (Wednesday) in the first T20 International against Oman. Oman Cricket has confirmed that all the T20 International tournament matches will be livestreamed, with the link to be posted on their website prior to the first match.

 

Squad


Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Quadrangular Tournament Schedule

13 February: Ireland v Oman (starts 9.45am, GMT); Scotland v Netherlands
15 February: Ireland v Scotland (starts 9.45am, GMT); Oman v Netherlands
17 February: Ireland v Netherlands (starts 5.15am, GMT); Scotland v Oman

 

 


Stirling leads from the front, but Ireland not Goud enough to defeat by Oman XI

February 10th 2019 | International

Stirling leads from the front, but Ireland not Goud enough to defeat by Oman XI

Oman Development XI completed a tense victory in the final over

MUSCAT – Captain Paul Stirling led from the front with a blistering innings of 78 from 48 balls, but his Ireland side was defeated with a six hit from the third last ball of the match by local-hero Sandeep Goud, as Oman Development XI won by two wickets in the second warm-up match at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.

For Ireland, squad rotation was the order of the day, and Andy McBrine, Shane Getkate and Lorcan Tucker came into the side, with Boyd Rankin, Stuart Thompson and Stuart Poynter making way.

The home captain Twinkal Bhandari won the toss for the second game in a row and once more sent Ireland into bat first.

Captain Paul Stirling punched the first ball of the innings to the boundary and set the tone for a lively opening stand. Stirling, and new T20 opening partner Kevin O’Brien, put on 28 from 21 balls before O’Brien holed out for 22 from 14 balls, which included three boundaries and a six.

Stirling powered to a half-century off 35 balls, eventually being dismissed for 78 off 48 balls (9 x fours and 3 x sixes).

Late-innings hitting by Harry Tector (18), Simi Singh (11), Shane Getkate (13*) and George Dockrell (13*) helped push the visitors innings to 170-6 from their 20 overs.

The home side’s response got off to a poor start with Ireland’s paceman Peter Chase claiming two quick scalps – both off the first ball of his first and second overs respectively. Shane Getkate then claimed captain Bhandari, his first wicket in the senior side, to have Oman at 37-3 in the sixth over.

Looking out of the contest, first game local hero Suraj Kumar hit back with 37 from 32 balls, however the honours today went to Sandeep Goud. The middle-order batter hit 55* from 29 balls, including a towering six to win the match off the third last ball.

Ireland now have two days rest before they meet Oman in the first T20 International of the Quadrangular Tournament on Wednesday.

SCORECARD IN BRIEF


Oman Development XI v Ireland, Twenty20 warm-up match, 10 February 2019, Al Almerat Cricket Ground, Muscat

  Ireland 170-6 (20 overs; P Stirling 78, K O’Brien 22; S Mehmood 3-30)
  Oman Development XI 171-8 (19.4 overs; S Goud 55*, S Kumar 37; S Getkate 2-30, P Chase 2-33, K O’Brien 2-33)
 
Oman Development XI won by 2 wickets

A full scorecard is available here.

 

Quadrangular tournament in Oman

• 13 February: Ireland v Oman (T20I); Scotland v Netherlands (T20I)
• 15 February: Ireland v Scotland (T20I); Oman v Netherlands (T20I)
• 17 February: Ireland v Netherlands (T20I); Scotland v Oman (T20I)

 

 


Unbeaten Kumar sinks Ireland’s hopes in warm-up match

February 9th 2019 | International

Unbeaten Kumar sinks Ireland’s hopes in warm-up match

MUSCAT – Omani middle-order batter Suraj Kumar hit an unbeaten 56 off 41 balls as he led the Oman Development XI to victory over Ireland in a warm-up match at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.

The match was Paul Stirling’s first in a captaincy capacity and Harry Tector’s first appearance in the senior men’s side.

Underneath blue skies and comfortable temperatures in the mid-20s, Ireland lost the toss and was sent in to bat first. Despite two boundaries in the first three balls of the innings, Stirling fell early for eight, and the visiting side’s top order failed to fire finding itself 47-6 at the 10-over mark of the innings.

A solid late-order batting display, led by George Dockrell (26* from 22 balls) saw Ireland finish with 112-8 from its 20 overs.

In response, the home side’s opener Sanuth Ibrahim got off to a flyer, making 28 from 16 balls, and the Omani’s made to 55-3 after 7 overs and looking confident. Captain Stirling then turned by Simi Singh, whose first ball spun past the bat of Ayaan Khan and clean bowled the left-hander. A mix-up two balls later saw the Omani’s lose their fifth wicket, and sitting at a precarious 55-5 with 58 runs still for victory.

Up stepped the 30-year old middle-order batter Suraj Kumar who belted 56* from 41 balls, including three sixes and four fours. Kumar had scored 16 run in his last four innings for the Oman senior side, however today displayed some devastating shots to not only find the gaps, but clear the boundary three times off Ireland’s pace attack.

Oman completed the run-chase with 116-6 from 15.2 overs. The two sides meet again in a second warm-up match at the same venue tomorrow.

 

 

Following the game, captain Paul Stirling said:

“It was a tough start but it was just nice to get out onto the cricket field and get the team together after four months of being away - and that’s how it panned out as well, so we can only really improve from what happened today. We need to get out there again and show what we’re capable of tomorrow.”

“With the batting, I think it is just a case of being indoors for the winter. We were hitting a lot of the fielders, and the ones we did manage to hit well went to boundary fielders are were caught. So we need some tidying up on that and work hard in the nets to make sure that we’re not just going through the motions. So, again, it will be good for us to play another game tomorrow and hopefully come out the other side to give us the confidence going into next Wednesday.”

Asked about whether he saw much of a difference in how we should approach batting first or second in a T20, he said:

“I think it’s two different skills - defending with the ball is something we need to work on as well. I think it’s just case of us improving each game. Batting first you have to look at the ball a little more and give yourself one or two overs at the start, but everything else is pretty similar.”

 

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Oman Development XI v Ireland, Twenty20 warm-up match, 9 February 2019, Al Almerat Cricket Ground, Muscat

  Ireland 112-8 (20 overs; G Dockrell 26*, A Balbirnie 18; B Singh 2-16)
  Oman Development XI 116-6 (15.2 overs; S Kumar 56*, S Ibrahim 28; J Little 2-14)
 
Oman Development XI won by 4 wickets

A full scorecard is available here.

 

 


Interview: Simi Singh on Oman, Afghanistan and the origins of his leg-spin

February 7th 2019 | International

Interview: Simi Singh on Oman, Afghanistan and the origins of his leg-spin

Simi Singh is ready for competitive action

MUSCAT – Simi Singh, Ireland’s spin-bowling all-rounder, has spent a busy four months in India training - and working on a new “surprise” weapon, but is now keen to get back into competitive international cricket and eyeing the possibility of fulfilling a childhood dream.

Speaking from his hotel in Oman, where he is based with the Ireland Men’s international squad ahead of next week’s Quadrangular Tournament, Singh said:                                                                               

“After the end of the home season in Ireland, I headed to Mohali in India where I grew up, to train at the local academy with my childhood coach, Sukhvinder Tinku. His Academy has produced many IPL and international players.”

“I stayed at my parents place and was doing two sessions a day, five days-a-week. It was cricket training in the mornings and gym sessions in the evenings. It was great to train my bowling in India as I could train outdoors and on grass wickets pretty much every day.”

In January 2019, Singh was called up to join the Ireland Wolves squad which was playing in Sri Lanka:

“The Sri Lanka tour came as a surprise obviously, with a few players getting injured, but it couldn’t have worked out better for me. It was very beneficial to go there and get some match practice against quality opposition before the Oman and India tour. I had never been to Sri Lanka before so it was an amazing experience to play in those conditions.”

Singh’s off-season work has included developing a new ‘weapon’ – the right-arm off-spinner was working on leg-spin:

“The leg-spin began completely randomly at a net session before the ODI series against Afghanistan last season, There were no leg-spinners for our batters to train against so I just said to Fordie [Head Coach Graham Ford] that I could bowl a few leggies to prepare the batters. Once I started, our bowling coach realised there was potential in me bowling leggies in the future, so I started working on it from then on.”

“In Sri Lanka I bowled a mix of both leggies and offies - mostly leggies to righties and offies to lefties - making them play against the spin. As everyone knows, wrist spin is quite a difficult skill so I feel I’ve a while to go yet to get more control and bowl full-time leg spin, but I’ll keep working on it and use it as a surprise factor for now.”

Looking ahead to the next six weeks, he said:

“The conditions and facilities here in Oman are top-class - the weather is amazing too and we’re all really looking forward to the tournament. We’ll be playing against some real quality teams. We had some tight games last year in Holland against Scotland and Netherlands, and with the inclusion of some new players in our squad it’ll be exciting times.”

“Playing against Afghanistan is always a tough challenge because of their world-class spin attack. I’m looking forward to hopefully putting in some good performances both with bat and bowl and maybe win some games for my country. Getting picked for the Test squad was the best news I’ve heard this year, and perhaps I’ll soon be able to fulfil my childhood dream of becoming a Test cricketer.”

The Ireland Men’s team is in action on Saturday morning in a warm-up game against the Oman Development XI, before playing their first T20 International against Oman on 13 February 2019.

Oman Cricket has confirmed that the T20 International tournament matches will be livestreamed, with the link to be posted on their website prior to the first match.

 

 

Squads


Oman Quadrangular T20 Tournament Squad
Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series - T20 Squad
Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – ODI Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – Test Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

 

Tour Schedules

Quadrangular tournament in Oman

• 9 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 10 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 13 February: Ireland v Oman (T20I); Scotland v Netherlands (T20I)
• 15 February: Ireland v Scotland (T20I); Oman v Netherlands (T20I)
• 17 February: Ireland v Netherlands (T20I); Scotland v Oman (T20I)

Ireland Men’s tour (Afghanistan series)

• 21 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st T20I
• 23 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd T20I
• 24 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd T20I
• 28 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st ODI
• 2 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd ODI
• 5 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd ODI
• 8 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 4th ODI
• 10 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 5th ODI
• 15–19 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - Test Match

 

 


Ireland Men’s cricket team depart on first-ever three-format tour, player interviews

February 2nd 2019 | International

Ireland Men’s cricket team depart on first-ever three-format tour, player interviews

Andrew Balbirnie prior to departure today

DUBLIN – The Ireland Men’s international cricket team flew out today from Dublin to compete in a Quadrangular tournament in Oman in February, and play a nine-match, multi-format series against Afghanistan in India starting on 21 February. Three players spoke about the tour challenge ahead.

This is the first multi-format tour Ireland will undertake that crosses the three formats – over the next seven weeks the squad will play six Twenty20 Internationals, five One-Day Internationals and one Test match (Ireland’s first-ever overseas Test match).

Prior to leaving, Andrew Balbirnie, Andy McBrine and Lorcan Tucker spoke about the tour.


Andrew Balbirnie, the 28-year old top-order batsman who plays for Leinster Lightning and Pembroke Cricket Club, made his international debut in 2010 and has 86 caps for Ireland. He said:

“Everyone is just raring to go now and get some competitive cricket under our belts. In the last few months some of us have been doing a lot of indoor work at North County, and we’ve been in the gym at the Sport Institute here in Dublin. A few of us were also fortunate to go to Bangalore for a 10-day batting camp before Christmas, and it was good to see that some young guys coming into the squad from the Wolves tour.”

“I think these younger guys will help inject some fresh enthusiasm in the squad – not that we didn’t have that, but they’ll be coming in and throwing their bodies around, wanting to really earn that first cap. We were all in that position, so we know what it’s like - they had a good tour of Sri Lanka, and while results didn’t go there way a number of players put their hand up and earned this selection - people like Lorcan Tucker, Harry Tector and Shane Getkate. Even if they don’t get the game time they want, it will be good for them just to be around the senior squad. It’ll be exciting to see how they get on.”

“As a batsman my main goal is obviously to get runs - as many as possible across all three formats. I think we’ve only been on one multi-format tour before in 2017, so we have to develop the mindset to be able to change thinking in a short space of time. Our goals are around winning some T20s, particularly in this big year with the World Cup Qualifier ahead, being competitive in the one-dayers as we were last year, and to maybe win the Test match - we really want to win a Test sooner rather than later, but Afghanistan will be tough in those conditions with the spin bowlers they have.”

“I am hoping the Test goes better for me personally – but it will be a different scenario to our first Test at Malahide. The home Test match was such a great feeling for everyone - the players, Cricket Ireland, our families and friends. This Test won’t have the same sort of buzz around it, but rather it will be just a real hard fought five day match in tough conditions. We’ve got that first Test match under our belts – we know what it’s about, we know what it feels like to play at that level - now we just now have to go out there and get some good results.”

“This will be my first time to go to Oman, it’s always good to go somewhere new and experience all the different things about a new country. Conditions are expected to be much like those in Dubai - hot and dry, slow enough wickets that are favourable to spin.

“The T20s on this tour will also be great for Stirlo [Paul Stirling] as our new stand-in captain. He’s our most experienced T20 player, has played in all sorts of T20 competitions against some quality players, under brilliant captains. He’s not a big talker in the change room, I imagine he will be more a leader who does his talking on the field, which is a good attribute to have - he’s a good mate and I am looking forward to see how he does with it.”


Andy McBrine, the 25-year old right-arm off-spinner who bats left-handed, captained the North West Warriors to victory in 2018 in the Inter-Provincial Championship and plays club cricket for Donemana, made his international debut in 2013 and has 64 caps for Ireland. He said:

“We’ve obviously had a bit of snow back home this week, so it will be nice for us to get out there to Oman and get a bit of sun on our back, and get training outdoors ahead of the series. I’ve was lucky to be playing club cricket for 11 weeks out in Australia pre-Christmas, and saw some competitive cricket and got loads of training in. Since Christmas, however, it has been mainly training at Bready indoors - which has been quite cold!”

“I haven’t been to Oman yet, but I’d suspect they’re pretty similar conditions to Dubai. It should take a bit of spin, which is quite useful for myself. While over the next seven weeks I’d like to take as many wickets and make as many runs as I can, how I can help out around the team is probably the most important thing.”

“Stirlo [Paul Stirling] as stand-in captain is great. He is probably our most experienced T20 player, and has played in a lot of tournaments - so he’ll be able to draw on having played a lot of T20 there which he has picked up along the way. I’m looking forward to seeing him in the role.”


Support Staff
Image: Chris Siddell (Team Operations Manager), Mark Rausa (Head of Physiotherapy and Medical Services), Rob Cassell (Assistant Coach) and Brendan Connor (Strength and Conditioning Coach) left with the squad this morning


Lorcan Tucker, the 22-year old wicketkeeper batsman, who recently starred on the Ireland Wolves tour of Sri Lanka, made his international debut in 2016 and has 4 caps for Ireland. He said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be going on the tour – while Ii have four caps already, this experience will be completely different being part of the T20, one-day and Test squads. It will be difficult but I’m really looking forward to it - Oman and India will be two exciting places to go.”

“Personally, I just want to improve my game every time I go away, just improve on the little things. It’s not my first trip to india, I was there two years ago with the senior squad for a couple of T20s against Afghanistan, so I’m looking forward to going back and seeing the country again.”

“Hopefully the tour is a success - if we can get some wins in the tournament in Oman, then put up a good fight against Afghanistan in India - maybe even win that Test match – that would be a fantastic tour. ”

Tucker had returned from Sri Lanka on Thursday morning as part of the Ireland Wolves tour, and was back at the airport 48 hours later.

“The recent Wolves trip to Sri Lanka was great. I’d been there before with the 2014 Academy team, so it was nice to go back again. The cricket was brilliant and the opposition was tough, but everyone was delighted to play against such a strong team, and plenty of people took their opportunity and now find themselves on this senior tour. The benefits of the Wolves tour are many, there’s nothing better than for young players to get out there in the heat and be on tour for such a long time - it’s a great experience that will help further tours, and senior tours.”


With every long tour, players have some down time to deal with, so how will each player deal with spare time they have on the tour?

Balbirnie: “A lot of the guys will play golf, but I’ve brought the new Tiger Woods book, I always bring books away on tour, but I always end up not reading them and watching Netflix. So I’ll say now that I’ll read a book…but it’ll probably be lots of Netflix!”

McBrine: “Hopefully there’s a few golf courses out there to play - that’s my pastime.”

Tucker: “It’s nice to just relax and try to switch off from the cricket, as it can be quite intense. Maybe there will be a bit of golf, spend some time relaxing by the pool, going out and seeing some of the sights in Oman and India, or just hang out with the lads. Oh, and I’ve got a bit of college work to do while I’m away so I’ll be keeping up with that!”


The squad arrives in Oman today, then will spend time training and acclimatising to conditions ahead of their first warm-up game on 9 February.

 

Squads


Oman Quadrangular T20 Tournament Squad
Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series - T20 Squad
Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – ODI Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – Test Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

 

Tour Schedules

Quadrangular tournament in Oman

• 9 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 10 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 13 February: Ireland v Oman (T20I); Scotland v Netherlands (T20I)
• 15 February: Ireland v Scotland (T20I); Oman v Netherlands (T20I)
• 17 February: Ireland v Netherlands (T20I); Scotland v Oman (T20I)

Ireland Men’s tour (Afghanistan series)

• 21 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st T20I
• 23 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd T20I
• 24 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd T20I
• 28 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st ODI
• 2 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd ODI
• 5 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd ODI
• 8 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 4th ODI
• 10 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 5th ODI
• 15–19 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - Test Match

 

 


Friday Fun: Heard the term “The Backstop” being used often? What does it mean?

February 1st 2019 | International, Other

Friday Fun: Heard the term “The Backstop” being used often? What does it mean?

What does the Brexit-related term "Backstop" refer to?

The Brexit process can be a bit confusing and uncertain for many, but one term is used regularly that needs a bit of explanation. What is a “backstop”?

The Irish Times came out to North County Cricket Club and asked Ireland International George Dockrell about the origins of this term.

You can watch the video here.

Nice one, George!

 


Clare Shillington joins coaching staff as girls winter training camps announced

January 31st 2019 | International, Women, Youth

Clare Shillington joins coaching staff as girls winter training camps announced

Winter training camp squads have been announced

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today announced the Under-19s and Under-15s girls winter training squads ahead of a big season for cricket in Ireland.

Head Coach of the Under-19s and Under-15s squads, and former Ireland Men’s international, Andrew Poynter said:

“It’s a great time to be involved in women’s sport in Ireland and 2019 is set to be a big year for cricket. This year will see the first-ever part-time contracts for women soon to be offered, international matches played at home and a Super 3’s competition that is getting bigger and better every year. The profile of the sport has certainly risen in recent times, especially around the broadcasts of our recent World Cup games late last year, and the focus now is to bring through a new generation of women cricketers that will take the sport forward.”

“Our winter training camps are an important part of developing our players core cricket skills during the off-season - both physical and mental. We are delighted this year to have recently retired Ireland legend Clare Shillington joining the coaching team. She has a wide range of coaching experience at school, club and Super 3’s level, and it will be a boost for the up-and-coming players to be able to tap into her experience.”


Clare Shillington said:

“Cricket has been a huge part of my life for many years now, not only on the field but coaching as well. Since my international retirement last year, I’ve been considering how I can stay within the game and be in a position to put back into the sport - to pass on some of the knowledge and experience I’ve gained playing for 21 years for Ireland. So I was delighted when asked to join the coaching group that will help bring through the next generation of women internationals.”

“There’s a good possibility that we will qualify for the Women’s Championship after 2021, and that could be a real game-changer for the sport. However, to regularly compete on the world stage against the best requires a lot of behind-the-scenes hard work and commitment to building up our youth and pathway structures. Hopefully, through the work we are doing at the Under-15s and Under-19s levels now, we can create that conveyor belt of talent feeding into the national team in future years. It’s an exciting time to be involved in this next stage of Irish cricket and I am delighted to be working alongside Andrew Poynter and Aaron Hamilton [Women’s International Head Coach] in bringing this group through to the next level.”

Clare Shillington
Image: Clare Shillington hits out against Scotland Women, July 2018

Squads


Under-19s winter training squad

Aoife Brennan (Clontarf), Sadhbh Breslin (Merrion), Sarah Condron (Malahide), Alana Dalzell (Bready), Sarah Forbes (YMCA), Jennifer Hanna (Donaghcloney Mill), Ali Keenan (Phoenix), Maria Kerrison (Leinster), Anna Kirk (Clontarf), Hannah Little (Pembroke), Jane Maguire (The Hills), Tess Maritz (Malahide), Eimear Mullen (Pembroke), Mya Naughton (Merrion), Cliodhna O’Reardon (The Hills), Emma Paul (Merrion), Jenny Sparrow (Leinster), Cliona Tucker (Pembroke), Sarah White (Phoenix).


Under-15s winter training squad

Alison Black (Phoenix), Katie Brophy (Malahide), Sarah Brownlee (YMCA), Ava Canning (Leinster), Alice Clinton (The Hills), Zara Craig (Bready), Beth Deacon (Malahide), Georgina Dempsey (Phoenix), Juliette Evans Garrett (Malahide), Amelia Flanagan (YMCA), Rebecca Gough (Rush), Zoe Hoffman (YMCA), Amy Hunter (Instonians), Joanna Loughran (Leinster), Anna Marshall (Clontarf), Sophie McDonough (Phoenix), Emma McEvoy (YMCA), Aoife Mitchell (Malahide), Ella Pasley (Phoenix), Freya Sargent (Clontarf), Síuin Woods (YMCA).

 

 


13th IUCA Indoor Intervarsity set to begin this week

January 30th 2019 | International, Other

13th IUCA Indoor Intervarsity set to begin this week

The 13th annual Irish Universities Indoor Intervarsity competition starts this Friday, this weekend at Ulster University Jordanstown. The ‘IUCA Indoors’ began in 2006 and last year National University of Ireland Galway beat hosts Ulster University.

Ulster University Development Officer, Callum Atkinson said:

“We are once again looking forward to hosting the IUCA Intervarsity Indoors at Ulster University Jordanstown. Ulster University continues to grow their partnership with Cricket Ireland, Irish Universities Cricket Association and the Northern Cricket Union as we are excited to host the indoor competition on our 3G facility - which is understood to be the best facility to host indoor cricket in Ireland.”

“We wouldn’t be able to make this competition run as smoothly without the Ulster University staff, NIACUS who are officiating the competition and both Murray Power and Barry Keane who continue to organise and deliver Irish University cricket.”

The competition will feature the following teams:

Group A
Dublin Business School, ICD Business School, National College of Ireland, National University of Ireland Galway, Technological University Dublin, University College Cork

Group B
Dublin City University, Griffith College Dublin, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Carlow, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Ulster University


You can follow the tournament on Twitter, using hashtag #IUCA19. You can request a fixtures schedule and any other information from callum.atkinson@ncucricket.org.

 


Ireland Wolves finish tour of Sri Lanka with gutsy loss in Colombo

January 29th 2019 | International, Other

Ireland Wolves finish tour of Sri Lanka with gutsy loss in Colombo

Gareth Delany claimed 3-58

COLOMBO – The Ireland Wolves have scored more than 300 runs in a run chase for the second time in the current one-day series, but have fallen to defeat by 101 runs against a rampant Sri Lanka A at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Sri Lanka.

After winning the toss, the home side batted first for the fourth time in five matches. In-form openers Avishka Fernando (112 runs from 94 balls) and Upul Tharanga (120 runs from 108 balls) put on a 206-run opening stand to bat the home side into a dominant position.

The Wolves bowling unit struggled to contain the scoring rate, however one bright spot was the spin of 21-year old Gareth Delany. Delany took 3-58, and was on a hat-trick at one stage after removing the dangerous Tharanga and then Asela Gunaratne (25).

Sri Lanka A finished with a flourish, ending their innings on 403-7, setting the Wolves an indomitable target for victory.

The visiting sides batting unit were determined to end this tour with a positive display and posted 302 in response. 18-year old Neil Rock hit a breezy 78 from 56 balls, including five fours and four sixes, while Lorcan Tucker hit 53 runs - the third time he had passed 50 runs on this tour. James McCollum (43) and Simi Singh (41) also made good contributions, but the target proved too high and the Wolves lost their tenth wicket on the last ball of their 50 overs.

Speaking after the game, Ireland Wolves captain Harry Tector said:

“While the result was obviously disappointing in the end, our batters posted a good total and on another day with a smaller total to chase, say 340 or so, it might have been a much more competitive game. But full credit to the Sri Lankan batters, they posted a total too big for us today.”

“Personally I’ve learnt a lot on this tour - it’s been tough at times, especially going through a run of bad form, but it’s about staying positive, thinking on your feet and keeping the lads going. That’s what captaincy is really about.”

“As for the squad, firstly I’m very proud of the way the lads have stuck together the whole trip. There hasn’t been any issue amongst the squad which has been brilliant. Secondly, a lot can happen on a long tour like this, but I think everyone in the squad has certainly progressed, and learnt things they didn’t know or didn’t have before coming out here. It has been brilliant to see guys like Lorcan Tucker, James McCollum, Shane Getkate and James Cameron-Dow improve – they really put their hands up to show they can more than play at this level, and the level above.”

Wolves
Image: Ireland Wolves team huddle after the series

 

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 50-over match, 26 January 2019, R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

  Sri Lanka A 403-7 (50 overs; U Tharanga 120, W Fernando 112, P De Silva 50; G Delany 3-58)
  Ireland Wolves 302 (50 overs; N Rock 78, L Tucker 53; D Gunaratne 4-51)
 
Sri Lanka A won by 101 runs (Sri Lanka A won the five-match series 5-0)

A full scorecard is available here:
Cricinfo
Cricket Archive

 


Stirling to captain Ireland T20 squad, new faces named for upcoming Oman and Afghanistan series

January 28th 2019 | International

Stirling to captain Ireland T20 squad, new faces named for upcoming Oman and Afghanistan series

Paul Stirling will lead an Ireland senior side for the first time

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today named four squads that will compete in a Quadrangular tournament in Oman in February, and play a nine-match, multi-format series against Afghanistan in India starting on 21 February.

28-year old Paul Stirling, who first debuted for the Ireland Men’s senior side in 2008, will take charge of the T20 International side in the temporary absence of full-time captain Gary Wilson. Wilson was diagnosed with a condition last month that has impacted upon his vision, and while medical staff expect him to make a full recovery, this tour was considered too early and therefore he will remain at home to recover fully ahead of a busy home season.


Speaking from Bangladesh, where he is playing in the Bangladesh Premier League, Paul Stirling said:

“It’s a privilege to have been asked to captain the side in Gary’s absence, I will relish the challenge. Having started off in this side as a young player in 2008, the influence of senior players like Trent Johnston, Kyle McCallan, Andrew White and Ed Joyce were huge in developing the cricketer and the person. Myself, along with the other senior players and management in this squad, will look to create an environment where players coming through who are hungry for success can flourish both on and off the field.”

“It is a big year ahead for us with the T20 World Cup Qualifiers coming up in October, so the importance is growing with each game we play.”

“It has been pleasing to see some brilliant individual performances in Sri Lanka with the Ireland Wolves, and look forward to seeing these players grab their opportunities when they arise. This will be a great chance for the team to showcase their skills against high quality opposition, both in Oman and India.”


Among the new faces in the senior squad, several uncapped players have impressed selectors on the current Ireland Wolves tour, notably 19-year old Wolves captain Harry Tector, 23-year old opener James McCollum, the 28-year old spinner James Cameron-Dow, and 27-year old Shane Getkate. They will be joined by 22-year old wicketkeeper-batsman Lorcan Tucker and 19-year old Josh Little who have both appeared in four T20Is each.


Andrew White, Chair of National Men’s Selectors, said:

“This will be a big year for Irish cricket, with the men’s senior side playing in all three formats of the game over the coming six months, then heading to the T20 World Cup Qualifier in late 2019. With that in mind, we have selected squads that we believe are the best sides for each format – as well as progressing the process of integrating emerging players into our senior sides.”

“Oman and the Afghan series in India offer up two very distinct challenges for us, and the length of the tour will necessitate a touring squad with depth. This will be our first major tour since becoming a Full Member, and we’re certainly looking forward to some good, competitive cricket in challenging conditions. This is what top-tier international cricket is all about.”

“Gary [Wilson] is going to be a big miss for us - but it was decided that he should continue recovery in the short-term with the longer-term priority of being a key member of a busy home schedule, and leading the T20 squad to the T20 World Cup Qualifier campaign in late 2019. In his absence, we have asked Paul Stirling to stand-in as T20 skipper. Stirlo is one of Ireland’s most experienced and successful exponents of this format of the game, and has gained a wealth of experience playing around the world – for Ireland, Middlesex and various franchise teams in global T20 leagues. This is the first time he has been handed the captaincy of the national side, so will undoubtedly be a proud moment for not only himself, but his family.”

“With regards to some of the new faces, there is no denying the performances of James McCollum, James Cameron-Dow, Shane Getkate and Harry Tector on the current Ireland Wolves tour have impressed selectors. For McCollum, it hasn’t just been his runs but the manner in which he has scored them in subcontinent conditions that has impressed us most. His assuredness at the top of the order has been an asset for the Wolves team, and builds on his first-class performances last season for the Northern Knights.”

“James Cameron-Dow may, for many fans, come as a bit of an unexpected surprise on this Wolves tour – but we have had our eye on him for a while now. His two five-wicket hauls in the red-ball Wolves games certainly stood out, but his progress and development throughout the tour has been promising. He certainly offers us a good spin option for the Indian wickets we will play on against Afghanistan.”

“Shane Getkate has had an outstanding white-ball series for the Wolves in Sri Lanka and Harry Tector has been a consistent performer at under-age levels, and now led two national teams – the Under-19s squad to the World Cup last year and now the Ireland Wolves. His century last week for the Wolves showed the talent and leadership attributes we believe he will bring into the senior set-up.”


William Porterfield, Ireland ODI and Test captain, said:

“After what has been a quiet winter pre-Christmas, it’s great to be getting close to playing again. It’s been great to have so many guys playing and performing with the Ireland Wolves, building up to the Afghanistan series. A big part of that tour will be the Test match - we have seen some great Test cricket over the winter and I expect this to be a great contest away from home.”

“We have a great balance throughout the squad and it’s great to see some new faces that have been putting in performances for the Wolves get the opportunity.”

“I’m gutted for Gary that he is going to miss the tour and wish him a speedy recovery. I would also like to wish Paul Stirling the very best of luck in leading the lads into the next few weeks of T20s.”

 

Squads


Oman Quadrangular T20 Tournament Squad
Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series - T20 Squad
Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – ODI Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – Test Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

 

Tour Schedules

Quadrangular tournament in Oman

• 9 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 10 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 13 February: Ireland v Oman (T20I); Scotland v Netherlands (T20I)
• 15 February: Ireland v Scotland (T20I); Oman v Netherlands (T20I)
• 17 February: Ireland v Netherlands (T20I); Scotland v Oman (T20I)

Ireland Men’s tour (Afghanistan series)

• 21 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st T20I
• 23 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd T20I
• 24 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd T20I
• 28 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st ODI
• 2 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd ODI
• 5 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd ODI
• 8 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 4th ODI
• 10 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 5th ODI
• 15–19 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - Test Match

 

 


Fernando fireworks - and final five overs - sink Ireland Wolves in Colombo

January 26th 2019 | International, Other

Fernando fireworks - and final five overs - sink Ireland Wolves in Colombo

Angelo Perera hit an unbeaten half-century

COLOMBO – As the Sri Lankan senior team were falling to a heavy defeat to Australia, Sri Lanka A’s Avishka Fernando put forward his credentials for higher honours as he struck a second century in four innings, as his side completed a 202-run victory over Ireland Wolves at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Sri Lanka.

After winning the toss, the home side batted first and set about building a big total. Fernando’s innings of 139 runs from 118 balls included 10 fours and seven sixes – he has now hit 411 runs at an average of 102.75 in the last four matches against the Wolves.

The Ireland Wolves spin attack led a middle-overs mission to restrict the scoring rate, led by Simi Singh (2-39) and James Cameron-Dow (1-40) bowling tightly during their full complement of 10 overs each.

With Sri Lanka A at 251-6 with 10 overs to go, Angelo Perera (56* from 34 balls) and Kamindu Mendis (50* from 32 balls) smashed their way to a 102-run unbroken partnership, with the home side finishing on 353-6 after 50 overs.

The Ireland Wolves response suffered from the loss of regular wickets, and despite six batters getting into double figures, no one could capitalise today and the visitors were dismissed for 151 in the 31st over.

Speaking after the game, Ireland Wolves Head Coach Pete Johnston said:

“We had a goal of building more pressure in the first 10 overs with the ball and not letting them settle into a rhythm. I thought the guys who bowled in those overs did an excellent job of that and Harry [Tector] was smart rotating the bowlers in shorter spells which also worked well. They then targeted us for the next period of 10 overs, but we pulled it back with Simi Singh and James Cameron-Dow doing especially well. It was really only the last five overs where they got away again.”

“While we have caught pretty well this trip, we missed a half-chance going into the last 10 which could have put the brakes on them and broken the partnership between Mendis and Perera. We took wickets again in the middle overs which was another positive.”

“The challenge for our final game will be around how to bring that consistency every day and how to go about getting every ounce out of our game when maybe we aren’t feeling 100% or if we are coming out the wrong side of results. We are up against some very experienced Sri Lankan’s in tough conditions and I can’t praise the effort of the squad and staff enough.”

Asked about his spinners, Johnston said:

“It was great to see Simi back to doing what he does best, he executes extremely well and is a clever bowler. Jimmy [Cameron-Dow] has been outstanding this trip and adapted to executing in different conditions, match situations and to different styles of batters. In a nutshell that is what good bowling is about.”

“JJ Garth is learning all the time and has bowled some good spells. There are plenty of encouraging signs and even after the game today he spent time speaking with their leggie Jeeven Mendis trying to tap into his knowledge and experience. While still only 18, there is no doubt he has the potential to be an excellent all-rounder for Ireland.”

Asked about his batting unit, Johnston said:

“All the batters have definitely made huge progress this trip, that’s what makes today so very disappointing. They have put in some serious work in and out of the nets and have relished working with Ed Joyce and sharing knowledge with one another. It’s great that we have seen two centuries and some very big partnerships over the course of the tour.”

“Whether it was fatigue from the heat and all the work we have put in so far, who knows why but we let ourselves down with the bat today, that’s for sure. Scores of 350 are what we need to be able to chase down in international cricket away from home - we almost did that in game one, and I would have expected us to be far more resilient and value our wickets better to give ourselves a fighting chance today on a good pitch.”

 

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 50-over match, 26 January 2019, Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo

  Sri Lanka A 353-6 (50 overs; W Fernando 139, A Perera 56*, K Mendis 50*; S Singh 2-39)
  Ireland Wolves 151 (30.4 overs; S Singh 31; I Udana 3-33)
 
Sri Lanka A won by 202 runs (Sri Lanka A lead the five-match series 4-0)

A full scorecard is available here:
Cricinfo
Cricket Archive

 

 


Waldron raises the bar…as well as the finger

January 25th 2019 | International, Women, Other

Waldron raises the bar…as well as the finger

Mary Waldron (right) has been raising the finger...and eyebrows Down Under with her performances

Playing at a World Cup in the Caribbean one month…umpiring national finals in Australia the next. Mary Waldron’s umpiring aspirations continue to grow as she stands in the Cricket Australia Under-18 National Championship Final this week.

Last year we highlighted Mary’s growing interest in cricket umpiring, at the time spending her second full Australian season with the South Australian Cricket Umpires Association.

Her umpiring reputation both home and abroad has grown further since then, and in August 2018 she became the first Irish woman to stand in a Men’s List A match.

Now, at the start of 2019, Mary is back in Australia once more, and this week was selected to stand in the Final of the Under-18s National Championship. She stood in the tournament last year for the first time, but to be handed the duties for the final is a credit to her progress.

This appointment was off the back of umpiring in the Final of the Twenty20 National Championships last week in Bendigo.

Back on the playing side, Mary was this morning named in the 2019 Ireland Women’s international squad and is set to play an important role on the field in what is shaping up to be a big year for women’s cricket in Ireland.

Congratulations Mary!

Mary Waldron
Image: Mary umpiring at the Under-18 National Championships (photo credit Brody Grogan)

 


New era begins for women’s cricket as senior international and Academy squads named

January 25th 2019 | International, Coaching, Women, Other

New era begins for women’s cricket as senior international and Academy squads named

The senior women's squad training at the High Performance Centre in Dublin

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland today announced the senior women international and Academy squads for 2019 - marking the start of a new era for the sport after what became a watershed year in 2018.

In November 2018 Irish fans witnessed the retirements of four of Ireland Women’s greatest-ever players - Isobel Joyce, Cecelia Joyce, Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe – players with over 570 caps collectively.

Aaron Hamilton, Head Coach of the Ireland Women’s cricket team, spoke today about the new Irish women’s cricket landscape:

“We’re at the start of a generational change - names that have appeared regularly on the Ireland Women’s team sheet for the last 20 years are no longer there. It is never an easy process to replace that level of playing experience, but we have a talented squad and a good leadership team, so we’ve a good base to grow from.”

“We’ve had a close-knit international squad over recent years, but with the success of the Super 3’s Series and further development of the Girl’s Academy, the ability to integrate new players into the senior set-up has become an easier proposition. We are also fortunate to have the captain and vice-captain combination of Laura Delany and Kim Garth – supported by a number of experienced colleagues - to lead that process, so I am confident we can quickly gel as a unit.”

“I suspect that we will look back on 2019 as a big year for Irish women’s cricket. The introduction of the first-ever women’s part-time contracts, home internationals and a T20 World Cup Qualifier tournament will be the headline stories, but as a management team we are seeing this year as the beginning of our campaign to be part of an expanded ICC Women’s Championship in 2021. To qualify for that competition will be a literal game-changer for the women’s game in Ireland – and the work on developing a squad capable of competing regularly on the world stage against the world’s best teams will be a multi-year project.”


Aaron Hamilton
Image: Aaron Hamilton

Laura Delany, Ireland Women’s captain, speaking from Melbourne where she is currently playing club cricket, said:

“2018 was a year of mixed emotions for the team as we tested ourselves against the world’s best. We saw several breakthrough performances by the likes of Gaby Lewis, Lucy O’Reilly and Celeste Raack, and said farewell to four legends of the women’s game. While the international squad is entering a new cycle, it is great that we still retain some experienced performers like Mary Waldron, Shauna Kavanagh and Eimear Richardson to help the younger players step up to the demands of international cricket.”

“Kim [Garth] and I have discussed the leadership role we will be playing in this new cycle and feel, between the senior performance squad and the Academy squad, we have a great talent pool to draw from.”

“We are also as an international squad, acutely aware of the positive role we can play in the rise of women’s sport in Ireland. We hope that as the profile of women’s cricket grows, we will be able to inspire more young girls to see our sport as an attractive option.”


Laura Delany
Image: Laura Delany in action against Bangladesh in 2018

Squads

Women’s Performance Squad

1. Laura Delany (Leinster CC)
2. Kim Garth (Pembroke CC)
3. Shauna Kavanagh (Pembroke CC)
4. Amy Kenealy (Leinster CC)
5. Gaby Lewis (YMCA CC)
6. Robyn Lewis (YMCA CC)
7. Louise Little (Pembroke CC)
8. Naomi Matthews (Loughborough / Waringstown CC)
9. Lara Maritz (Clontarf CC)
10. Cara Murray (Saintfield CC)
11. Lucy O’Reilly (YMCA CC)
12. Celeste Raack (Hobart / Merrion CC)
13. Una Raymond-Hoey (Clontarf CC)
14. Eimear Richardson (Northern Districts, NZ / Leinster CC)
15. Rebecca Stokell (Leinster CC)
16. Mary Waldron (Malahide CC)


Women’s Academy Squad

1. Aoife Beggs (YMCA CC)
2. Rachel Delaney (Merrion CC)
3. Jennifer Gray (YMCA CC)
4. Amy Hunter (Instonians)
5. Anna Kerrison (Malahide CC)
6. Hannah Little (Pembroke CC)
7. Sophie MacMahon (Leinster CC)
8. Jane Maguire (The Hills)
9. Caoimhe McCann (Malahide CC)
10. Leah Paul (Merrion CC)
11. Orla Prendergast (Pembroke CC)

We can’t do it without…

Once again we would like to thank our great sponsors who are supporting the growth of women’s cricket in Ireland:
Hanley Energy - Ireland Women’s international team partner
Shapoorji Pallonji - Cricket Ireland Academy partner

 

 


Harry Tector century, but Ireland Wolves beaten by rampant Sri Lanka A

January 24th 2019 | International, Other

Harry Tector century, but Ireland Wolves beaten by rampant Sri Lanka A

Captain Harry Tector posted his maiden century in a senior Irish side

COLOMBO – Ireland Wolves captain Harry Tector scored his maiden century in a senior Irish side and shared a record fifth-wicket partnership with Shane Getkate, but it was not enough to defeat a rampant Sri Lankan side in the third 50-over match of a five-match series at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Sri Lanka.

After winning the toss, Ireland Wolves captain Harry Tector elected to bat first. While the Wolves lost early wickets and found itself 84-4 in the 19th over, captain Harry Tector and all-rounder Shane Getkate set about solidifying the innings, before building a competitive team total.

Tector’s 103 from 111 balls included seven fours and three sixes, and was his first century at senior levels. Having brought red-hot form from Sydney Grade cricket into the tour, Tector has had a quiet time with the bat, scoring 83 runs in eight innings – but today his form returned and he dominated the Sri Lankan attack, and – together with Getkate – put on a record-breaking 178-run stand for the fifth wicket.

For Getkate, today’s innings of 86 from 93 balls continues his good run of batting form since joining the squad for the white-ball series. His three innings on tour have returned scores of 37, 56 and 86, and was unlucky to miss a century, however settled for his highest score in senior Irish colours.

The Wolves total of 268-6 looked a defendable total, and the team would have gone in to the innings break with confidence. However, when the teams returned to the field the home side set about attacking the Wolves bowlers from the outset.


The opening stand of 47 runs was achieved before the end of the fifth over, and Avishka Fernando was once more the chief aggressor. His 89 came from just 67 balls, and included eight fours and four sixes – and he now has scored 272 runs in his last three innings against the Wolves attack, at an average of 90.67.

Fernando was joined in a 155-run second wicket stand by wicketkeeper-batsman Minod Bhanuka (113 runs from 87 balls). Bhanuka, yet to play for the Sri Lankan men’s senior side, has a first-class triple-century to his name and this was his first appearance with the bat in hand during this white-ball series.

The Sri Lankan side passed the target in the 32nd over and lead the white-ball series 3-0, with two matches to play.

After the match, Harry Tector said:

“Going into today we were definitely looking to bat first. In the second ODI we were also looking to bat first, but we lost the toss. So today we didn’t hesitate to bat first with the aim of posting a decent total – which we did – and then try and put a squeeze on them. But it was obviously disappointing how the game played out in the end with them chasing down the runs pretty easily.”

“I felt pretty good out there, and I approached my innings today just how I’ve approached the other ones, when out there I tried to rotate the strike and put the bad ball away. I’d obviously been in a bad run of form recently, which has been a bit disappointing, I would’ve liked to have scored more runs on this trip up until now, but I guess that’s cricket. I’ve actually felt quite good every time I’ve gone out to bat, so fortunately today I was able to kick on from a start - and to build a partnership with Shane Getkate was brilliant. He’s been batting brilliantly in the three ODIs he has played, and he’s really shown all the batters a formula that works.”

“From a series perspective, it’s disappointing for the series to have been decided with two ODIs still to play but I think what we will focus on over the last two ODIs is how could we get a result out here – how we can get a win. They’re a very experienced side and we’re a very young side, but really the only difference between the sides is not skill, but that they are performing more consistently over the period of the games. So we want to get that win, maybe two, and there will be no let up from us. All the lads will be working hard, as they have all throughout the tour so far. I just hope for the lads sake that we can get a win to give them just reward for their effort on this tour – we truly deserve that.”

 

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 50-over match, 24 January 2019, Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo

  Ireland Wolves 268-6 (50 overs; H Tector 103, S Getkate 86; I Udana 3-45)
  Sri Lanka A 272-2 (31.1 overs; M Bhanuka 113, W Fernando 89; J Cameron-Dow 2-77)
 
Sri Lanka A won by 8 wickets (Sri Lanka A lead the five-match series 3-0)


A full scorecard is available here.

 


Boyd Rankin set to provide major boost for Inter-Provincial Series

January 24th 2019 | International

Boyd Rankin set to provide major boost for Inter-Provincial Series

Boyd Rankin during Ireland v Pakistan Test match - May 2018

DUBLIN – Ireland’s Test dual-international Boyd Rankin is set to provide a major boost to the Inter-Provincial Series when he begins his first full season in the competition playing for the North West Warriors in 2019, after officially ending a successful 11-year stint at Warwickshire County Cricket Club.

Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:

“Boyd is a great servant to Irish cricket, played Test cricket for England and has been involved in the English county system since the age of 20. His time with Warwickshire has been a credit to his skill, determination and professionalism, and has seen him become one of the rare players to have played Test cricket for two countries.”

“While Boyd will continue to reside in England for the time being, he has been awarded a full-time contract with Cricket Ireland and will join the North West Warriors in the squad for the full 2019 season and beyond. It is always a boost for Irish domestic cricket when one of our leading stars returns to play at home, and I expect the news will be a major boost to the Warriors.”

The 6’8” fast-bowler first played for Ireland in 2003 and was part of the 2007 World Cup campaign in the Caribbean. In 2012, he declared for England playing in all three formats, before returning to play for Ireland in 2016. In 2018, Rankin received approval to appear for the North West Warriors in a three-day game against Leinster Lightning as part of the lead-up to Ireland’s historic first men’s Test match, taking four wickets in the game.

Rankin said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time at Warwickshire and it’s been fantastic to be part of a squad that has won trophies in every format. Although I am excited about the future, it is still a sad occasion to officially leave Warwickshire – it’s been a great decade at Edgbaston and I have enjoyed both the on-field challenge and the opportunity to play with so many world-class cricketers.”

“Saying that, the very fact that there is now a professional, high-quality domestic cricket structure to move to in Ireland means that I can move on to the next stage of my career in the knowledge that I can continue playing the sport I love, and turning out to play for the men in green. My brief experience in the Inter-Pros last year gave me a taste of the quality of the cricket, and I’m looking forward to contributing to my first full-season in Irish domestic cricket in over 15 years.”

The full schedule of the 2019 Inter-Provincial Series is due to be released in February, and foreshadows another big year ahead for Irish cricket.

 

 


“Big improvements individually” - Cassell sees plenty of positives from Wolves tour of Sri Lanka

January 23rd 2019 | International, Coaching, Other

“Big improvements individually” - Cassell sees plenty of positives from Wolves tour of Sri Lanka

Rob Cassell, Assistant Coach for Ireland Men's cricket team

DUBLIN – Rob Cassell, the Australian-born Assistant Coach of Ireland Men’s senior team, believes the future of Irish cricket will be bright after returning to Ireland from the Ireland Wolves tour of Sri Lanka this week.

Working with Cricket Ireland since July 2017, Cassell is a former professional cricketer in Australia, who also held the role of High Performance Bowling Coach at the South Australian Cricket Association for six years before moving to Ireland. He travelled to Sri Lanka as part of the Ireland Wolves management team for the first half of the tour, swapping over with Ireland Men’s Head Coach Graham Ford who flew out for the second half of the tour.

Upon his return to Dublin, Cassell spoke about his role, the Wolves tour and how the Sri Lankan experience will benefit Irish cricket’s future:

“My role is basically the Assistant Coach – Bowling for the senior men’s team and I’m here to support anyone who bowls in our system – this includes the Wolves through to our under-age teams. That is, when time permits,” he said. “This was my first tour to Sri Lanka, and what a wonderful place - such a fanatical cricket country.”

“Our pre-tour preparations started early and involved creating some scenarios for our batters against spin at the indoor centre in North County. We mainly used the Merlyn bowling machine, but it wasn’t easy given that it was about 3 degrees in Dublin and we were using a surface that didn’t spin! The challenge forced us to be creative, and we used mats to make it more ‘subcontinent-like’.”

“In addition to our indoor work, some of our players were fortunate to get some turf practice in - a batting group went to India for a 10-day camp just before Christmas, and a bowling group were able to get some time at the European Cricket Performance Centre in Spain.”

“More specifically with the bowling unit, a lot of our work behind-the-scenes has revolved around the execution of basic skills, and also creating match scenarios. Then once we were in Sri Lanka in match-mode, we focussed on gaining an understanding of local conditions as quickly as possible, and making sure each bowler had simple plans. We wanted each player to be clear and confident in what they were trying to do.”

“With this squad I’ve tried to keep it pretty simple - my philosophy has been that I don’t really mind what your technique is as long as you can execute and get in the contest bowling spin or pace.”


Rob Cassell
Image: “I don’t really mind what your technique is as long as you can execute and get in the contest” - Rob Cassell


“It has been a big challenge in conditions that are foreign to us, but we’ve definitely seen some big improvements individually. James Cameron-Dow and JJ Garth have developed and have learned the importance of bowling the right length and pace in subcontinent conditions.”

“Another area of improvement has been some of the small things within a game - like making sure the fielders are in exactly the right position. Just a couple of metres left or right can make a big difference to a batter’s mindset. This knowledge, though, only comes from experience – and this tour is giving some of these young players that experience.”

“Like on any long tour, it’s never easy to keep all the players on the park. In Sri Lanka the coaches and physios have been routinely discussing what each player needs on a daily basis, and priming them for matches. The mental side of touring is also massive, and with the Wolves it has been about making sure that this young squad of players are up and about and enjoying themselves.”

Cassell may be back home, but has already moved on to his next challenge - finalising plans for the senior men’s tour to Oman in early February, immediately followed by a nine-match, multi-format series against Afghanistan in India.

About the Ireland Wolves


The Ireland Wolves team was created in 2017 to bridge the gap between domestic first class and international cricket. The squad recently completed an eight-match series against Bangladesh A in Ireland, which followed on from a tour to Bangladesh made by the Wolves in 2017.

Current and Upcoming Series

Ireland Wolves Sri Lanka tour schedule


1 January 2019 - Two-day warm-up match (MCG Katunayake) – match completed (scorecard)
5 January 2019 - 1st Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo) – match completed (scorecard)
13 January 2019 - 2nd Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota) – match completed (scorecard)
19 January 2019 - 1st One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota) – match completed (scorecard)
21 January 2019 - 2nd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota) – match completed (scorecard)
24 January 2019 - 3rd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
26 January 2019 - 4th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
29 January 2019 - 5th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (RPICS - Colombo)
30 January 2019 - Ireland Wolves depart

Quadrangular tournament in Oman – Ireland Men


9 February 2019: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
10 February 2019: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
13 February 2019: Ireland v Oman (T20I); Scotland v Netherlands (T20I)
15 February 2019: Ireland v Scotland (T20I); Oman v Netherlands (T20I)
17 February 2019: Ireland v Netherlands (T20I); Scotland v Oman (T20I)

Afghanistan series – Ireland Men

21 February 2019: 1st T20I – Ireland v Afghanistan
23 February 2019: 2nd T20I – Ireland v Afghanistan
24 February 2019: 3rd T20I – Ireland v Afghanistan
28 February 2019: 1st ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
2 March 2019: 2nd ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
5 March 2019: 3rd ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
8 March 2019: 4th ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
10 March 2019: 5th ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
15–19 March 2019: Test Match – Ireland v Afghanistan


James Shannon to return home, Simi Singh flies in as Ireland Wolves replacement

January 22nd 2019 | International, Other

James Shannon to return home, Simi Singh flies in as Ireland Wolves replacement

Simi Singh will join the Wolves squad today

HAMBANTOTA – Cricket Ireland has confirmed that James Shannon will return home to Dublin after succumbing to a shoulder injury, with Simi Singh – currently training in India - joining the Ireland Wolves squad as a replacement for the final three 50-over matches of the Ireland Wolves tour of Sri Lanka.

Pete Johnston, Head Coach of Ireland Wolves, said:

“James flagged some soreness in his right shoulder at the beginning of the tour, but with careful monitoring and rehabilitation work by our medical staff here in Sri Lanka, we hoped he could complete the tour and return to throwing 100% pain-free. After this last game, it has now become clear that James’ shoulder is still hampering him and playing in these games is slowing down his recovery from the injury. With the Oman Quadrangular series and Afghanistan series in India on the horizon, we felt it best for him to return home and focus on his rehabilitation immediately so that he can be fit and available for consideration in selection.”

“With three white-ball games remaining on the tour, the selectors considered a number of options to replace Shannon, but decided it would be a great opportunity to bring Simi Singh over from India as there would be limited time difference and short travel distance. Simi was part of the batting camp in Bangalore in December, and has spent much of the last two months working on his bowling by adding leg spin to his armoury in addition to his off-spin. We are certainly keen to see his progress on this front in a match situation, and while the circumstances of his arrival are unfortunate, the opportunity is a good one for all.”

The 31-year old Singh, who plays for Leinster Lightning in the Inter-Provincial Series and YMCA Cricket Club at club level, has played 22 times for the senior men’s side and turned out for the Ireland Wolves in 12 occasions – hitting a memorable 67* off 41 deliveries in his last match against Bangladesh A in August 2018.

He is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka today, ahead of the third 50-over match on Thursday in Colombo.


Ireland well represented at ICC Regional Conference for Umpires

January 21st 2019 | International, Other

Ireland well represented at ICC Regional Conference for Umpires

Roland Black at the Ireland v India T20I in June 2018

Ireland’s four members of the ICC’s International Panel stepped up their preparation for the 2019 season in Manchester this weekend.

Paul Reynolds, who was promoted to the International Cricket Council’s second-tier International Umpires Panel in June 2018, said:

“Mark Hawthorne, Roly Black, Alan Neill and I attended the ICC’s Regional Conference along with umpires from England, India and the West Indies. We were fortunate to have Denis Burns from the ICC’s team of umpire coaches led the two-day conference, which involved the umpires discussing many of the issues currently affecting the game.”

“Denis will also be attending the IACUS Conference in Monaghan on 16 February, and with the Inter-Provincial workshop planned for 30 March. 2019 promises to be a busy year for Irish cricket, and in the lead up it will be a busy few months for all match officials - umpires and scorers - before the season starts.”

Umpires
Image: Umpires at the ICC Regional Conference, which included Roly Black (3rd from left), Paul Reynolds (4th from left), Mark Hawthorne (4th from right) and Alan Neill (2nd from right)

 

 


Ireland Wolves show resolve, but Sri Lanka A dominate the second match of the series

January 21st 2019 | International, Other

Ireland Wolves show resolve, but Sri Lanka A dominate the second match of the series

Shane Getkate scored 56 from 55 balls

HAMBANTOTA – Ireland Wolves provided bright patches, but ultimately succumbed to a dominant Sri Lanka A side by 175 runs today in the second 50-over match of a five-match series at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka.

Winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Sri Lanka A openers went on the attack early, scoring 86 runs in the first 12 overs. Captain Upul Tharanga (103 from 112 balls), the experienced 33-year old batsman with 31 Tests and 226 ODIs under his belt for Sri Lanka, was the chief aggressor, while his opening partner Avishka Fernando hit 55 from 45 balls, following up on his century in the last match.

Despite the whirlwind start, the Wolves bowlers - particularly the spin of James Cameron-Dow (1-32) and Harry Tector (1-50) - managed to pull the scoring rate back, with the two spinners conceding just 82 runs from their aggregate 20 overs.

At the start of the 47th over Sri Lanka A were 287-4, however some power-hitting in the final three overs saw 50 runs added, and the home side finished on 337-5.

The Ireland Wolves run-chase got off to a poor start losing two wickets in the first over, and struggled to recover from there. A record 7th wicket partnership of 67 between Mark Adair (43 from 40 balls) and Shane Getkate (56 from 55 balls) put some respectability in the total, however once that partnership was broken the Sri Lankan side cleaned up the tail, with the Wolves being bowled out for 162.

Speaking after the game, Ireland Wolves Head Coach Pete Johnston said:

“It was more like home conditions for Sri Lanka today, and after losing the toss it was always going to be challenging batting second. We played well in parts of the game – with the ball I thought we did especially well in the middle overs with James Cameron-Dow and Harry Tector tying them down. With the bat, we lost too many wickets early but it was good to see Shane Getkate and Mark Adair form a good partnership at over a run a ball and for Shane to get past 50.”

“Ultimately we need to look at how we can improve during the first and last ten overs with bat and ball, but I believe we have the right balance and players to do that. The guys will sit down over coming days to share the knowledge and learnings as a group, and I believe will come back stronger for the experience in training and for the last three games in Colombo.”

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 50-over match, 21 January 2019, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

  Sri Lanka A 337-5 (50 overs; W Tharanga 103, P Mendis 76, A Perera 72; J Cameron-Dow 1-32)
  Ireland Wolves 162 (35.5 overs; S Getkate 56, M Adair 43; T Siriwardana 4-26)
 
Sri Lanka A won by 175 runs (Sri Lanka A lead the five-match series 2-0)


A full scorecard is available here.

 


Lorcan Tucker century, but Ireland Wolves fall just short in first ODI against Sri Lanka A

January 19th 2019 | International, Other

Lorcan Tucker century, but Ireland Wolves fall just short in first ODI against Sri Lanka A

Lorcan Tucker hit 109 from 86 balls today

HAMBANTOTA – More than 650 runs were scored, including three batters reaching centuries, as the Ireland Wolves fall 60-runs short against Sri Lanka A in the first 50-over match of a five-match series at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka.

After winning the toss, Ireland Wolves captain Harry Tector sent Sri Lanka A into bat first, however right from the first over the home side looked to attack the Wolves bowlers as they mounted a total of 365-5 from their 50 overs. Two Sri Lankan batters passed three-figures with Avishka Fernando hitting 128 runs from 120 balls, and Milinda Siriwardana scoring a whirlwind 111 from 75 balls.

While the bowlers struggled to contain the scoring rate, Stuart Thompson’s 2-36 from 6 overs was the pick of the line-up, and – while going wicketless – 18-year old leg-spinner JJ Garth maintained a consistent line and conceded just 54 runs from his ten overs.

With a mountainous target of 366 runs for victory ahead of them, the Wolves batters did not shy away from the task. The visitors put on a commendable batting display as they kept themselves in the game – with the target an unlikely possibility, but still within touching distance if they could put together solid partnerships.

James Shannon returned to form with a well-compiled 67 from 67 balls, that featured six fours and a six. However, the mainstay of the innings was 22-year old wicketkeeper-batsman Lorcan Tucker. Tucker hit 109 from 86 balls, striking 13 boundaries and clearing the ropes three times. Tucker has now scored 290 runs on the tour to date, at an average of 58. This was also his second century in Wolves colours, after his 138 against Gloucestershire 2nd XI in September last year.

By the time Tucker fell in the 36th over, the Wolves needed around 9.5 runs an over for the last 14 overs and managed to push their score to 305 before being bowled out – Shane Getkate’s 37 from 31 balls giving the batting side a late-order boost.


Wolves
Image: Ireland Wolves hit 305 in the run-chase

Speaking after the game, Lorcan Tucker said:

“I think we played really well with both bat and ball. It was tough in the first innings, the wicket was very good and they batted well, but we held them up nicely and put ourselves in a decent position to go and win the game. With the bat, we just tried to bat as long as possible and stay in the game. We didn’t quite manage to do that but we’re pretty happy with our performance here. While we lost, we have plenty of things to build on going into the next game.”

About his century, Tucker said:

“It was a long fifty overs there at the start in the field in the heat, then to go out and bat – I tried not to think about it too much, I just batted through it.”

About the rest of the series, he said:

“I think we saw most of their squad today in that game, so hopefully we can take all the learnings from this game and build on it into the next game.”

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 50-over match, 19 January 2019, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

  Sri Lanka A 365-5 (50 overs; W Fernando 128, M Siriwardana 111; S Thompson 2-36)
  Ireland Wolves 305 (48.2 overs; L Tucker 109, J Shannon 67; H Jayaratne 3-39)
 
Sri Lanka A won by 60 runs (Sri Lanka A lead the five-match series 1-0)

A full scorecard is available here.

 

 


Interview: Wolves Head Coach Pete Johnston talks about touring life and future of Irish cricket

January 18th 2019 | International, Coaching, Other

Interview: Wolves Head Coach Pete Johnston talks about touring life and future of Irish cricket

Pete Johnston, Head Coach of the Ireland Wolves

HAMBANTOTA – Following his sides record-breaking recent match against Sri Lanka A, Ireland Wolves Head Coach Pete Johnston sat down to discuss the Wolves squad, the tour so far, and the future of Irish cricket.

Q. Looking at the tour so far, how have you assessed the squads performance and progress?

Johnston: “When we arrived there was a quick turn-around. We only had one day’s practice before we played a very good side in the two-day warm up match - and then it was more-or-less straight into the first four-day game. It was clear to see that the lads were working extremely hard and learning all the time, but due to a range of niggles and injuries we were down to the bare 11 players at one stage. Even our Team Manager took the field at one point during the warm-up match.”

“But we acclimatised well and managed the injury situation, so by the time the second four-day game came around we were back at full strength, even with a couple of extra white-ball players joining us to begin preparing for the forthcoming ODI series.”

“Despite losing the first four-day game by 10 wickets, there were definite positives to take and strong performances from James Cameron-Dow and James McCollum especially. From my perspective, the difference in the game was really only one big partnership by the Sri Lankans and not scoring enough in our first innings. But we put that right this game and I felt we controlled the second game for the majority of the first three days, which is a great achievement.”


Q. Is there anything specific you put down to the more confident and competitive display in this second match?

Johnston: “The confidence we showed and the performance we put in comes down to the fact that the lads are putting in some great work around their preparation, be it technical or mental. Every different situation and experience out here makes us stronger. I’ve no doubt that the two days we spent in the field just now will also stand us well leading into what will be a very competitive white-ball series.”

Q. You’ve been able to bring a solid support staff contingent with you on this tour – what difference does that make and what have they been working on with the squad?

Johnston: “Yesterday was realistically our first proper ‘rest day’ and we let the guys recharge. Other recovery days we have had so far have involved some priming strength sessions and pool sessions, led by Rob Cassell [Assistant Coach, Ireland Men’s team] and Rob Burge [Strength and Conditioning Coach], along with a big emphasis on monitoring, nutrition and hydration.”

“On the coaching side, we have created batting, bowling and fielding groups and encouraged feedback and discussion from the team. Ed Joyce has been a huge benefit to our batters so far this trip - and over the course of the winter and last summer - he has really helped the players to reinforce game plans around their strengths and to approach every game and situation with consistent, purposeful preparation.”

“Rob Cassell has also been excellent with the bowling group, he has some of the best tactical and game awareness attributes I have seen in a coach. Our bowling unit now have a very good understanding of their plans and options of deliveries in any situation.”

Q. As Head Coach, how far out from this tour did you start planning? And have conditions been as expected or has anything surprised you?

Johnston: “Preparation on all fronts for the players began last October – we’ve had a number of players preparing across a number of different environments, be it overseas, on training camps in Bangalore/La Manga, training with the senior men’s team or with the Academy and under-age squads.”

“As there has been a number of different coaches working with our players, for me it has been a case of having clear communication with these coaches, selectors and the players and knowing how to shape things for the tour and challenges we had ahead. Our performance analyst Scott Irvine has also supported this work by providing ground statistics and information on the opposition. With a lot of our cricket this winter being played in the subcontinent, that has been a big focus in our preparation and the introduction of matting at the North County training facility has certainly helped to create more accurate spin conditions in practice.”

“We were not surprised with conditions in Colombo where it spun early - it is mid-season here, so there is some wear-and-tear on the wickets. Trusting your defence in those conditions is key, and with the slow nature of the pitches, stronger shots down the ground, off the front and back foot, have been the best attacking options.”

“However here in Hambantota, conditions have been different, where the wicket has been a lot fresher and has had good pace and bounce, so we had to adapt quickly again. This came as no surprise to us either, given some prior information from Graham Ford [Ireland Men’s head coach and former Sri Lanka Head Coach] and Scott.”


Wolves
Image: Preparation for the tour started in October

Q. We’re now moving into the white-ball phase of the tour, are you going into these games with any specific expectations from the squad?

Johnston: “We don’t want to set too many expectations around results, we are here to learn and improve every day - and that is working for us with our performances on an upward curve. Sri Lanka A have named a very different one-day squad, with some experienced players such as Upal Tharanga [who has played 33 Tests and 232 ODIs for Sri Lanka].”

“It will be a tough challenge, but I think we can build on the performance in the last game and take confidence going into the first ODI. We are certainly more familiar with the 50-over format and it has been a strong format for Irish teams, so I would expect us to perform well and push them hard.”

Q. We saw Gareth Delany arrive a little earlier than planned, but he has now been joined by Shane Getkate and Stuart Thompson to make up the white-ball squad. How have they all settled in?

Johnston: “Since arriving, Stuart and Shane have put in some excellent work in the nets and around staying sharp on their fitness while also supporting the four-day team in the last game. Both are excellent all-round cricketers and offer exactly the type of dynamic ability and power that we need for the white ball game. They both performed well in the summer with the Wolves and can certainly play a big role in this series.”

“Gareth Delany will also come in to start his first full game of the tour, and again, his power is something that we will look to capitalise on if we can get good starts and lay a foundation, while his leg spin is also making very good progress.”

Q. How have the tour operations and coordination been so far?

Johnston: “Sri Lanka Cricket have been outstanding - I’ve not been on many tours where we have been looked after so well. All our logistical arrangements have gone smoothly and the facilities have been excellent. They have approached the running of the games and venues with great professionalism so that we are really replicating senior international cricket.”

Q. How important might a tour like this be for aspirants hoping break into the senior international squad at some point?

Johnston: “This tour is an important step for all our emerging players. The Wolves experience offers our young players the opportunity to play competitive Full Member A sides, and give them a taste of the requirements for playing on the world stage. For some of the younger guys, they can go away from this tour having found out a lot more about their own game and what they need to strengthen or add in order to make themselves as robust and ready for the next step up to international cricket. As an example, in this last game, they could not have had a better experience as to what a Test match in hot conditions is like and how fatigue can impact on performance if routines, physical preparation and mental preparation are not at the highest levels.”

“While it is vital the players don’t look too far ahead, and continue to focus on the processes and performances required right here right now, one thing is certain - if these lads continue to make the progress they are currently making, we will have an exciting generation of players coming through when the time is right.”


Wolves
Image: Wolves and Sri Lanka A players shake hands

About the Ireland Wolves


The Ireland Wolves team was created in 2017 to bridge the gap between domestic first class and international cricket. The squad recently completed an eight-match series against Bangladesh A in Ireland, which followed on from a tour to Bangladesh made by the Wolves in 2017.

Ireland Wolves Sri Lanka tour schedule


1 January 2019 - Two-day warm-up match (MCG Katunayake) – match completed (scorecard)
5 January 2019 - 1st Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo) – match completed (scorecard)
13 January 2019 - 2nd Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota) – match completed (scorecard)
19 January 2019 - 1st One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
21 January 2019 - 2nd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
24 January 2019 - 3rd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
26 January 2019 - 4th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
29 January 2019 - 5th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (RPICS - Colombo)
30 January 2019 - Ireland Wolves depart


Sri Lanka A bats deep on fourth day to force a draw against Ireland Wolves

January 16th 2019 | International, Other

Sri Lanka A bats deep on fourth day to force a draw against Ireland Wolves

Ireland Wolves saw out Day Four and drew the match

HAMBANTOTA – The Ireland Wolves squad finished today’s second four-day match against Sri Lanka A pleased with the team’s improved performance, but Sri Lankan batters dominated the day and ensured the home side avoided defeat.

Resuming overnight on 180-4, Sri Lanka A’s batters – led by a double-century from opener Pathum Nissanka and a maiden first-class century from Chamika Karunaratne – put on 288 runs in just over two sessions to put the game out of reach for the visiting side. For the bowling side, 18-year old leg-spinner JJ Garth, in only his second first-class appearance, claimed 3-140 and seamer Mark Adair took 2-65, but they couldn’t deliver that knock-out blow on the tail that they achieved in the first innings.

To inject some late interest in the game, the home captain Ashan Priyanjan declared with just over 30 overs still to play in the day, setting the Wolves a challenging target of 264 for an unlikely victory.

Despite losing three early wickets, opener James McCollum (45*) and Lorcan Tucker (22*) saw out the day and the team captains agreed to call an end to the match with half-an-hour of play left.

After play, Wolves captain Harry Tector and Craig Young spoke about the game.

Tector said:

“We’re happy, but a bit disappointed. We had bossed the first three days and to not get a win is slightly disappointing – but I’m pretty proud of the way the lads bounced back from a pretty tough first match to bat and bowl the way we did over the first three days.”

Young said:

“It was great to be back out there with the new ball, particularly after picking up that bit of a niggle at the start of the tour. It’s nice to be back out there in the heat as well, it gave us a tough test. The wickets here are probably a little flatter than back home, so it probably takes a little more effort and patience. It’s certainly something I can work on, being a little more patient, but you get your rewards – what you put in you get out.”

This completes the red-ball matches of the current tour, and the Ireland Wolves and Sri Lanka A now turn to a five-match series of 50-over matches, starting on Saturday. Shane Getkate and Stuart Thompson join the Wolves squad for this part of the tour, while Gareth Delany – originally named for the white-ball squad – had joined the squad early as cover for Jack Tector who had to return to Dublin after sustaining an injury.

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 13-16 January 2019, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

  Ireland Wolves 508-8 dec (138 overs; N Rock 85, L Tucker 80, J Cameron-Dow 76*, J McCollum 72, S Doheny 58; C Karunaratne 3-99)
  Sri Lanka A 303 (73.2 overs; A Perera 127, S Ashan 72; J Cameron-Dow 5-99, C Young 3-76, JJ Garth 2-55)
  Sri Lanka A 468-7 dec (f/o) (105.1 overs; P Nissanka 217, C Karunaratne 100*; JJ Garth 3-140, M Adair 2-65)
  Ireland Wolves 89-3 (24 overs; J McCollum 45*, L Tucker 22*; L Embuldeniya 2-37)
 
Match drawn

A full scorecard is available here.

 

 


Ireland Wolves enforce the follow-on in bid for final day victory over Sri Lanka A

January 15th 2019 | International, Other

Ireland Wolves enforce the follow-on in bid for final day victory over Sri Lanka A

Angelo Perera brought up his century, however the Ireland Wolves end the day on a high

HAMBANTOTA – Left-arm off-spinner James Cameron-Dow claimed his second five-wicket haul in successive matches on tour, as Ireland Wolves took 11 wickets and enforced the follow-on on Day Three of the Ireland Wolves v Sri Lanka four-day match at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka.

Resuming overnight on 99-3, Sri Lanka A’s batters tasked themselves with batting towards safety, and were led by a century from Angelo Perera (his 16th first-class century in his career) and a solid innings of 72 by middle-order batter Shammu Ashan.

However, with the home side looking increasingly comfortable at 227-4, Wolves seamer Craig Young struck for his third wicket of the innings, removing centurion Perera and opening up an end for the Wolves bowling unit to attack. That subsequent attack was led by Cameron-Dow who claimed a five-wicket haul for the second time on the current tour.

Fresh from taking 7-77 in the first innings of the last match on tour, Cameron-Dow has now taken 12 of the 20 Sri Lankan wickets to fall in the series to date, at an average of 15.75.

Sri Lanka A’s final six wickets fell for 76 runs, ended with a 205-run first-innings deficit. Wolves captain Harry Tector then elected to enforce the follow-on and moments later the Sri Lankan openers returned to the crease with almost a session-and-a-half still to play in the day.

Not letting up the pressure, left-arm paceman Josh Little struck first this time, removing opener Avishka Fernando for 15. Leg-spinner JJ Garth claimed two further wickets, and Cameron-Dow removed captain Ashan Priyanjan to put the Wolves in a solid position by the end of Day Three, with Sri Lanka A on 180-4 - still 25 runs behind going into the last day.


JCD
Image: James Cameron-Dow claimed his second five-wicket haul of the tour

After play, Wolves Head Coach Pete Johnston said:

“I think in this game the guys have applied their learnings from the previous game and our time in Sri Lanka so far. We have been on an upward curve day-by-day throughout the tour and hopefully that can continue. There has been a lot of hard work put in by the squad at practice, on recovery work, and there have also been some great discussions around adapting to conditions here.”

“We knew first innings runs would be crucial and pleasingly the batters stuck to their attacking and defensive strengths to form big partnerships. All the bowlers have bowled good spells and we have shown great commitment to save runs in the field while taking some good catches. Again it is great to see James Cameron-Dow get another 5-wicket haul in this one.”

With respect to the decision to enforce the follow-on, he said:

“Captain Harry [Tector] considered both options around the follow-on thoroughly, but in the end, the bowling unit had their tails rightfully up and wanted to give it a crack. It turned out to be a longer evening session than we expected due to not as much cloud cover which meant the light lasted. With patience and discipline we should be able to capitalise tomorrow.”

“Breaking this current partnership, and then accounting for Ashan - who got runs in the first innings - will be crucial. After that we will need to go about chasing the target set batting with the same mindset we showed in the first innings. It should be an exciting days cricket and whatever the outcome, the guys can be proud of their efforts so far.”

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 13-16 January 2019, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

  Ireland Wolves 508-8 dec (138 overs; N Rock 85, L Tucker 80, J Cameron-Dow 76*, J McCollum 72, S Doheny 58; C Karunaratne 3-99)
  Sri Lanka A 303 (73.2 overs; A Perera 127, S Ashan 72; J Cameron-Dow 5-99, C Young 3-76, JJ Garth 2-55)
  Sri Lanka A 180-4 (f/o) (45 overs; P Nissanka 92*; JJ Garth 2-62)
 
Stumps on Day Three

A full scorecard is available here.

 

 

 


Ruthless batting display puts Ireland Wolves firmly in control of Sri Lanka A

January 14th 2019 | International, Other

Ruthless batting display puts Ireland Wolves firmly in control of Sri Lanka A

Craig Young finished the day with 2-18 to cap off a great day for Ireland Wolves

HAMBANTOTA – A record-breaking total by Ireland Wolves have put the visiting side in firm control after Day Two of the Ireland Wolves v Sri Lanka four-day match at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka.

Resuming their overnight score of 286-4, the Wolves continued to punish the Sri Lankan bowling attack, adding 224 runs in just under two sessions.

After the not-out overnight partnership of Lorcan Tucker (80) and Neil Rock (85) was broken, the home side would have been seeking to clean up the tail quickly, but met strong resistance from determined tail-end batting. Mark Adair (32) added quick runs, while James Cameron-Dow (76*) and JJ Garth (45) put on 108 runs for the 8th wicket – a record at the Ireland Wolves / Second XI level.

After losing Garth, the final Wolves pair of Cameron-Dow and Josh Little put on a rapid 33 runs from just over three overs, however with his side passing the 500-mark captain Harry Tector called a halt to the innings at 508-8 (dec). The score easily surpassed the previous highest Wolves highest team total of 393, and the sixth highest-ever first-class team total in Ireland’s history.

With their tails up, Wolves opening bowler Craig Young – returning to on-field action after recovering from a niggle that kept him out of the last match – claimed two early wickets, and the 18-year old leg-spinner JJ Garth claimed his first-ever first-class wicket, picking up the Sri Lanka A captain Ashan Priyanjan on what proved to be the last ball of the day after umpires called off play due to bad light.


Neil Rock
Image: Neil Rock on his way to 85

After play, James Cameron-Dow said:

“A great day for us – it was a pretty good batting deck and it was important we took advantage of that and pile on first innings runs, which we weren’t able to do in Colombo. Conditions were quite tricky early on but once you got in it was a really nice deck to bat on.”

Asked about his 108-run partnership with JJ Garth, he said:

“JJ was initially the aggressor and took a lot of pressure off me, so I was just able to get myself going. Then it ebbed and flowed who was aggressor and who was the patient one and we managed to re-build it quite nicely.”

Asked about the Wolves bowling response by the end of Day Two, he said:

“Youngie’s [Craig Young] spell there was excellent, there’s a bit of extra pace and bounce in this deck which I’m sure the seamers will love. I think they’ve got a big job to do for us tomorrow with short, sharp spells and trying to be aggressive - trying take a couple of wickets that way.”

 

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 13-16 January 2019, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

  Ireland Wolves 508-8 dec (138 overs; N Rock 85, L Tucker 80, J Cameron-Dow 76*, J McCollum 72, S Doheny 58; C Karunaratne 3-99)
  Sri Lanka A 99-3 (23 overs; A Perera 50*; C Young 2-18)
 
Stumps on Day Two

A full scorecard is available here.

 

 


Revised tour dates for Ireland v Afghanistan series released

January 14th 2019 | International

Revised tour dates for Ireland v Afghanistan series released

Ireland and Afghanistan will meet in a nine-match series

DUBLIN - Cricket Ireland has confirmed today revised match dates for the upcoming Ireland Men’s v Afghanistan Men’s series to be played in India.

Ireland will travel to India to play a month-long series of three T20Is, five ODIs and one Test match from 21 February – 19 March 2019 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun, India.

ACB Chief Executive Officer Shafiqullah Stanikzai said: “Initially, we planned to conclude the series on 23 March but keeping in mind the dates of the Indian Premier League in which three of Afghanistan’s main players will be participating, the dates were slightly adjusted and I would like to thank Cricket Ireland for honouring our request. The series will be important for Afghanistan as we are in the preparation stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and we are certain that both sides will play competitive cricket.”

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said: “The importance of this series to both nations cannot be understated, so it was important that we could ensure the fans did not miss out on a clash that will see best v best in terms of players available. We hope this slight amendment to playing days does not impact too much on the travel bookings of any fans attending the series. We look forward to a great series – which will include Ireland’s first overseas Test match.”

Ireland Men’s tour (Afghanistan series) – revised dates

• 21 February: 1st T20I
• 23 February: 2nd T20I
• 24 February: 3rd T20I
• 28 February: 1st ODI
• 2 March: 2nd ODI
• 5 March: 3rd ODI
• 8 March: 4th ODI
• 10 March: 5th ODI
• 15–19 March: Test Match

Quadrangular tournament in Oman

Ireland will play a quadrangular T20 tournament in Oman on the way to India, involving Oman, Netherlands and Scotland. The scheduled fixtures for the quadrangular tournament are (to be played at Al Amerat Cricket Stadium):

• 9 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 10 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 13 February: Ireland v Oman (T20I); Scotland v Netherlands (T20I)
• 15 February: Ireland v Scotland (T20I); Oman v Netherlands (T20I)
• 17 February: Ireland v Netherlands (T20I); Scotland v Oman (T20I)

 

 


McCollum bounces back, Tucker and Rock put Ireland Wolves in charge of match against Sri Lanka A

January 13th 2019 | International, Other

McCollum bounces back, Tucker and Rock put Ireland Wolves in charge of match against Sri Lanka A

Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

HAMBANTOTA – Ireland Wolves opener James McCollum led the way with his second half-century of the tour, while Lorcan Tucker and Neil Rock ensured the visitors finished in command after the first day of the Ireland Wolves v Sri Lanka four-day match at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka.

After Sri Lanka A’s captain Ashan Priyanjan won the toss and put the Wolves into bat first, the visiting side dominated the day’s play and displayed a commitment to not let the home side’s spin-heavy attack dominate, as it had in the first match of the series.

23-year old Northern Knights opener McCollum, who left the field in the last match with suspected concussion after taking a blow to the head while fielding, bounced back with a sprightly innings of 72 from 105 balls. His innings included seven boundaries, but demonstrated as much the importance of turning over the strike and not letting the opposition bowlers settle into a rhythm. Playing in his eighth Wolves match, McCollum averages 50.38 across all formats, and was recently included for the first time in the central contracts list for the Ireland senior men’s squad.

After losing opening partner James Shannon early (13), McCollum and 20-year old Stephen Doheny steadied the ship with a 110-run partnership. Doheny was not overshadowed by his partner, and his innings of 58 from 103 balls included six fours and a six. His innings showed resilience to recover from his early tour disappointments (having made just 26 runs in four innings in Sri Lanka), but more importantly to convert a start into a half-century, which only McCollum succeeded in achieving in the first match of the series.

In the middle session the loss of three relatively quick wickets saw the Wolves go from 132-1 to 158-4 in the space of eight overs, however with the visitors were determined not to let their solid start go to waste and wicketkeeper batsman Lorcan Tucker (61*) and the left-handed Neil Rock (57*) put on an unbroken 128-run stand which saw the Wolves close the day at 286-4, with bad light ending play around 30 minutes early.


Toss
Image: Captains meet Match Official Graeme Labrooy at the toss

After play, Stephen Doheny said:

“It was tricky in the morning – myself and James spoke about hanging in while it was seaming around. We obviously got through it and as the day went on it became much easier to bat. These conditions here are more seamer-friendly [than Colombo], there was a green top this morning, so the ball was doing things earlier on, so it was more difficult than it was in Colombo.”

Neil Rock said:

“We obviously lost a few quick wickets after lunch, but Stephen and James had set it up very nicely for myself and Lorcan to get going again in the afternoon session and evening session. Thankfully we got through to the end of play, and we’ll come back tomorrow and face the new ball.”

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 13-16 January 2019, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

  Ireland Wolves 286-4 (82 overs; J McCollum 72, L Tucker 61*, S Doheny 58, N Rock 57*; C Karunaratne 2-54)
 
Stumps on Day One


A full scorecard is available here.

 

 


Cricket Ireland pleased to support Galway City Partnership - Healthy Ireland initiative

January 9th 2019 | International, Other

Cricket Ireland pleased to support Galway City Partnership - Healthy Ireland initiative

Thanks to Healthy Ireland for funding this initiative

GALWAY – Cricket Ireland staff recently visited Galway to attend a cricket training session and donate cricket equipment to residents of the local Galway Direct Provision Centre, as part of a Healthy Ireland National Strategy-funded initiative run by Galway City Partnerships.

The story was covered by RTE here:


More photos from the day are below:

Healthy Ireland
Image: The Galway City Partnership, in conjunction with Healthy Ireland, is working with Direct Provision residents in Galway

Healthy Ireland
Image: [left to right] Brenda Hand (Cricket Ireland), Obert Mataza (Galway City Partnership), Elaine Nolan (Cricket Ireland), Muhammad Arshad (Asylum-seeker), Eimear Hubble (Cricket Ireland)

Healthy
Image: Healthy Ireland is funding the partnership

 

 

 


Barry McCarthy to return home, Peter Chase to join Ireland Wolves as replacement

January 8th 2019 | International, Other

Barry McCarthy to return home, Peter Chase to join Ireland Wolves as replacement

Peter Chase will join the Wolves squad in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO – Cricket Ireland has confirmed that Barry McCarthy will return home to Dublin immediately after sustaining an injury during the warm-up match on the current Ireland Wolves tour of Sri Lanka, while 25-year old Peter Chase will fly out to join the squad as his replacement.

Pete Johnston, Head Coach of Ireland Wolves, said:

“Barry had surgery around four months ago for a fracture in his foot which required surgery. He had been working closely with Rob Cassell and Mark Rausa in the build-up to this tour and was tracking well with his bowling loads and making good progress, thus proving his fitness for this tour.”

“Unfortunately, during the first warm-up game here in Sri Lanka, Barry bowled a delivery which caused him to land awkwardly on the foot around the area of the previous fracture. Although our medical staff do not suspect a repeat of his previous injury, he is currently unable to bowl pain-free due to bruising around the area. Given the previous injury and following a thorough review, we have decided that it is in Barry’s best interests for him to return home and undertake assessment, review and rehab from Mark Rausa (Cricket Ireland’s Head of Physiotherapy and Medical Services) and his foot surgeon.”

“Barry will be a big loss to the Wolves, not only with ball and bat, but he has proven himself to be an excellent leader amongst the group and has driven high standards - even through the disappointment of his recent injury set back. He can be proud of his attitude and work ethic on this tour and we wish him all the best with his rehab and hopefully swift recovery.”

The selectors have decided to call-up 25-year old paceman Peter Chase as replacement for McCarthy for the remainder of the tour.

Andrew White, Chair of National Men’s Selectors, said:

“We see Peter as an ideal replacement for Barry on this tour. Although Peter has played a number of internationals of late, he is still inexperienced in subcontinent conditions, so we see this as a great opportunity for Peter to lead a relatively inexperienced attack in foreign conditions. We wish him well as he flies out to join the squad.”

The Wolves squad will shortly head to Hambantota for the second four-day match against Sri Lanka A starting on Sunday.

About the Ireland Wolves


The Ireland Wolves team was created in 2017 to bridge the gap between domestic first class and international cricket. The squad recently completed an eight-match series against Bangladesh A in Ireland, which followed on from a tour to Bangladesh made by the Wolves in 2017.

Ireland Wolves Sri Lanka tour schedule


1 January 2019 - Two-day warm-up match (MCG Katunayake) – match completed (scorecard)
5 January 2019 - 1st Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo) – match completed (scorecard)
13 January 2019 - 2nd Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
19 January 2019 - 1st One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
21 January 2019 - 2nd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
24 January 2019 - 3rd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
26 January 2019 - 4th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
29 January 2019 - 5th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (RPICS - Colombo)
30 January 2019 - Ireland Wolves depart

 


Sri Lanka A complete win, but Tector looking to take the positives into next game

January 7th 2019 | International, Other

Sri Lanka A complete win, but Tector looking to take the positives into next game

Sri Lanka A completed the win this morning by 10 wickets

COLOMBO – Sri Lanka A wrapped up a 10-wicket win over Ireland Wolves early this morning, however, Wolves captain Harry Tector believes that his side can take the learnings from this first match and look for an improved performance in the second game of the series starting on Sunday in Hambantota.

Resuming their overnight total at 182-9, the Wolves’ last pair of James Cameron-Dow and JJ Garth added 14 runs before the last wicket fell – setting Sri Lanka A a small target of 42 runs for victory.

The Sri Lankan openers completed the task in the seventh over and gave the home side a comfortable 10-wicket win.

Speaking after the game, Harry Tector said:

“It’s pretty disappointing to end it early in three days, but I think for quite the young side that we are we’ve learned a lot from this four-day game. We’ll look to carry that learning into the next game at Hambantota which will be massive.”

“We probably let ourselves down in the first innings - we were hoping for high 200s, closer to 300 in the first innings. It’s what you need out here, you need to post a big total in the first innings and we didn’t do that. Ultimately that was where we let ourselves down, and from there we were chasing the game.”

“[In Sri Lanka A’s first innings] we had about a 15-minute period where we took four wickets and we were hoping to keep that roll going - but in fairness to them they batted quite nicely after that. We were searching for wickets, but once we got those four wickets we probably strayed from that plan and became a bit inconsistent with our line and length and allowed them to score a bit too quickly. We’ll learn from that and go into the next game looking to improve.”

Sri Lanka A now have a 1-0 lead in the series, with the second four-day game starting on Sunday 13 January 2019 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota.

Wolves
Image: Teams shake hands after the match

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 5-8 January 2019, SSC Colombo

  Ireland Wolves 153 (45.2 overs; J McCollum 76, N Rock 28; L Embuldeniya 4-46, M Shiraz 4-47)
  Sri Lanka A 308 (77.1 overs; T Siriwardana 104, P Mendis 91; J Cameron-Dow 7-77, M Adair 3-43)
  Ireland Wolves 196 (54.3 overs; J Shannon 32, L Tucker 26; L Embuldeniya 5-73)
  Sri Lanka A 44-0 (6.5 overs; P Nissanka 26*, W Fernando 16*)

 
Sri Lanka A won by 10 wickets

A full scorecard is available here.

 

About the Ireland Wolves

The Ireland Wolves team was created in 2017 to bridge the gap between domestic first class and international cricket. The squad recently completed an eight-match series against Bangladesh A in Ireland, which followed on from a tour to Bangladesh made by the Wolves in 2017.

IRELAND WOLVES TOUR SCHEDULE

• 1 January 2019 - Two-day warm-up match (MCG Katunayake) – completed (scorecard)
• 5 January 2019 - 1st Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo) – completed (scorecard)
• 13 January 2019 - 2nd Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 19 January 2019 - 1st One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 21 January 2019 - 2nd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 24 January 2019 - 3rd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 26 January 2019 - 4th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 29 January 2019 - 5th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (RPICS - Colombo)
• 30 January 2019 - Ireland Wolves depart


Cameron-Dow stars with the ball, but Sri Lanka A inch towards victory by the end of Day Two

January 6th 2019 | International, Other

Cameron-Dow stars with the ball, but Sri Lanka A inch towards victory by the end of Day Two

SSC Colombo

COLOMBO – Left-arm spinners dominated proceedings today claiming 11 wickets between them on an eventful Day Two of the Ireland Wolves v Sri Lanka four-day match at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.

Resuming their overnight total at 185-4, Sri Lanka A lost their last six wickets this morning all to the bowling of James Cameron-Dow. The Northern Knights left-arm off-spinner claimed a first-class career-best of 7-77 as his side wrapped up the home side’s innings for 308 in the 78th over.

Milinda Siriwardana, who has appeared in five Tests for the Sri Lankan senior side, converted his overnight score into a century - out shortly after for 104, while overnight batting partner Kamindu Mendis fell for 91.

One unfortunate note from the day was that first-innings batting hero James McCollum was hit on the back of the head during the morning session while fielding at short leg, and had to leave the field. After assessment by medical staff at the ground, and a precautionary hospital visit for further assessment by a consultant, McCollum will re-join the squad at their hotel. He will undergo monitoring over coming days by Cricket Ireland support staff, and in line with standard protocols, will not return to training or play for six days.

As a result, McCollum did not bat in the Wolves second innings. Sri Lanka A agreed, and the match official was informed, that Gareth Delany could bat in the second innings in McCollum’s place - an arrangement within the rules that allows the game’s first-class status to be maintained.

With a 155-run deficit, Ireland Wolves were looking for a positive start however lost early and regular wickets to find themselves at 103-6 in the 35th over. James Shannon, elevated to opener in this second innings, hit a promising 32 from 47 balls, which included five boundaries, but as with the first innings the Wolves struggled to consolidate a decent partnership in the top order.

Lasith Embuldeniya, the left-arm orthodox spinner who claimed four wickets in the first innings against the Wolves, picked up 5-68, completing a great day for left-arm spinners on this dry Colombo pitch.

There was some late order striking that put some respectability into the score and the Wolves finished Day Two on 182-9 – a 27-run lead going into Day Three.


James Cameron-Dow, star with the ball today, said

“I felt really good out there. It was quite difficult when the two left-handers were going - both are good players. We were struggling a little bit with control, but once we got one of those out we opened up an end and the control came - all of a sudden things started happening and the deck was giving us a little bit of assistance here and there.”

“There are two big things I’ve learned out here [in Sri Lanka] – one is the length you bowl, and nailing that length over and over again. The second thing is field placings and angles. We’ve been working really hard with Cass [Rob Cassell] and working out exactly where our fielders need to be in order to create pressure, and I think we got that right today for the first time.”

Asked about carrying his good form forward on the tour and into 2019:

“It’s just about consistent performances now, bowling as much as I can in the nets. I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last 12 months – I’m the type of bowler that needs to bowl plenty of overs, and if I keep doing that and performing consistently then I’m really looking forward to a good season with the Knights and whoever else I play for.”

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 5-8 January 2019, SSC Colombo

  Ireland Wolves 153 (45.2 overs; J McCollum 76, N Rock 28; L Embuldeniya 4-46, M Shiraz 4-47)
  Sri Lanka A 308 (77.1 overs; T Siriwardana 104, P Mendis 91; J Cameron-Dow 7-77, M Adair 3-43)
  Ireland Wolves 182-9 (52 overs; J Shannon 32, L Tucker 26; L Embuldeniya 5-68)

 
Stumps on Day Two

A full scorecard is available here.

 


McCollum leads the way with bat, Adair claims three wickets but Sri Lanka A take honours on Day One

January 5th 2019 | International, Other

McCollum leads the way with bat, Adair claims three wickets but Sri Lanka A take honours on Day One

SSC Colombo - Day One

COLOMBO – Ireland Wolves opener James McCollum led the way with a battling 76, while Mark Adair claimed three quick top-order wickets on Day One of the Ireland Wolves v Sri Lanka four-day match at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.

Winning the toss, Wolves Captain Harry Tector elected to bat first, however the side struggled to put together vital partnerships amongst the top-order and the Wolves soon found themselves 62-6 in the 17th over. Only opener James McCollum stood tall and compiled a vital 76 from 108 balls, including ten boundaries.

A late 50-run partnership with Neil Rock (28 runs) helped pushed the Wolves total towards the 150-run mark, however the side were bowled out for 153 in the 46th over.

In response, Sri Lanka A started well but soon lost four wickets in quick succession around the tea break, and were at a precarious 46-4 after 15 overs – Mark Adair the main destroyer claiming three of the wickets, all caught behind by wicket-keeper Lorcan Tucker.

With the Wolves in the hunt, Sri Lanka A then put on an unbroken 139-run stand between Milinda Siriwardana (73*) and Kamindu Mendis (64*) to end the day on 185-4.


McCollum
Image: James McCollum brings up a half-century

After play, James McCollum said:

“We didn’t have much of an idea what their bowling would be like so we assessed the conditions and the bowlers in front of us. To be honest, the deck actually played very well, especially against pace as there wasn’t much in it.”

“Always when you get off to a dodgy start you’re trying to just kind of consolidate. I find with subcontinent conditions, especially with how there spinners are, if you’re not looking to score you’ll find a way of getting out. It was very much a case of trying to stay positive and stay out there as long as possible.”

About his 50-run stand with Neil Rock:

“Pebs [Neil Rock] and I had a really good conversation is just about what the bowlers were trying to do. At the time we were five or six down, so it was really a case of trying to stay out as long as possible but also trying to score off balls that were favourable in our areas. So it was a good partnership, but obviously we would have liked to extend that to try and get up over 200 but, look, it’s a learning experience every day we’re here. There’s a lot of guys who haven’t spent much time out in subcontinent conditions so it’s very much a learning experience.”

“[The batting camp in Bangalore] was absolutely great - it was my first time in India. It was basically ten days of facing spin for four hours a day. It gave me a great idea of what to expect over here. I feel very prepared for what we’re going to get. Fordie [Graham Ford] and Ben Smith were very good with us over there and gave us a good indication of what to expect..”

Full audio remarks available here.


Adair
Image: Mark Adair in action


The first four-day match between Ireland Wolves and Sri Lanka A will be held at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo on Saturday – a ground which recently hosted a Sri Lanka v England Test match.

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 5-8 January 2019, SSC Colombo

  Ireland Wolves 153 (45.2 overs; J McCollum 76, N Rock 28; L Ambuldeniya 4-46, M Shiraz 4-47)
  Sri Lanka A 185-4 (42 overs; T Siriwardana 73*, P Mendis 64*; M Adair 3-34)
 
Stumps on Day One

A full scorecard is available here.

 

 


Ireland Wolves: Pre-Series Press Conference

January 3rd 2019 | International, Other

Ireland Wolves: Pre-Series Press Conference

Harry Tector and Ashan Priyanjan pose with the series trophy

COLOMBO – A pre-series press conference was held today ahead the of the Ireland Wolves v Sri Lanka A series in Sri Lanka, starting Saturday 5 January 2019.

Attending the press conference were:

• Harry Tector, Ireland Wolves Captain
• Pete Johnston, Ireland Wolves Head Coach
• Ashan Priyanjan, Sri Lanka A Captain
• Avishka Gunawardene, Sri Lanka A Head Coach

The following were quotes from the Ireland Wolves captain and coach.

Harry Tector said in introductory remarks:

“We’re very much looking forward to starting off a competitive series against Sri Lanka A. We’re getting used to conditions by now and looking towards a good competitive game against Sri Lanka A in the four-dayer coming up. Hopefully we’ll also get to see a bit of what Sri Lanka has to offer as it seems a beautiful country.”

Pete Johnston said in response to questions about the make-up of the squad:

“It’s been a quick turnaround, it’s our fourth day here. We’ve had one practice session, then a two-day practice game - so we’ve had to acclimatise quickly and land on our feet.”

“Experience-wise, we’ve got a few guys - Craig Young, Barry McCarthy and James Shannon - that have senior international experience. Then we have some young guys as well, including a couple of 18-year olds. Also Harry here who has come through our Under-19s squad and did well at the last [Under-19] World Cup.”

“We’ve got a good mixture in the squad, but for a lot of guys it will be the first experience in subcontinent conditions, so we’ll be looking to learn as much as we can, as quick as we can. We hope to go on an upward curve and by the end of this tour finish in a strong position.”

“We’ve three spinners here - JJ Garth, a leg-spinner, Harry Tector, an off-spinner,  and James Cameron-Dow, a left-arm spinner. We’ve also got Gareth Delany coming out who is a leg-spinner and opening batter. So we’ve a good balance with four seamers, three spinners and a couple of all-rounders in the squad.”


Wolves
Image: (L to R) Pete Johnston, Harry Tector, Ashan Priyanjan and Avishka Gunawardene

The first four-day match between Ireland Wolves and Sri Lanka A will be held at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo on Saturday – a ground which recently hosted a Sri Lanka v England Test match.

Latest news

This morning it was advised that Jack Tector will leave the tour early after picking up an injury, with Gareth Delany joining the squad early as cover (more here).

About the Ireland Wolves

The Ireland Wolves team was created in 2017 to bridge the gap between domestic first class and international cricket. The squad recently completed an eight-match series against Bangladesh A in Ireland, which followed on from a tour to Bangladesh made by the Wolves in 2017.

 

Ireland Wolves tour schedule

• 1 January 2019 - Two-day warm-up match (MCG Katunayake) – completed (scorecard)
• 5 January 2019 - 1st Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 13 January 2019 - 2nd Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 19 January 2019 - 1st One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 21 January 2019 - 2nd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 24 January 2019 - 3rd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 26 January 2019 - 4th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 29 January 2019 - 5th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (RPICS - Colombo)
• 30 January 2019 - Ireland Wolves depart

 


Jack Tector to return home, Gareth Delany to join Ireland Wolves early as cover

January 3rd 2019 | International, Other

COLOMBO – Cricket Ireland has confirmed that Jack Tector will return home to Dublin immediately after sustaining an injury in training, while 21-year old Gareth Delany will fly to Sri Lanka early as cover.

Tector, 22, sustained an ankle injury during a training session at the Marians Cricket Ground, Katunayake – venue for the recently completed two-day warm-up match.

Pete Johnston, Head Coach of Ireland Wolves, said: “It’s a very disappointing situation for Jack who had bounced back well from an entirely different injury recently and we wish him a speedy recovery. Our medical staff have conducted an initial assessment of the injury and expect it will require a recovery period of up to six weeks. As a result, he will fly home for treatment and rehabilitation, while Gareth Delany, who was due to join the squad for the white-ball matches in two weeks, will join the squad early as cover for the red-ball series. His early arrival will also allow him the opportunity to acclimatise quicker to subcontinent conditions ahead of the white-ball series.”

The Wolves squad completed the second day of a two-day warm-up match yesterday in Katunayake, and now face Sri Lanka A in a four-day match at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo on Saturday – a ground which recently hosted a Sri Lanka v England Test match.

About the Ireland Wolves


The Ireland Wolves team was created in 2017 to bridge the gap between domestic first class and international cricket. The squad recently completed an eight-match series against Bangladesh A in Ireland, which followed on from a tour to Bangladesh made by the Wolves in 2017.

 

Ireland Wolves Sri Lanka tour schedule


• 1 January 2019 - Two-day warm-up match (MCG Katunayake) – match completed (scorecard)
• 5 January 2019 - 1st Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 13 January 2019 - 2nd Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 19 January 2019 - 1st One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 21 January 2019 - 2nd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 24 January 2019 - 3rd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 26 January 2019 - 4th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 29 January 2019 - 5th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (RPICS - Colombo)
• 30 January 2019 - Ireland Wolves depart


Ireland Wolves draw warm-up game, Head Coach Johnston gives assessment

January 2nd 2019 | International

Ireland Wolves draw warm-up game, Head Coach Johnston gives assessment

The MCG Katunayake ground under spectacular, blue skies

COLOMBO – The Ireland Wolves have drawn a two-day warm-up match against the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI at the Katunayake Cricket Ground this morning. Head Coach Pete Johnston gave his assessment of the match and his squad’s first days on tour.

“The last few days have been a quick turnaround for us, but we’ve had three good days of practice,” said Johnston. “First day we had a good practice session and then we went straight into this two-day practice match. We used this game to get time on the guys feet - to get them used to the conditions and the heat. The bowlers got their loads up today, which is great, and we’ve batted a couple of times in match situations as well, so it’s been a really good few days.”

The match, played a day earlier than originally planned due to issues relating to venue availability, saw the Wolves squad take the field less than 36 hours after arriving in Sri Lanka. After winning the toss, Wolves Captain Harry Tector chose to bat first.

Despite a number of starts made by the top order, only wicketkeeper-batsman Lorcan Tucker settled in for a lengthy innings, making 47 from 119 balls.

“Lorcan batted really well, particularly against the spinners,” said Johnston. “He was strong in his defensive shots, he lined everything up well, but equally he used his feet well and swept well too. He faced a lot of balls and spent a lot of time out there, and looked very composed, very organised. The best thing was that he had a game plan for everything they threw at him.”

Captain Tector made a breezy 26 from 29 balls, but the Sri Lankan attack proved decisive on their home pitch and bowled the Wolves out for 159 from 53.3 overs.

In response, the Sri Lankan sides openers Sandun Weerakkody (93) and Hashan Dumindu (74) put on 141 runs for the first stand, before eventually declaring their innings on 313-7. For the Wolves, bowling honours went to Harry Tector (2-58) and JJ Garth (2-72), with at one stage Tector claiming two wickets in three balls to get the Wolves back into the contest after the opening partnership. Coaches today also made the decision to hold Craig Young back from bowling as a precaution, as he has a small niggle and they are looking for him to be fully fit for the next match.

With a 154-run deficit, the Wolves batted out their final 24 overs finishing 60-4, with opener James McCollum hitting 31 runs in a positive innings at the top which included four boundaries.


Ireland Wolves
Image: Ireland Wolves match, Day Two

At the conclusion of the match, Johnston put the game into context and outlined the next few days leading up to the first four-day match against Sri Lanka A:

“It was a good game for us. The opposition had a lot of good players – they were quite a strong side. For our lads it’s been good to experience tough conditions early on and tough opposition, so we’ll look to bank that experience and now move on to the next match against Sri Lanka A.”

“Tomorrow is a recovery day mainly, but the guys will, individually and in groups, get together to share their experiences from the last couple of days - the conditions and tactics. After that we’ll look at our plans for our bowlers and our batters ahead of the four-day game against Sri Lanka A. If any of the players need a top up session or to work on any small things then we’ll look to do that, but we’ll make the most of our recovery time before we play what is expected to be a tough game against Sri Lanka A starting Saturday.”

The Wolves’ four-day match against Sri Lanka A will be held at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo on Saturday – a ground which recently hosted a Sri Lanka v England Test match.

 

SCORECARD IN BRIEF

Sri Lanka Board President’s XI v Ireland Wolves, 1-2 January 2019, MCG Katunayake

  Ireland Wolves 159 (53.3 overs; L Tucker 47, H Tector 26; P Kaushal 3-28)
  SLBP XI 313-7d (68.1 overs; S Weerakkody 93, H Dumindu 74; H Tector 2-58, JJ Garth 2-72)
  Ireland Wolves 60-4 (24 overs; J McCollum 31)

Match drawn

 


VACANCY: Event Executive

January 2nd 2019 | International, Other

VACANCY: Event Executive

Malahide Cricket Club - June 2019 (photo by aerial.ie)

Cricket Ireland is seeking an experienced Event Executive to provide support the Event Manager and commercial team with all aspects of the delivery of Cricket Ireland’s home international fixtures, national cup finals, conferences and Awards events.

It will be an extremely hands-on role giving the candidate the opportunity to be involved with the staging of large-scale events at all levels. 2019 sees Cricket Ireland hosting a number of high profile events including the Ireland v England ODI in May and the Ireland / West Indies / Bangladesh Tri-Series in May.

Click here for more and to download the Job Information Pack.

 


Ireland Wolves arrive in Sri Lanka, Head Coach and Captain give their views of the tour ahead

December 31st 2018 | International, Other

Ireland Wolves arrive in Sri Lanka, Head Coach and Captain give their views of the tour ahead

Ireland Wolves arrive in Colombo

COLOMBO – The Ireland Wolves squad has arrived in Sri Lanka ahead of a five-week tour that will see them play a seven-match series against Sri Lanka A – Head Coach Pete Johnston and Wolves Captain Harry Tector spoke about the challenge ahead.

Pete Johnston, Head Coach of the Ireland Wolves, addressed the tour expectations and impact of some of the more experienced players:

“It would be great to see the guys build on some good performances from last summer. We had an encouraging win over Scotland A, which was a strong side, and we drew Bangladesh A in the one-day series. So now it’s another challenge in subcontinental conditions to see how the guys adapt. We haven’t set ourselves too high a goal until we get out here. We want to see what sort of opposition we’re up against, and assess the conditions on the ground first.”

“My main expectation for the squad is simply to get better every day that we’re out here, as a team to learn as fast we can, review as we go and hopefully finish the tour a lot stronger than when we started. If we can do that then we’ve a good chance of getting some wins and being competitive in the series. It’s a great experience for the guys to experience subcontinent conditions and take as much away from it as they can.”

“While it’s a young squad, it is a huge benefit to have the likes of Barry McCarthy, James Shannon and Craig Young involved - players that have experienced all sorts of pressure situations against world-class opposition. I think their experience will certainly help in a number of areas, including being a support to Harry - a young skipper, but a very competent one.”

Asked about preparations for the tour, Johnston confirmed that it has been a busy schedule since the end of the home season in September:

“We haven’t had much of a break - it’s been a busy winter programme. Some of the guys have been working with the Academy through the first half of the winter, some with under-age squads, and some of the batters spent time in Bangalore. A number of the bowlers also recently spent some time in La Manga at a camp. In addition, we’ve had guys like James McCollum and Harry Tector playing overseas, both coming back from a successful time in Australia.”

“Fitness has been a priority - the guys have been pushing themselves, and the fitness of the team is good, but will be tested in these conditions. A number of the senior coaching team have been involved with the fitness and skills sessions - the likes of Graham Ford, Ben Smith, Rob Cassell and Ryan Eagleson - these guys have really played a big part, and the squad is looking fit and strong.”

Johnston also revealed his advice to his squad ahead of the tour starting:

“My advice to the squad is just to not look too far ahead - to try and stay in the moment as much as possible. It is a long tour, and we’ve got a quick turnaround from the moment we arrive - we’ve one practice session and then we’re straight into a two-day game, which we’ll very much use for practice.”

“From day-to-day though they should just concentrate on doing the little things right, and that all started on the plane. You need to give yourself the best chance with your travel plan and make sure you arrive not too fatigued and to try and avoid injury. From then it’s about things like pool sessions, recovery, nutrition - all those little things are going to help you get through the course of the tour and most importantly, to enjoy it.”

“Sri Lanka is a brilliant country and it’s a long tour, so we will definitely break the time up with the odd excursion, just for the guys to get out to experience the culture. I think it is really important to enjoy the tour, and I have no doubt these guys will have an enjoyable time on and off the field.”

Harry Tector, 19, captain of the Ireland Wolves, said:

“I think we should go into the red ball series with confidence - we have some very good red ball players in the squad. We have a quick turnaround before our first game and we’ll have to be ready - but I feel we can do that. During the two red ball games, we’ll look to put pressure on them and look to win those key moments in each game. As for the rest of the tour, we’ll take that when it comes, but right now our focus is fully on the four-day games.”

Tector is keen to ensure his role is more than just on-field leadership:

“The captain’s role off the field while on tour is really about making sure everyone’s getting on OK. Being away on tour, it can at times be quite a lonely time, especially if you’re going through a low patch with the bat or ball. My role is to make sure that everyone’s in good spirits, getting rest between games or taking some time out for an excursion or just to relax by the pool.”

“We have quite a young squad on the whole, but it’ll be very exciting to see some of the younger guys get on like Jonathan (JJ) Garth, Stephen Doheny and Neil Rock - they have the talent, so hopefully they can hit the ground running when they get out there. It should be a great five weeks experience for all.”

Tector’s last three months have been an exciting time personally, playing club cricket in Sydney, attending a batting camp in India and being offered a central player contract for the first time. He said:

“I loved Sydney and playing with Randwick-Petersham. I certainly learned a lot about my game, scored some runs and probably matured a bit personally as well. Then Bangalore was brilliant spending ten days where you could just focus on your own game and learning from some of the older guys like William Porterfield. To be able to just pick someone’s brain like that was highly enjoyable. I learnt loads about my game against spin, which will hopefully come in handy here in Sri Lanka, and definitely in the future as well.”

“The central contract offer was brilliant, and a bit of a surprise when I was told. Has it put more pressure on me? Not really, no more than the pressure I put on myself already. I’m still pretty young and still learning a lot about my game so I see it as a bit of a confidence boost in the sense that hopefully I’m doing things right, going in the right direction.”

The Wolves squad have a practice session today, and then head into a two-day warm up match against local opposition before moving into a four-day match against Sri Lanka A at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo on Saturday – a ground which recently hosted a Sri Lanka v England Test match.


About the Ireland Wolves

The Ireland Wolves team was created in 2017 to bridge the gap between domestic first class and international cricket. The squad recently completed an eight-match series against Bangladesh A in Ireland, which followed on from a tour to Bangladesh made by the Wolves in 2017.

Ireland Wolves tour schedule

• 1 January 2019 - Two-day warm-up match (MCG Katunayake)
• 5 January 2019 - 1st Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 13 January 2019 - 2nd Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 19 January 2019 - 1st One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 21 January 2019 - 2nd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 24 January 2019 - 3rd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 26 January 2019 - 4th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 29 January 2019 - 5th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (RPICS - Colombo)
• 30 January 2019 - Ireland Wolves depart

Ireland Wolves squads

Red ball matches

• Mark Adair
• James Cameron-Dow
• Stephen Doheny
• Jonathan (JJ) Garth
• Aaron Gillespie
• Josh Little
• Barry McCarthy
• James McCollum
• Neil Rock
• James Shannon
• Harry Tector (captain)
• Jack Tector
• Lorcan Tucker
• Craig Young

White ball matches

• Mark Adair
• James Cameron-Dow
• Gareth Delany
• Jonathan (JJ) Garth
• Shane Getkate
• Josh Little
• Barry McCarthy
• James McCollum
• Neil Rock
• James Shannon
• Harry Tector (captain)
• Jack Tector
• Stuart Thompson
• Lorcan Tucker
• Craig Young

 


Stirling heading to Bangladesh Premier League

December 27th 2018 |

Stirling heading to Bangladesh Premier League

Stirling recently returned from a stint in the Everest Premier League in Nepal

Ireland international Paul Stirling has been picked up by the Bangladesh Premier League franchise Khulna Titans ahead of the 2019 BPL T20 tournament, starting on 5 January 2019.

Stirling, who recently returned from stints in the T10 League in Sharjah and the Everest T20 Premier League in Nepal, said:

“I was delighted to hear that the Khulna Titans were interested in me and jumped at the opportunity. Apart from being a great tournament to be part of, I’m looking forward to the opportunity of working with coach Mahela Jayawardene – one of the greatest Sri Lankan batsman of the last 20 years.”

“The squad has made the play-offs for two years running, and features a range of world-class players that I’ve played alongside or against over the last 10 years – including Dawid Malan who I play under at Middlesex.”

“The rise of T20 tournaments around the world has really added a new dimension to the international cricket circuit. The chance to play and train with - and learn from - some of the best in our sport is an experience I do not take lightly, and off the cricket field you get a little bit of an insight into different cultures. The Nepalese experience, that I’ve just returned from, was eye-opening. To see such enthusiasm for cricket in a nation that is not typically top of mind in our sport is encouraging for cricket’s future.”

The Khulna Titans franchise was launched in 2016 to replace the Khulna Royal Bengals, which Stirling’s agent Niall O’Brien played for in 2012.

• Further information on the Bangladesh Premier League is here
• Further information on Paul Stirling is here


Adair to join Ireland Wolves tour to Sri Lanka plus venue change

December 21st 2018 | International, Other

Adair to join Ireland Wolves tour to Sri Lanka plus venue change

Mark Adair will join the Ireland Wolves in Sri Lanka

DUBLIN – Northern Knights paceman Mark Adair has been called up into the Ireland Wolves squad for the forthcoming tour of Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka Cricket have requested a change to the tour schedule after being informed about a required venue change.

22-year old Adair, who recently switched his club cricket side and will join CIYMS, recently attended the Cricket Ireland bowling camp in La Manga, Spain and replaces Tyrone Kane who will stay in Dublin to continue rehabilitation work on an injury.

Andrew White, National Chair of Men’s Selectors, said:

“Mark had a promising season at club and Inter-Provincial level following his return from Warwickshire CCC and impressed bowling coaches at the recent bowling camp in Spain. We hope he continues to demonstrate his obvious talent in Sri Lanka, as he is an exciting prospect who can contribute in all three disciplines.”

“As with any such replacement, it is disappointing for the player who misses out, however, after taking advice from medical staff, the selectors thought it important to give Tyrone Kane more time to recover from this recent injury. It is a long year ahead for our national side, and to have players like Tyrone fit and ready for the internationals is our priority at the moment.”

“We are in a fortunate position with the Wolves to have a number of emerging talented bowlers pushing for higher honours at present. The selectors discussed a number of potential replacements for the spot, however Mark got the nod as a reward for his on-field performances in 2018 combined with his recent efforts in Spain.”

In further news, Sri Lanka Cricket have advised due to the unavailability of one venue previously scheduled in the tour programme, a minor adjustment has had to be made. The main impact is on the first two fixtures, with a date and venue change for the first 4-day match against Sri Lanka A.

The new schedule is:

30 December 2018 - Ireland Wolves arrive
1 January 2019 - Two-day warm-up match (MCG Katunayake)
5 January 2019 - 1st Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
13 January 2019 - 2nd Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
19 January 2019 - 1st One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
21 January 2019 - 2nd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
24 January 2019 - 3rd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
26 January 2019 - 4th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
29 January 2019 - 5th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (RPICS - Colombo)
30 January 2019 - Ireland Wolves depart

 

 


Two new roles available at North West Cricket Union

December 21st 2018 | International, Coaching, Other

Two new roles available at North West Cricket Union

The North West Cricket Union (NWCU) is seeking applicants interested in filling two new roles in the organisation.

The North West Cricket Union (NWCU) is the governing body for the game at both performance and participation levels throughout the North West of Ireland, representing the interests of the men’s, women’s and youth’s game. With over 20 affiliated clubs, the NWCU is a key sporting organisation within the region.

The two vacancies are:

• School and Club Participation Officer
• Club and Partnership Officer

Details on the roles and the application process are available here.

Applications close 8 January 2019.


Gary Wilson gives wicketkeeping masterclass in NCU

December 19th 2018 | International, Coaching, Youth

Gary Wilson gives wicketkeeping masterclass in NCU

Irish International Gary Wilson leads a wicketkeeping workshop

Ten aspiring wicketkeepers from the Northern Cricket Union (NCU) boys and girls regional programme received an hour-long workshop with Ireland International Gary Wilson, who this year has returned home to Belfast to play for CSNI and the Northern Knights in 2019.

The workshop involved coaching drills, with some of the NCU regional coaches (Regan West, James Cameron-Dow and Stephen Dyer) providing practical support during the session.

Participants from the boys programme in attendance were: Ethan McAlmont, Nicholas Doran, Luke Beattie, Sam Topping, Adam Ly, Ashton Clark and Archie Johnston, while from the girls programme in attendance were: Erin Macquarrie, Ellen Sterritt and Annie Cunningham.

Commenting on this workshop, Uel Graham, NCU Operations Manager, said: “Our lead coaches highlighted that wicketkeeping is a discipline where we need to focus upon, and workshops like this are vital to skill set enhancement”.

The participants enjoyed this, the first of a series of such workshops that Gary will undertake in the junior player development area.
The Wicketkeepers

Coaching
Image: Club coaches observing the Gary Wilson workshop on wicketkeeping

 


Cricket Ireland to offer professional contracts to women for the first time

December 18th 2018 | International, Women

Cricket Ireland to offer professional contracts to women for the first time

First-ever women's player contracts to be offered in 2019

DUNDALK – The Board of Cricket Ireland has endorsed the provision of Irish cricket’s first women’s senior playing contracts, after a recommendation was accepted at its recent Board Meeting held at Ballymascanlon House Hotel on 12 December 2018.

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:

“We are delighted to become one of a very select number of sports in Ireland to offer professional contracts to women players. It has been an ambition of ours for a number of years, and we now find ourselves in the position to push ahead with this much-needed improvement to our sport.”

“The professionalism shown by our senior women’s team during preparation, qualification and performance at the recent ICC T20 World Cup was a demonstration that this side of our sport is ready to progress and grow.”

“We have been steadily increasing our investment and support for women’s cricket over recent years. This has included the appointment of a full-time national coach, providing for loss of earnings for players throughout the summer, increasing coaching staff and coach contact hours, increasing overseas player development opportunities, provision of a dedicated Academy programme for girls, and facilitating greater access to support services such as physio and medical, strength and conditioning, psychology and nutrition education. In addition, the creation of the Toyota Super 3’s Series in 2016 has provided that vital bridge between club and international cricket.”

“Like we did with the men’s side a number of years ago, we will now bring a measured approach to player contracts. A small number of part-time contracts will be offered in early 2019, with the plan to expand this programme over subsequent years.”

“Once again, we are grateful to Sport Ireland for their support in investing in this important development for Irish women’s cricket, enabling us to move into this exciting new period in our sport.”

Women's team training
Image: Ireland Women’s squad training


The ICC recently announced that the next iteration of the ICC International Women’s Championship, post-2021, will expand from eight to ten teams. As Ireland is currently 10th in the world rankings, the Board realises the opportunity is within Irish cricket’s grasp to cement a place when qualification comes around.

Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director of Cricket Ireland, said:

“The International Women’s Championship is an international cricket tournament used to determine qualification for the Women’s Cricket World Cup, and – like Ireland’s inclusion in the men’s Future Tours Programme – would mean that our senior women’s team will be playing some of the world’s biggest teams more regularly.”

“As was noted by many observers at the recent T20 World Cup, the standard of Irish women’s cricket has increased significantly in recent times, but so has the standard of all of the world’s top teams. We need to introduce new measures like this to remain competitive against the world’s best and to push our game forward.”

“To prepare for our potential inclusion in the Women’s Championship, it will require further investment and improvements to be made in the women’s game – and a need to call on players’ availability more regularly. When relying on players who are juggling work and study commitments, availability for international games can quite often become a challenge. We believe that offering a small number of contracts, at least initially, will begin to ensure improved playing standards and better availability of our first-choice squad members.”

The Board also wholeheartedly endorsed the funding and development of a strategy for girl’s and women’s cricket in Ireland that will look at all aspects of the game, on and off the field of play. While the announcement of initial contracts precedes the strategy’s development, it is envisioned that the strategy will provide recommended guidelines for the scope and timing of expanding the contracts process.

“With a broad brief to look at all aspects of women’s and girls’ involvement in Irish cricket – including the need to benchmark with other cricket nations/sports, and to encompass targets set by Governments and ICC – the Board agreed that the engagement of an independent, experienced consultant to develop a framework for the future of this area of our sport was essential. We will be appointing the consultant early in the new year and will begin this important project immediately afterwards,” said Mr Holdsworth.

“We are entering a new phase in women’s sport in Ireland, and cricket is no different. Around the world we see an uplift of interest, participation and standards of women’s cricket and we are gradually putting in place a system to ensure that we not only continue to compete with the top teams, but advance the sport from grass roots to international.”

Cricket Ireland also confirmed that negotiations have progressed with other Full Member nations on international women’s fixtures in Ireland in the summer of 2019. These fixtures will be announced in January 2019 and will be part of another important year for the sport, as they will precede the global qualifying tournament for the Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia in early 2020.

 


19 men’s central player contracts finalised ahead of busy 2019

December 18th 2018 | International

19 men’s central player contracts finalised ahead of busy 2019

19 men's central player contracts have been finalised for 2019

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today confirmed the completion of 19 men’s player contracts for the Ireland Men’s senior international squad for 2019.

A total of 19 central player contracts have been offered and accepted for 2019 - 16 full-time contracts, with three players on part-time contracts as they are still playing English County cricket:

• Andrew Balbirnie
• Peter Chase
• George Dockrell
• Tyrone Kane
• Andrew McBrine
• Barry McCarthy
• James McCollum
• Tim Murtagh*
• Kevin O’Brien
• William Porterfield
• Stuart Poynter*
• Boyd Rankin
• James Shannon
• Simi Singh
• Paul Stirling*
• Harry Tector
• Stuart Thompson
• Gary Wilson
• Craig Young

  * Part-time contracts offered


Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:

“We are pleased to have finalised the contracts ahead of 2019 – a year that will be one of the biggest in Irish cricket history. Not only will we be playing our first men’s Test match away from home, but we host five Full Member nations during our summer, and following this we make a trip to Lord’s to play our inaugural Test match against England. The ‘international’ year will then conclude with a T20 World Cup Qualifier in October.”

“There is no secret that Irish Men’s cricket is coming to the end of a cycle, partly signified in 2018 with the retirement of Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien and John Anderson. Through this year’s central contracts – combined with the forthcoming Emerging Player contracts that will be announced in early 2019 – you will start to see a clear direction that we are heading in our succession planning for the future.”

“Now is the time for emerging players looking to press for higher honours to step up and show their credentials, just like Tyrone Kane, James McCollum and Harry Tector have in joining the central contracts list this year. These players have earned their place through their performances and showing the necessary dedication and commitment to improving their games.”

“Full Membership, while a boon for Irish cricket, also brings with it some new challenges for young cricketers coming through the system. In the past, emerging internationals may have been able to establish themselves in the senior squad playing against Associate nations or in lower-profile tournaments. Now, conceivably, a player making their debut may be making it in a Test match against a top-tier nation. That is an enormous step up in standard and profile, and we will need to work with our players to ensure they receive the support they need to make that big step.”

Richard
Image: Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director for Cricket Ireland


As part of that support, Cricket Ireland has since 2013 invested significantly in the development of its youth pathway structure, which has included establishing the Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Ireland Academy and launching the Ireland Wolves programme.

“The importance of the Academy and Wolves programmes to the future of Irish cricket is twofold. First and foremost, they aim to identify and develop talented cricketers – to provide that pipeline of up-and-coming talent feeding into the senior men’s squad. However, the second benefit these programmes provide is to develop the people themselves. International cricket as a Full Member is a demanding environment, with the levels of expectation and scrutiny beyond what young players will ever have experienced. As such, we are working closely with the players to ensure those who rise to the top are confident, resilient and balanced individuals, able to cope with the demands and pressures that they will face.”

“I think we can quite confidently state that the Academy and Wolves programmes have been directly instrumental in the likes of Chase, Kane, Shannon, Singh, Tector and McCollum being in the 2019 contracts list. Each of these players has earned their place and will hopefully be the backbone of the next generation of players who will carry Ireland through the next cycle.”

In 2019 Cricket Ireland will rename its Inter-Provincial contracts ‘Emerging Player contracts’, and these will be announced early in the new year.

 

2019 Ireland Men’s international home fixtures

• 3 May: Ireland v England (ODI)
• 5 May: Ireland v West Indies (ODI Tri-Series)
• 7 May: West Indies v Bangladesh (ODI Tri-Series)
• 9 May: Ireland v Bangladesh (ODI Tri-Series)
• 11 May: Ireland v West Indies (ODI Tri-Series)
• 13 May: West Indies v Bangladesh (ODI Tri-Series)
• 15 May: Ireland v Bangladesh (ODI Tri-Series)
• 17 May: Final (ODI Tri-Series)
• 19 May: Ireland v Afghanistan (ODI)
• 21 May: Ireland v Afghanistan (ODI)
• 1 July: Ireland v Zimbabwe (ODI)
• 4 July: Ireland v Zimbabwe (ODI)
• 7 July: Ireland v Zimbabwe (ODI)
• 10 July: Ireland v Zimbabwe (T20I)
• 12 July: Ireland v Zimbabwe (T20I)
• 13 July: Ireland v Zimbabwe (T20I)


Tickets are now available for the Ireland v England ODI from Ticketmaster.

Tickets will shortly be available to purchase for the ODI Tri-Series matches as well.

 

 


Lord’s Test Match ballot opens for England v Ireland - 2019

December 17th 2018 by MCC Media Release | International

Lord’s Test Match ballot opens for England v Ireland - 2019

The Public Ticket Ballot is now open

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has today opened the public ballot for 2019’s international Test Matches at Lord’s, including the England v Ireland Specsavers Test Match.

The Test Match will be held from Wednesday 24 July 2019, with spectators now able to visit www.lords.org to apply for two tickets per day at each Test. The ballot window is open on Monday 17 December 2018 and closes at midnight on Friday 11 January 2019 and all applications will have an equal chance of success no matter when the application is made.

Tickets start at £20* for adults for the Ireland Test. This year, MCC has lowered entry-level ticket prices and tickets for Under-16s are available for only £10, giving more young people the opportunity to experience world-class cricket at the iconic venue.

Guy Lavender, Chief Executive and Secretary of MCC, said: “Lord’s is one of the greatest sporting venues in the world with a revered history. Seeing England play at the Home of Cricket is an opportunity not to be missed and an experience fans will remember for the rest of their lives. We expect demand to be high for these historic occasions and encourage fans to get their names into the ballot as soon as possible to be part of a superb summer of cricket.”

  *Price refers to seating with no restricted view.

 


Board greenlights national strategy for girl’s and women’s cricket, Inter-Provincial Series Review

December 14th 2018 | International, Women, Other

Board greenlights national strategy for girl’s and women’s cricket, Inter-Provincial Series Review

DUNDALK – The Board of Cricket Ireland has endorsed recommendations and funding for the development of a new strategy for girl’s and women’s cricket in Ireland and an increase in white-ball fixtures in the Inter-Provincial Series in 2019, at its recent Board Meeting held at Ballymascanlon House Hotel on 12 December 2018.

The Board began by acknowledging the performance at the World T20 tournament by the women’s international team. While results did not go Ireland’s way, the Board felt that many individual performances deserved recognition. The Board also acknowledged the retirements of Clare Shillington, Isobel Joyce, Cecelia Joyce and Ciara Metcalfe all of whom have made outstanding contributions to the game in general, but particularly to the women’s game and expressed a hope that each of the players will remain involved in the game in coaching, administrative or other capacity.


New national cricket strategy for girl’s and women’s cricket

The Board wholeheartedly endorsed the funding and development of a strategy for women’s and girl’s that will look at all aspects of female involvement Irish cricket, on and off the field of play.

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:

“As part of our commitments to growing the sport, the Board has endorsed the development of a strategy to grow involvement and improve performance standards within the game, in all areas and levels. With the expansion to 10 teams of the ICC Women’s Championship post-2021 and ICC applying for a women’s competition in the Commonwealth Games from 2022 onwards, the Board agreed we need to be as well positioned as possible to grasp the sport’s increasing opportunities. While we will be continuing to work on standard targets to improve performance and enhance participation by women and girls, we believe a broader look at female involvement in areas such as officiating, administration and our governance structures is equally important.”

“With such a broad brief – including the need to benchmark with other cricket nations/sports, and to encompass targets set by Governments and ICC – the Board agreed that the engagement of an independent, experienced consultant to develop a framework for the future of this area of our sport was essential. We will be appointing the consultant early in the new year and will begin this important project immediately afterwards.”

“Cricket Ireland would like to thank Sport Ireland, who are supporting this initiative and helping to improve sporting opportunities for women and girls throughout Ireland.”


2019 International fixtures

The Board has confirmed that Ireland Men’s team will become the first-ever Full Member nation to visit and play Oman, as part of a Quadrangular T20I series between Ireland, Oman, Scotland and Netherlands. The squad will play the series in early February 2019 en route to its Afghanistan series in India.

The scheduled fixtures for the Quadrangular tournament are (to be played at Al Amerat Cricket Stadium):

• 3 February: Ireland arrive
• 9 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 10 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 13 February: Ireland v Oman (T20I); Scotland v Netherlands (T20I)
• 15 February: Ireland v Scotland (T20I); Oman v Netherlands (T20I)
• 17 February: Ireland v Netherlands (T20I); Scotland v Oman (T20I)
• 18 February: Ire depart for India

The Board also received an update on the 2019 international fixtures for the Men’s team, which will see 16 home internationals played between May and July, involving five Full Member nations (outlined here). Tickets for the England ODI are on sale already, while tickets for the home Tri-Series will go on sale before Christmas.


Inter-Provincial Series review

The Board endorsed the recommendations from the Inter-Provincial Series review. Following consultations between the Inter-Provincial Structure Review Group, the Provincial Unions and a number of Committees it was proposed that a measured increase in the quantity of Inter-Pro cricket in 2019 was essential.

Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:

“The recommendation of a phased approach to expanding the domestic game was approved. This will ensure we can build the number of playing days for our top and emerging talent, while not diluting the quality and competitiveness of the first-class structure.”

“There is general consensus that more playing days are required, so in 2019 we will be adding another IP50 round to increase 50-over fixtures by 50%. The Board will consider further the T20 format at its February meeting.”

“Given the need to allow more games, to manage venue availability and allow for greater preparation for the national team players ahead of the ODI series in May, the first round of matches will be played in La Manga, Spain in April outside of our regular domestic season.”

“We will obviously keep the Inter-Pros under constant review and plan to have further meetings with our Unions, Cricket Committee and High Performance Committee in coming weeks with regards to the shape of the competition beyond 2019.”


Provincial Union Development

The Board noted significant strides were being made in the ongoing development of Provincial Unions, including discussions around the enhancement of responsibilities around grassroots cricket, future funding models from Cricket Ireland to the Unions, and timelines around future activity. A successful meeting was recently held with ICC Regional Manager for Europe, Ed Shuttleworth, with a follow-up meeting set for early 2019.


Safeguarding Policy and Resources

The Board noted that a new Safeguarding Information Pack for clubs is being finalised, with an anticipated roll-out in early 2019. The Information Pack, developed following consultation with Provincial Unions and experts within the broader sporting environment, will provide support and advice for clubs in the area of policies and procedures, communication of information, training and education, and quality assurance/compliance.


ICC Commonwealth Games application

The Board noted the recent application by the International Cricket Council for women’s T20 cricket to be added to the sports included at the 2022 Games. The Board agreed that Cricket Ireland, with its footprint in Northern Ireland, should maintain involvement in discussions and be supportive of the application at this stage.


Update reports

• Match Allocation Policy update: the Board reviewed headline recommendations from a joint report by Provincial Union General Managers on the Representative Match allocation policy. It is expected that a new Match Allocation Policy will be put to the Board by mid-2019, and match venue allocations for FTP matches from 2020-2022 will be tabled at the subsequent Board meeting.
• Governance compliance: the Board endorsed all recommendations from management regarding Cricket Ireland becoming fully compliant with the Sport Ireland-endorsed Governance Code by 1 January 2019.
• Media and Social Media: the Board noted a submission to the Board on media and social media performance, noting growth in all areas (including Twitter +31%, Instagram +55%, LinkedIn +129% and website visitation +43%).

Further announcements coming from the Board meeting will be made next week.

 


Clear Currency National Cup – First Round Draw

December 12th 2018 | International, Other

The draw for the 2019 Clear Currency National Cup was made today. The first round of matches takes place on Saturday 25 May 2019.

The draw was conducted by Paul Reilly from Clear Currency in Dublin.

NC

First Round Draw

• Killyclooney v Ballyhaunis (a)
• Co Sligo v Ardmore
• Limerick v Ballaghaderreen
• North Kildare v Newbuildings
• Co Galway v Terenure
• Midleton v Knockharley
• Balbriggan v Co Kerry
• Railway Union v Cork Harlequins
• Cregagh v Laois
• Longford v Downpatrick
• Drummond v Laurelvale
• Derriaghy v DLR County (a)
• Ballymena v Bonds Glen
• The Nedd v Templepatrick

First Round byes

• Fox Lodge
• St Johnston

Match Dates

• Round 1 - Saturday 25 May 2019 (replays Sunday 2 June)
• Round 2 - Sunday 16 June 2019 (replays Sunday 30 June)
• Quarter-Finals - Sunday 14 July 2019 (replays Sunday 21 July)
• Semi-Finals - Sunday 4 August 2019 (replays Sunday 11 August)
• Final - Sunday 1 September 2019


NC Rush
Image: Rush Cricket Club won the title in 2018

 

 


Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup – First Round Draw

December 12th 2018 | International, Other

The draw for the 2019 Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup was made today. The first round of matches takes place on Saturday 25 May 2019.

ISC

The draw was conducted by Paul Reilly from Clear Currency in Dublin.

First Round Draw

• Instonians v Cork County
• The Hills v Ballyspallen
• Phoenix v Eglinton
• Malahide v Muckamore
• Coleraine v CSNI
• Carrickfergus v YMCA
• CIYMS v North County
• Glendermott v Rush
• North Down v Donemana
• Bready v Lisburn
• Pembroke v Brigade

First Round byes

• Leinster
• Waringstown
• Merrion
• Clontarf
• Strabane

Match Dates

• Round 1 - Saturday 25 May 2019 (replays Sunday 2 June)
• Round 2 - Sunday 16 June 2019 (replays Sunday 30 June)
• Quarter-Finals - Sunday 14 July 2019 (replays Sunday 21 July)
• Semi-Finals - Sunday 4 August 2019 (replays Sunday 11 August)
• Final - Saturday 31 August 2019


ISC Final
Image: Waringstown Cricket Club won the title in 2018

 

 


Lord’s Ticket Public Ballot opens for pre-registration

December 9th 2018 | International

Lord’s Ticket Public Ballot opens for pre-registration

Ireland is due to play its first ever Test match at Lord's in July 2019

Lord’s Cricket Ground uses a ballot to allocate tickets for international matches at the ‘Home of Cricket’.

The Public Ticket Ballot for England’s international fixtures at Lord’s next summer opens on Monday 17th December and closes on Friday 11th January. This includes the England v Ireland Test match from 24-27 July 2019.

Here’s how the ticket ballot works:


For more information and to pre-register now, visit the Lord’s website.

 


West Indies announced as fifth touring side to visit Ireland in 2019

December 6th 2018 | International

West Indies announced as fifth touring side to visit Ireland in 2019

West Indies are coming to Ireland in 2019

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today announced that West Indies will take part in a one-day international tri-series with Ireland and Bangladesh, as part of a major international men’s schedule that will see 16 international fixtures being played around Ireland in 2019.

The news of West Indies participation comes as welcome news for Irish cricket fans who missed out on seeing the Caribbean side play in Ireland in 2017 when a scheduled match at Stormont was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:

“While 2018 was a breakthrough year in many ways for Irish cricket, 2019 is set to be another momentous year for our sport. Next season we will host five Full Member nations – with a number of the teams having not played here for many years. Zimbabwe’s last match in Ireland, for instance, was in 2003, while a senior West Indies side hasn’t been seen in on-field action in Ireland since 2007.”

“The international fixtures will begin with England on May 3rd at Malahide, before a one-day international Tri-Series between Ireland, Bangladesh and West Indies to be played across Malahide and Clontarf. Then we move to play a two-match one-day series against Afghanistan at Stormont, before a six-match white-ball series against Zimbabwe to be played at Stormont and Bready.”

“In all, we will be hosting eight matches in Dublin and eight matches across Northern Ireland. The venues have been chosen to spread the fixture load across our four international-rated grounds - with five matches at Malahide, three at Clontarf, five at Stormont and three at Bready. The configuration of fixtures also allows teams involved in the Tri-Series to all be located in the same city to reduce travel impacts and maximise training and acclimatisation opportunity for those sides as part of their build-up to Cricket World Cup 2019.”

“This rotation of matches will also maximise our ability to play on new pitches in most matches. The fact though that we do not have enough international standard pitches to provide a new one for every match will give a sense of why the Board was keen to see a fifth international cricket ground constructed at Abbotstown.”

“All of these white ball matches, of course, precede our Test match of the summer which will be at Lord’s against England.”

Tickets will go on sale next week for the Tri-Series matches through Ticketmaster, with various single or multi-match packages to be available.

The 2019 season will also be the first to be played under the new multi-year media rights deal which Cricket Ireland recently concluded and also on the back of the news that Sky Sports will broadcast the Ireland v England ODI on 3 May (tickets for this match are already on sale).

 

2019 Ireland Men’s international home fixtures

Men's Internationals 2019


In addition to the home internationals, Ireland is currently scheduled to play for the following men’s internationals away in 2019:

• 23 February: 1st T20I – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 24 February: 2nd T20I – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 26 February: 3rd T20I – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 2 March: 1st ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 4 March: 2nd ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 7 March: 3rd ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 9 March: 4th ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 12 March: 5th ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 17-21 March: Test Match – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 24-27 July: Test Match – England v Ireland

 

Tickets for Ireland v England ODI

Tickets are already on sale for the ODI against England on 3 May 2019 at Malahide. Buy them here.

 


A first for Ireland - Cage Cricket comes to Ballyhaunis in County Mayo

December 5th 2018 | International, Other

A first for Ireland - Cage Cricket comes to Ballyhaunis in County Mayo

Cage Cricket - its first-ever appearance in Ireland

Here’s a great little story about cricket interest growing in Ireland. Mayo Sports Partnership and the Ballyhaunis Sports Hub, in conjunction with Active Communities Network and Cage4All, recently launched Cage Cricket at Scoil Íosa NS Ballyhaunis - the event forming part of Mayo Social Inclusion Awareness Week.

Community coaches from across Connacht were trained up in the rules of the game with members of the public invited along for the first ever game of Cage Cricket played in Ireland. Children really enjoyed the game, with actor and Cage Cricket co-founder Colin Salmon providing a little extra star power to a great weekend.

• Unfamiliar with Cage Cricket? Here’s a short video.

Cage Cricket is a fun new game that the Mayo Sports Partnership will be using as a vehicle to promote social inclusion, physical activity, integration and community involvement by delivering to different community groups such as Direct Provision Centres, community youth groups, national schools and active retirement groups.

Why Ballyhaunis?

Elmer Pieterse from Mayo Sports Partnership (MSP) said: “In 2015 the need was identified for more inclusive opportunities within Ballyhaunis. MSP, through Sport Ireland and Dormant Accounts funding, established the Ballyhaunis Sports Hub to provide more opportunities for people to be physically active and improve participation levels throughout all ages.”

“As part of our plan to provide these pathways and build strong links within the community, MSP teamed up with Active Communities Network and Cage4All to bring Cage Cricket to Ballyhaunis.”

Cage Cricket


“The game itself is dynamic, visual, high-octane entertainment fused with the attitude of youth culture and extreme sports. Played in an enclosed space, it is the only format of competitive cricket played as an individual with one format played across all abilities and ages. Players score points when they bat, bowl and field with the winner having accumulated the most points by the end of the game.”

“The game is also played in a fair manner with every player spending equal time in what’s called the Red Zone, running the game making sure all the players abide by the rules eliminating the need for an external umpire or referee. This encourages educational, social and ethical development of both the individual and group by focusing on skills such as leadership, communication, responsibility and respect.”

Cage Cricket


Trevor McArdle, co-founder and CEO of Cage Cricket, explained: “Cage Cricket is designed to be played in areas with limited space, using Multi-Use Games Areas, gym halls and indoor spaces. It’s a batting, bowling and catching game where you play as an individual against the other players. Everyone has a role, it’s vibrant, colourful and exciting and young people are drawn in. It’s a street sport and young people are taking ownership of the game by taking the core ingredients of a sport that they want to be involved with and packaging it to fit back into their community to engage them.”

Speaking about their role, Gary Stannett, Chief Executive for Active Communities Network (ACN), said “ACN is a charity organisation using sport to impact on social issues like youth engagement and social cohesion. Partnering up with MSP and Cage4All is a natural fit for us and we will continue to build on this relationship to create opportunities and inspire change.”

Also in attendance was Cricket Ireland’s Participation Director Elaine Nolan. She said: “I think Cage Cricket is the perfect vehicle for involvement in the sport in Connacht as well as nationwide, I look forward to investigating how we can grow its reach.”

Welcoming the visitors and players, Cora Gilligan from Mayo County Council said: “Mayo Social Inclusion Awareness Week has exceeded all expectations, a celebration of all that’s happening in and around our communities - as well as its diversity. Games like Cage Cricket help to make communities more inclusive and connected.”

Group Shot - Cage Cricket
Image: (from left to right) Elmer Pieterse MSP, Gary Stannett ACN, Elaine Nolan from Cricket Ireland, Elizabeth Murphy ACN, Trevor McArdle and Colin Salmon Cage4All, Cora Gilligan Mayo County Council and Janette Slattery MSP.

 

 

 


Sky Sports confirm production and broadcast deal for Ireland v England ODI in May 2019

December 4th 2018 | International

Sky Sports confirm production and broadcast deal for Ireland v England ODI in May 2019

The last time Ireland and England met in an ODI was at Lord's in 2017

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today confirmed that Sky Sports will produce and broadcast the one-off one day international (ODI) between Ireland and England at Malahide on 3 May 2019.

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:

“We are delighted to welcome back Sky Sports for our first home international of the 2019 season. Sky has been a regular visitor to our shores over the years and we are looking forward to their cameras covering a great contest with a team currently ranked #1 in the ODI format.”

“We expect intense interest in this match from cricket fans in Ireland and the UK, and based on previous experience, a lively travelling contingent of English fans. I’m sure it won’t go without notice that the match is on a Friday, making it the perfect excuse for a long-weekend trip to Dublin.”

“The match also comes nearly two years from the last time these two sides met in the ODI format, when Ireland played a two-match series at Bristol and Lord’s in front of large crowds. We would hope for a sell-out, so we’d recommend getting in early to avoid missing out.”

This announcement comes on the back of Cricket Ireland signing its first multi-year media rights deal (which was recently concluded). While Sky Sports will broadcast in Ireland and the UK, broadcast details for other markets will be announced closer to the match.

Tickets on sale

Tickets have gone on sale for the match (available through Ticketek here).

Prices are:

• General admission: €50 per person
• Under-16s: €20 per person
• Pensioner: €40 per person
• Family (2 adults & 2 under-16s): €32.50 per person

NB: An additional booking fee applies to all purchases made through Ticketmaster.

Hospitality Packages

Limited hospitality packages are additionally available from €349 per person, including seating in the hospitality marquee, continental breakfast, luxury lunch and a complimentary bar.
Further information on these packages, including booking forms, is available at: www.cricketireland.ie/about/events

 


Munster Cricket AGM and Annual Report update

December 3rd 2018 | International, Other

Munster Cricket AGM and Annual Report update

The Annual General Meeting of the Munster Cricket Union took place on Sunday 2 December 2018 at Cork County Cricket Club. At the meeting, the Annual Report was approved and elected office-holders were endorsed.

The meeting also received a presentation from its Strategy Consultant, Maeve Buckley, on ongoing work to update the governance arrangements in the Union and it is planned to bring detailed proposals in regard to Constitutional changes and updated committee structures and terms of reference to an EGM early in 2019.

The following were elected to serve on the Munster Cricket Executive for 2019:

• President: Jack Russell
• President-Elect: Kuros Mohammadi
• Chairperson: David Griffin
• Secretary: Michael Hickey
• Treasurer: Bryan O’Donnell
• Committee Members: Robert Duggan, Jack Filan, Joe O’Mahony, Veena O’Sullivan, Matt Reed, Ted Williamson

Veena O’Sullivan thus becomes the second female member of the Executive Committee following in the footsteps of Amanda Lanigan who served as President from 2005 to 2007.

You can download the Munster Cricket Union Annual Report 2018 here.

 

 


Ireland Cubs winter training squad announced

December 3rd 2018 | International, Youth, Other

Ireland Cubs winter training squad announced

Ireland Cubs winter training squad has been announced

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today announced a Cubs winter training squad of 17 players from around Ireland.

In 2018 Cricket Ireland announced that its Under-13s Player Development Programme had been re-branded to the Ireland Cubs. The name is in keeping with the successful naming of the Wolves programme and gives this skills development programme its own identity. The Cubs focus is on identifying and developing Under-13 players with the most potential from across all regions.

Callum Atkinson, Head Coach of the Cubs, said:

“The coaching team (Callum Atkinson, Barry Scott and Robert Forest) are excited for another year of the Cubs. The Cubs programme is the initial stage of the Cricket Ireland development pathway where we focus on the fundamental basics and build on this with the development of enhanced skills throughout the programme.”

“We are pleased with the progress last year’s Cubs squad made during their regional union sessions and at our National Weekends in North County and Bready. We hope to see many of the players continue to develop and push for places in the Ireland Under-15’s squad. We are also enthused by this next group of players who will enter the Cubs programme and hope that they benefit from working together and challenging each other in the Cubs environment.”

The training squad

• Sam Alister (Northern Cricket Union / Waringstown)
• Shwaiz Atif (Leinster Cricket Union / Adamstown)
• Macdara Cosgrove (Leinster Cricket Union / Pembroke)
• Niall Cox (Leinster Cricket Union / Clontarf)
• Tom Crothers (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• Harry Dyer (Northern Cricket Union / CSNI)
• Ryan Graham (Leinster Cricket Union / North County)
• Ryan Hunter (Northern Cricket Union / CSNI)
• Srihan Karpe (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)
• Adam Leckey (Northern Cricket Union / CSNI)
• Finn Lutton (Northern Cricket Union / Templepatrick)
• Ben McCausland (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• George Palmer (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• Olly Reilly (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)
• Gavin Roulston (North West Cricket Union / Strabane)
• Matthew Weldon (Leinster Cricket Union / The Hills)
• Reuben Wilson (Leinster Cricket Union / Phoenix)

 

 


Tyrone Kane to return to Dublin for treatment ahead of the Ireland Wolves tour

November 30th 2018 | International

Tyrone Kane will return home to Dublin immediately after sustaining an injury while playing club cricket in Australia.

Kane, 24, is on a 10-week scholarship placement playing and training with University Cricket Club in Perth.

The extent of his injury will be assessed on return to Dublin by Mark Rausa, Head of Physiotherapy and Medical Services at Cricket Ireland.

Kane was recently named in the Ireland Wolves squad that is touring Sri Lanka in December/January. The early return to Dublin is a precautionary measure to ensure medical staff can maximise his recovery time prior to the tour.

 

 


“Afghanistan series a major step forward for Irish cricket,” says Balbirnie as tour dates confirmed

November 30th 2018 | International

“Afghanistan series a major step forward for Irish cricket,” says Balbirnie as tour dates confirmed

Andrew Balbirnie batting in an ODI against Afghanistan in August 2018

Ireland Men’s team will play its first-ever overseas Test match against Afghanistan in March 2019 in ‘a major step forward’ for the sport in Ireland, said Andrew Balbirnie on the day that the tour itinerary was released.

The Test match, the first of two that the Ireland Men’s team will play in 2019, is part of a nine-match series against Afghanistan that will include one Test match, five one-day internationals and three T20 internationals. The fixtures will all be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun in India.

Dublin-born batsman Balbirnie, 27, who has 86 caps for Ireland, said:

“The Afghanistan series is a major step forward for Irish cricket as the tour is our first major tour as a Full Member. It will no doubt be a test for the entire squad – taking on Afghanistan in subcontinent conditions will require a level of adjustment by both our batting and bowling units. As we saw here at home in the summer, Afghanistan is a quality side with some world-class players, and will be a great challenge in their ‘home’ conditions.”

“We are fortunate that Graham Ford [Head Coach] has scheduled a batting camp in December which will provide a number of our batsmen with some exposure to those conditions – it will be particularly beneficial for some of the younger guys like Harry Tector and James McCollum who won’t have experienced Indian pitches.”

“The level and regularity of top-quality international cricket this year will be exciting for Irish cricket fans. The year will start with this Afghanistan series, and will involve a busy home schedule of matches involving multiple Full Member nations - starting with an ODI against England at Malahide in May. There’s also the Lord’s Test against England in July, and the year will end with the T20 World Cup Qualifier tournament in October.”

“With the retirements this year of Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien and John Anderson, we know that this is a year that will require the entire squad to step up, and it will also present some of the younger guys with opportunities to stake their claim for national selection. It’s an exciting time to be involved in Irish cricket.”

IRELAND TOUR TO INDIA

All nine matches of the Afghanistan series will be played at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun in India.

• 18 February: Ireland arrive
• 23 February: 1st T20I – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 24 February: 2nd T20I – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 26 February: 3rd T20I – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 2 March: 1st ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 4 March: 2nd ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 7 March: 3rd ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 9 March: 4th ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 12 March: 5th ODI – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 17-21 March: Test Match – Ireland v Afghanistan
• 22 March: Ireland depart

 


Under-19s Boys winter training squad announced

November 29th 2018 | International, Youth

Under-19s Boys winter training squad announced

Ireland celebrates a wicket at the Under -19s Cricket World Cup in January 2018

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today announced the national Under-19s Boys winter training squad.

Ryan Eagleson, Head Coach of the Under-19s squad, said:

“With the Under-19 World Cup Qualifiers taking place in 2019 the selectors recently met to select the winter training squad. Two standout performers from the last Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand - Jonathan James Garth and Neil Rock - will look to play a major role in guiding this year’s team to another World Cup appearance.”

“Last year’s Ireland Under-17s team had a successful summer programme and players from this squad will hope to repeat that when they make the step up to Under-19 level. Tim Tector, younger brother of Jack and Harry, will be the youngest member of the squad, but deserves his place after a standout season at Under-15s level this year.”

“Playing in the Under-19s World Cup is the pinnacle for many young cricketers and this squad will be looking to qualify for the tournament and test themselves against the best in the world at this age group.”

In 2018 the Ireland Under-19s squad had a challenging, but ultimately positive World Cup campaign. The squad was led by Harry Tector (recently named Captain of the Ireland Wolves) and won three of their six competitive matches - the undoubted highlight being a thrilling four-run win over an Afghanistan Under-19s side that featured Mujeeb Ur Rehman. At the time of the campaign, Eagleson had noted: “They handled everything that was thrown at them and came away with an understanding of cricket at the top level and areas of their own game they needed to develop”.

Fixtures for next season are currently being finalised and will be released in early 2019.

The training squad

• Max Burton (Northern Cricket Union / Carrickfergus)
• JJ Garth (Leinster Cricket Union / Pembroke)
• Gavin Hoey (Leinster Cricket Union / Pembroke)
• James Hunter (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• Archie Johnston (Northern Cricket Union / CSNI)
• Kyle Magee (North West Cricket Union / Brigade)
• Reece Malone (Northern Cricket Union / Derriaghy)
• Cillian McDonnell (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)
• Gregory McFaul (North West Cricket Union / Bready)
• Oliver Metcalfe (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• Alex Neary (Leinster Cricket Union / Rush)
• Cian Nulty (Leinster Cricket Union / The Hills)
• Marcus Poskitt (North West Cricket Union / Coleraine)
• Neil Rock (Leinster Cricket Union / Rush)
• Alex Stiles (Leinster Cricket Union / Railway Union)
• Tim Tector (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)
• Mitchell Thompson (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)

 

 


Under-17s Boys winter training squad announced

November 28th 2018 | International, Youth

Under-17s Boys winter training squad announced

The Celtic Cup-winning Under-17s squad earlier in 2018

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today announced the national Under-17s Boys winter training squad.

Nigel Jones, Ireland Under-17s Head Coach, said:

“The coaching group and Irish youth selectors believe that we have selected an exciting group of players who will benefit greatly from an intensive winter programme.”

“The squad’s profile sees no fewer than seven players returning from the 2018 programme and their experience will be crucial in driving team culture and standards as we approach yet another big year for Irish cricket. We see the Under-19 Cricket World Cup qualifiers in 2019 as a key focus for this training group, and indeed for others who may have missed out on winter squad selection. For players and coaches alike, the hard work starts now, and opportunities are there to be earned or learned from.”

“I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Ireland Under-17s coaching group to congratulate those who have been selected and to wish them well with the winter programme ahead.”

In 2018 the Ireland Under-17s squad clinched the Celtic Cup with a series win over Scotland Under-17s in August, and as preparation for that series also completed a successful tour of Worcester where they won two T20s, a 50-over game and drew a competitive two-day game. Aided by performances at this level, a number of this year’s squad - notably leg spinner JJ Garth and wicket keeper/batsman Neil Rock - were recently announced as new members of the Senior Squad at the Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Ireland Academy, while players such as Oliver Metcalfe, Mitchell Thompson and Gavin Hoey, have been named in the Academy’s Emerging Squad.

Fixtures for next season are currently being finalised and will be released in early 2019.

The training squad


• Luke Allison (Northern Cricket Union / Donaghcloney-Mill)
• Ben Brownlee (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)
• Samuel Johannes de Klerk (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)
• Cian Egerton (Munster Cricket Union / Waterford District)
• Michael Glass (Northern Cricket Union / Lisburn)
• Gavin Hoey (Leinster Cricket Union / Pembroke)
• Matthew Humphreys (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• James Hunter (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• Archie Johnston (Northern Cricket Union / CSNI)
• Seamus Lynch (Leinster Cricket Union / Terenure)
• Kyle Magee (North West Cricket Union / Brigade)
• Reece Malone (Northern Cricket Union / Derriaghy)
• Cillian McDonnell (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)
• Nathan McGuire (Leinster Cricket Union / Rush)
• Oliver Metcalfe (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• Ben Mills (North West Cricket Union / Glendermott)
• Scott Ruttle (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)
• Alex Stiles (Leinster Cricket Union / Railway Union)
• Tim Tector (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)
• Mitchell Thompson (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)

 

 


“It registered 5.2 on the Richter scale!” - Tyrone Kane talks about his scholarship in Perth

November 27th 2018 | International, Other

“It registered 5.2 on the Richter scale!” - Tyrone Kane talks about his scholarship in Perth

Tyrone Kane receives his UCC cap from Will Stibbs

It’s been a big year for Tyrone Kane. In May 2018 he was one of eleven men that stepped out at Malahide to play in Ireland’s inaugural men’s Test match, then in September he was named one of the inaugural Ed Joyce Scholarship recipients. The latter of these leads him to where he is now - playing club cricket in Perth, Western Australia. We recently spoke to Tyrone about his time in Australia so far.

“I’m currently well into a 10-week overseas programme in Perth thanks to the Ed Joyce scholarship fund. I’m playing for the University of Western Australia, better known as UWA, which is quite fitting as Ed himself played here back in the 2001-02 season. I would’ve been seven years old at the time, so just missed him!”

“After arriving in October I made my first grade debut straight away, which was a huge honour. To don the mighty UCC [University Cricket Club] baggy blue straight off the bat was great. I started well in my first game picking up two-fer but have since been struggling with a couple of injury issues and have since played as a bat in second grade. I’ve only batted twice in matches since I’ve been out here which is tough but a good experience and definitely makes you appreciate any time you spend in the middle.”

Tyrone is not only enjoying the cricket, but also playing and training with some notable cricketers:

“The club captain Will Bosisto is a former Australian Under-19s captain and fully contracted Western Australian player/Perth Scorchers cricketer (who recently hit 167* in the Sheffield Shield against Queensland). We actually crossed paths before during the Under-19s World Cup in 2012 where we took on each other in Townsville. We had a laugh about that as there was a coupe of choice words that day out if I recall correctly.”

“Alongside Will, we’ve David Moody who is a dangerously quick fast bowler also contracted to Western Australia and the Hobart Hurricanes respectively.”

“Will Jacks is also at UWA as the overseas player. He’s a member of the Surrey team who recently won the English County Championship. Not a bad start for his first season as he said himself. He recently scored 205 in a demolition of Claremont in 1st Grade. He’s a former England Under-19s international and trains alongside myself and the other two Irish boys with Stewart Walters mid week.”

“Our bowling coach at the club is former Australian Test cricketer Terry Alderman. I’ve been working closely with him on my return from injury. Without doubt his knowledge is helping progress my game.”

WACA
Image: The famous WACA Cricket Ground in Perth

“The club program in UWA is run by Will Stibbs, alongside Wayne Pearson - a fellow Irish man and good friend of Kyle McCallan, so he tells me. They do a terrific job and have created a tremendous environment through out the club.”

So what does a typical week look like for Tyrone?

“Typically I have two or three 1-on-1 sessions with Stewart Walters alongside group training on a Wednesday night with WA academy and club training on Tuesday and Thursday nights. In amongst that we have specific gym and running programs to undergo, and then at the weekend we play for our respective club sides. A busy program but one which is extremely beneficial.”

And how is life outside the cricket?

“One thing that I didn’t think I would experience out here was an earthquake! Yet, recently around 5am I was awoken to my bed/apartment block swaying from side to side. An experience that’s for sure. It registered 5.2 on the Richter scale!”

“Other then that I have without doubt been enjoying my time here. This is my first time in Perth so I’ve been taking in as much as it has to offer. Beautiful beaches and a quite trendy city. Like Harry in Sydney I’ve grown quite fond of the Ocean Beach Hotel, known as the OBH, at Cottesloe Beach.”

“Over the last little while the alarm has also been set the last couple of days for 5am to get up and watch Laura and the team compete at the World T20 in the West Indies. Although results didn’t go their way the whole management and squad should be so proud of their efforts. It was fantastic to watch them live on Fox Sports and they are unbelievable ambassadors for cricket in Ireland. Hopefully they can go onwards and upwards from this tournament.”

Cottesloe Beach
Image: Cottesloe Beach in Perth…nice end to a day!


Under-15s Boys winter training squad announced

November 27th 2018 | International, Youth

Under-15s Boys winter training squad announced

The 2018 Under-15s Squad

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today announced the national Under-15s Boys winter training squad.

Under-15s Head Coach, Brian Allen, said:

“We are blessed with another exciting group of cricketers and we’re looking forward to getting everyone together and getting underway.”

“Helping these players make positive strides to reach their cricketing goals is something we revel in and I’m aware there’s a good mix of characters in this squad who are more than capable of the challenge.”

The Under-15s Boys team had a successful 2018, which included victories over Scotland, Jersey, Middlesex and Berkshire under-age sides. Off the back of their performances at Under-15s level, a number of this year’s squad - notably captain Tim Tector and opener Nathan McGuire - were recently announced as new members of the Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Ireland Academy.

Fixtures for next season are currently being finalised and will be released in early 2019.

The training squad

• Khyat Bhvasar (North West Cricket Union / St. Johnston)
• Eoin Birch (Leinster Cricket Union / Balbriggan)
• Raymond Curry (North West Cricket Union / Bonds Glen)
• Matthew Daly (Northern Cricket Union / Waringstown)
• Wilhelm de Klerk (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)
• Cameron Doak (Northern Cricket Union / Lisburn)
• Rory Ellerby (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• Jamie Forbes (Leinster Cricket Union / YMCA)
• Daniel Forkin (Leinster Cricket Union / Merrion)
• Adam Kennedy (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• Philippe Le Roux (Leinster Cricket Union / Railway Union)
• Adam Ly (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• Scott MacBeth (North West Cricket Union / St. Johnston)
• Carson McCullough (Northern Cricket Union / CIYMS)
• James Rose (Northern Cricket Union / Instonians)
• Ahmed Shah (Leinster Cricket Union / Phoenix)
• Andrew Tonge (Leinster Cricket Union / Leinster)
• Mark Tonge (Leinster Cricket Union / Leinster)
• Sam Topping (Northern Cricket Union / Waringstown)
• Luke Whelan (Leinster Cricket Union / North County)

 

 


15 young cricketers announced for Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Ireland Men’s Academy in 2019

November 26th 2018 | International, Youth, Other

15 young cricketers announced for Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Ireland Men’s Academy in 2019

The Academy training at North County Cricket Club in 2018

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today named 15 players in the latest Cricket Ireland Shapoorji Pallonji Men’s Academy for 2019, with an announcement about the intake to the Women and Girls Academy to be made in December 2018.

The Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Ireland Academy, established in 2013, aims to identify and support the most promising young male and female players in the country providing them with a bespoke player development programme under the ethos of supporting them to be ‘the best version of themselves in life and cricket’. The purpose of the Academy is to develop resilient, confident cricketers of the future, who are ready to perform on the world stage.

Of the eight named in the Senior Academy, two players have gained elevation from last year’s Emerging squad, being:

• Batsman/wicket keeper Neil Rock (Rush Cricket Club, Northern Knights and Ireland Under-19s)
• Leg-spinner JJ Garth (Pembroke Cricket Club, Ireland Wolves and Ireland Under-19s)

Two other new faces in the senior programme are:

• Opening batter Gareth Delany (Leinster Cricket Club, Leinster Lightning and Ireland Wolves)
• Batsman Aaron Gillespie (Strabane Cricket Club, North West Warriors and Ireland Wolves)

Pete Johnston, National Academy and Performance Manager, said:

“From last year’s Academy intake, Nathan Smith, Jack Tector, Harry Tector, James McCollum, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Tyrone Kane, Josh Little, Lorcan Tucker, Shane Getkate and David Delany are amongst those who have now graduated from the Academy as they take steps forward in their playing careers. Some of these players will make the step up to being fully professional while others will be in transition. For others leaving the Academy there will be the opportunity to prove themselves through club and provincial cricket.”

“We have spent a lot of time in recent years aligning the development pathway programmes, so that the Academy, Senior, Youth, and Provincial Programmes all now work closely together. It is expected that many of the players now outside of the Academy will still benefit from Ireland Wolves / Academy fixtures and support services available.”

“We decided the Academy would involve two slightly smaller groups this year, which will allow us to provide improved athlete-centred training and support – a more focused and committed approach towards helping our players achieve their potential on and off the field.”

“Ryan Eagleson [National Academy Performance Coach] and I believe that every year the bar gets raised and this year is no exception with competition for places extremely high. If you take batting as an example, last season we saw 13 hundreds scored (five by Irish youth players, and seven between the Academy and Wolves squads). There were also some excellent bowling performances throughout the male pathway and it was our best summer ever for our pathway teams results-wise.”

“Our Senior and Emerging Academy players train weekly in regional bases [North County, Jordanstown or Bready] with the support of Academy coaching staff, while they also receive additional support and sessions from specialist skill’s coaches. We ensure our Academy players follow fitness programmes with supervision and regular testing overseen by Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach, Brendan Connor, and with support from Cricket Ireland’s Head of Physiotherapy, Mark Rausa.”

Johnston also pointed to a number of individual recognitions bestowed on Academy players that demonstrated the success of the programme and talent identification for the intake to the Emerging squad:

“As well as international honours for many of our players – such as Tyrone Kane making the Test team - Harry Tector was named Academy Player of the Year at the Turkish Airlines Cricket Ireland Awards night. Harry is now playing club cricket with distinction in Sydney and was recently named as captain of the Ireland Wolves squad on their Sri Lankan tour.”

“Meanwhile Harry’s younger brother - and new Academy recruit - Tim was named Youth Player of the Year at the Awards night. Tim captained the Ireland Under-15’s this year scoring heavily. He is joined in the Emerging squad by fellow Under-15s batsman Nathan McGuire from Rush Cricket Club.” 

In addition to the home-based programme, the Academy also undertakes a range of other development activities including:

• helping place a number of players overseas this winter to gain valuable experience of southern hemisphere conditions;
• operating annual pre-season camps at our High Performance Training Centre in La Manga, Spain;
• running educational days and workshops, drawing from other sports, sport psychology and wellbeing, all part of driving a holistic approach of development around the athlete.

Aaron Hamilton, National Women’s Head Coach and Pathway Manager, oversees the Women and Girls Academy. An announcement regarding the 2019 intake into the Women and Girls Academy is expected to be made in December. 

Cricket Ireland Shapoorji Pallonji Senior Academy 2019

• Neil Rock, Max Neville, JJ Garth, Stephen Doheny, Graham Kennedy, Fionn Hand, Gareth Delany, Aaron Gillespie

Cricket Ireland Shapoorji Pallonji Emerging Academy 2019

• Oliver Metcalfe, Mitchel Thompson, Gavin Hoey, Tim Tector, Nathan McGuire, James Hunter, Marcus Poskitt

Coaches and Support Staff

• Academy and Performance Manager: Peter Johnston
• Academy Coach and Talent ID: Ryan Eagleson
• Academy North West Coach: Ian McGregor
• Specialist Coaches: Andrew White, Ed Joyce, Rob Cassell, Albert Van De Merwe
• Strength and Conditioning Lead: Brendan Connor
• Physio Lead: Mark Rausa
• Performance Analyst: Scott Irvine
• Sport Psychologist: Anne Marie Kennedy


Harry Tector to lead youthful Ireland Wolves squad to Sri Lanka

November 23rd 2018 | International, Youth, Other

Harry Tector to lead youthful Ireland Wolves squad to Sri Lanka

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today named a youthful Ireland Wolves squad, with Harry Tector as captain, that will travel to Sri Lanka as part of an eight-match tour.

The Ireland Wolves team was created in 2017 to bridge the gap between domestic first class and international cricket. The squad recently completed an eight-match series against Bangladesh A in Ireland, which followed on from a tour to Bangladesh made by the Wolves in 2017.

The Sri Lankan tour squad will play both red-ball and white-ball matches against Sri Lanka A, and will involve a rotation of a number of players in and out of the squad with the changeover between the two formats.
Pete Johnston, Cricket Ireland Academy Manager and Wolves Head Coach, said:

“This tour will provide a great opportunity for players to bank valuable experience in subcontinental conditions against very strong opposition. Many of our squad have been playing and training overseas this winter, while those that have remained at home have been working exceptionally hard on their skills and fitness. We look forward to the squad assembling in Sri Lanka and playing another competitive series.”

Harry Tector, the 18-year old top order batsman and off-spinner who is currently playing club cricket in Sydney, was named captain of the Wolves squad.

“It’s a massive honour to captain the Wolves. I got a taste of it against Scotland A and Bangladesh A this summer and loved it. I learned a lot from Andrew Balbirnie and I feel ready now to take over the reins following a successful series against Bangladesh A,” said Tector.

“It is a very exciting squad with a great mixture of youth and some more experienced heads. I think it shows the depth is there and we’ll certainly be looking to prove that when we get out there.”

Selectors had originally named Nathan Smith in the red-ball section of the tour squad, however he will not be available due to personal reasons. Coming in to replace Smith will be Josh Little, subject to passing a fitness test.

Ireland Wolves squad

Red ball matches

• James Cameron-Dow
• Stephen Doheny
• JJ Garth
• Aaron Gillespie
• Tyrone Kane
• Josh Little
• Barry McCarthy
• James McCollum
• Neil Rock
• James Shannon
• Harry Tector (captain)
• Jack Tector
• Lorcan Tucker
• Craig Young

White ball matches

• James Cameron-Dow
• Gareth Delany
• JJ Garth
• Shane Getkate
• Tyrone Kane
• Josh Little
• Barry McCarthy
• James McCollum
• Neil Rock
• James Shannon
• Harry Tector (captain)
• Jack Tector
• Stuart Thompson
• Lorcan Tucker
• Craig Young

Tour schedule

• 30 December 2018 - Ireland Wolves arrive
• 1 January 2019 - Two-day warm-up match (MCG Katunayake)
• 5 January 2019 - 1st Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 13 January 2019 - 2nd Four-day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 19 January 2019 - 1st One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 21 January 2019 - 2nd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (MRICS - Hambantota)
• 24 January 2019 - 3rd One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 26 January 2019 - 4th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (SSC Colombo)
• 29 January 2019 - 4th One-Day match v Sri Lanka A (RPICS - Colombo)
• 30 January 2019 - Ireland Wolves depart

 

 


Tickets now on sale for Ireland v England ODI in May 2019

November 21st 2018 | International

Tickets now on sale for Ireland v England ODI in May 2019

England last appeared in an ODI in Ireland in May 2015

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today announced that tickets have gone on sale for the one-off one day international (ODI) between Ireland and England at Malahide on 3 May 2019.

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:

“The clash with England heralds the start of a busy home season of men’s cricket in 2019, with numerous Full Member nations visiting our shores. This encounter comes almost four years to the day that England appeared in a match in Ireland, so this is set to be a highly sought after ticket for Irish cricket fans.”

“England is currently the number one ODI side in the world, and set to host the 2019 Cricket World Cup later in the summer, so they will be eyeing this match as a key part of their preparations for the World Cup.”

“It is a nice symmetry that England book-ends our international men’s summer, with this ODI starting our home summer campaign, and the Lord’s test match against England completing our international summer fixtures.”

The match also comes nearly two years from the last time these two sides met in the ODI format, when Ireland played a two-match series at Bristol and Lord’s in front of large crowds.

Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Prices are:

  • General admission: €50 per person
  • Under-16s: €20 per person
  • Pensioner: €40 per person
  • Family (2 adults & 2 under-16s): €32.50 per person

NB: An additional booking fee applies to all purchases made through Ticketmaster.

There will be additional information provided shortly regarding Club ticket opportunities. You can also read our Ticket Refund Policy here.

 

Hospitality Packages

Limited hospitality packages are additionally available from €349 per person, including seating in the hospitality marquee, continental breakfast, luxury lunch and a complimentary bar.

Further information on these packages, including booking forms, is available here.

 


Cricket Ireland officials add their praise to retiring Irish cricket legends

November 18th 2018 | International, Women

Cricket Ireland officials add their praise to retiring Irish cricket legends

The WT20 journey has ended, and four Irish cricket legends have retired

Leading Cricket Ireland officials have today voiced their appreciation to the deluge of praise for Clare Shillington, Ciara Metcalfe, Isobel Joyce and Cecelia Joyce following their retirements last night.

Going into the evening, the squad were aware of Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe’s retirements, however it wasn’t until the team huddle at the end of the match that the Joyce sisters let their teammates know it would be their last match in the international team.

Learning of the news, Ross McCollum, Chairman of Cricket Ireland, said:

“It’s a sad day for the Irish cricket community when one legend of the game retires - but four retiring makes it an emotional occasion for many.”

“On behalf of Cricket Ireland I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to Isobel, Cecelia, Clare and Ciara for your many years of commitment and dedication to women’s cricket specifically, but Irish cricket in general. You are role models for many, and we hope you continue to play a part in growing our game and bringing on the next generation of players.”

“The Board has endorsed the development of a new Women’s Cricket Strategy for Cricket Ireland and I look forward to seeing this strategy drive forward the women’s game on our island.”

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:

“On behalf of the staff of Cricket Ireland I would like to acknowledge the retirement of four of our best, and wish them well in their future endeavours.”

“As I said recently at the Cricket Ireland Awards night, of my highlights of the year was our international women’s squad qualifying for the World T20. It was another demonstration of the huge talent among our female cricketers. I have spent more time this year with the squad – in Zimbabwe; in Amsterdam; and in meeting rooms – and I can’t help but be reminded of the same hunger and determination of our men’s squad a decade ago. Of a group of amateur cricketers playing for all the world like professionals; players making personal sacrifices to play for their country; players desperate to prove they belong on the world stage.”

“The legacy of Isobel, Cecelia, Clare and Ciara is too large to encapsulate succinctly, but they should know that they have inspired many young girls and boys in Ireland to take up our sport. They have helped bring Irish women’s cricket to a new level and have provided the exposure it deserves.”

“One of the taglines of the current 20x20 campaign is: ‘If you can’t see it, you can’t be it’ - these four players have raised the profile of our sport in Ireland so that many kids have not only seen it, but now know they can be it.”

“I know each of our retirees are keen to remain within the sport, and I look forward to seeing their further contributions to cricket going forward.”

Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director of Cricket Ireland, said:

“The hard work, dedication and personal commitment that Isobel, Cecelia, Ciara and Clare have displayed over many years is a testament to their respective personal integrity and ambition.”

“To retire at a time of their own choosing is a credit to each of them - they are leaders and mentors within the squad, and they are champions and role models of our sport, and their commitment has not diminished over time. Even with the personal struggles at times of juggling an international cricket career with work and study commitments, their focus has always been on pushing our game forward.”

“With the ICC recently announcing the expansion of the Women’s Championship to ten teams, our focus for the next two years has to be on retaining our top 10 ranking and joining this top tier competition. I know each of our retirees, while leaving enormous shoes to fill in the playing ranks, are keen to play a part in the future of the sport. This can only benefit the Irish system and strengthen our resolve to grow the game domestically.”

The Ireland Women’s squad depart Guyana this morning at the conclusion of their World T20 tournament journey.

 


Praise flows in for the careers of our four retirees

November 18th 2018 | International, Women

Praise flows in for the careers of our four retirees

Clare Shillington, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce and Ciara Metcalfe

GEORGETOWN - The cricket community worldwide has joined in with praise and recognition for the careers of Isobel Joyce, Cecelia Joyce, Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe who all retired from international cricket last night.

e at the start of the night that two legends of the game were retiring - Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe - the Joyce sisters added to the emotion of the night by announcing to their teammates at the conclusion of the match against New Zealand that they too had chosen to end their careers.

Immediately tributes started pouring in on social media for the outstanding careers of these four Irish cricket champions. Here is just a sample:

praise

praise

praise

praise

praise

More to follow on this story.

 


Four legends of Irish cricket retire from international duty following WT20

November 18th 2018 | International, Women

Four legends of Irish cricket retire from international duty following WT20

Gaby Lewis top-scored for the second consecutive time in T20Is against New Zealand in 2018

GEORGETOWN - It was a big night for Irish cricket tonight as four legends of Irish women’s game bade farewell to the international arena that they have graced collectively for more than 75 years. Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce, Ciara Metcalfe and Clare Shillington all retired following the match against New Zealand and were immediately inundated with tributes from around the cricket world.

The match against New Zealand was the final Group Stage match with neither side in contention for the semi-finals.

After captain Laura Delany won the toss and chose to bat the New Zealand bowlers dominated the innings, restricting Ireland to 79-9 after its 20 overs.

Clare Shillington (12 from 22 balls), in the last match in green, started confidently but played back to a low skidding delivery and was bowled by Leigh Kasperek (3-19). Gaby Lewis decided to counter-attack and compiled an eye-catching 39 (36 balls; 5 x fours) - now having scored an even 100 runs in the last two T20 Internationals she has played against the White Ferns.

In response, the New Zealand openers Sophie Devine (51 off 22 balls)  and Suzie Bates (11 off 12 balls) put on a 69-run opening stand taking away the slimmest of possibilities of an Irish upset win, and despite both openers falling in the final overs, the White Ferns ran out victors by eight wickets.

After the match vice-captain Kim Garth said:

“What could we have done better? All around really - batting, bowling. Batting, once again, we were happy enough with the powerplay, but as in previous games once we got through the powerplay we lost clusters of wickets again. Then with the bowling, I think with the way Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine batted today anyone would have found it hard to bowl to them.

“Credit to New Zealand, I thought they bowled really well. I think one positive for us is Gaby Lewis, she’ll be the first one to admit she hasn’t had the best tournament up to this game, but tonight showed a glimpse of what she can do. She’s a huge player for us, so I think that was a massive positive for us.”

“Positives from the tournament, well we don’t play a lot of internationals to be honest, so any time we’re at a world cup there are learnings for us. I think some of the younger girls have stepped up at times. We’ve got four retirees this evening, so now the younger girls have to step up, but they have done that at times during the world cup and that’s a positive for us.”

Asked whether the squad knew about the Joyce sisters retirement before the game:

“No we didn’t. We found out after the game in the huddle. There were definitely a lot of tears. Ceils, Ciara, Shills and Isobel have been four incredible servants of Irish cricket and I don’t think Irish cricket would be anywhere near where it is today without them. They’re going to be a huge loss - they’re champions on the field but off the field as well. We’re going to miss them a lot.”

“As much as we’ll miss them, it’s certainly going to be a different dynamic without them.”

More to come on the four retirees.

 


Over 40 years of experience: Two Irish cricket legends to bow out against New Zealand

November 16th 2018 | International, Women

Over 40 years of experience: Two Irish cricket legends to bow out against New Zealand

Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe are retiring after the next match

GEORGETOWN – With more than 40 years of collective cricket experience between them, Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe are about to take their final bow playing in the green – for both, the road has been a challenging one, but neither would change a thing.

With Ireland to play its final Group Match tomorrow (Saturday), the two players were having a quiet morning between games, prior to a training and gym session, and were in a reflective mood about their careers and hopes for the future of women’s cricket in Ireland.

Belfast-born opening batter Clare Shillington, who debuted in 1997 for Ireland, said:

“To be honest I’m trying not to think about the fact it’s my last game too much. I’m just trying to stay focussed on that we’re here to do a job. Obviously it would be nice for everyone, not just because it’s my last game, but for everyone to finish on a high and push New Zealand as far as we can.”

“I remember when I got my 100th cap I said it [cricket] was a love-hate relationship, but the good days by far outweigh the bad days. I don’t think you can ever not enjoy putting on an Irish shirt and representing your country.”

“But I think we’ve come so far, it’s really become an elite environment, the facilities we have for training are amazing. 21 years is a long time - I was 16 when I started – so a lot has changed.”

When asked about the next step in her career, she said:

“To be a pro-golfer! No, seriously, the next step is coaching. It’s part of easing the pain of retiring is knowing you’ll still be around the set up. I’m a coach in Pembroke and I hope to stay on even do a bit of coaching in Cricket Ireland. I’m hoping to not be too far away from the game and hoping to help the next crop of young players come through. Maybe I can be a mentor as well as a coach.”

And on the future of Irish women’s cricket?

“The current squad is looking good. Obviously we have Ciara and I retiring after the next game, we’ve been around for a long time, but there are already new players coming through pushing us out - the way things are going I think we might have been pushed out soon enough anyway.”

“I do think it’s looking good, but I do think we need to expand what we’re doing at home, and we need to grow the game as much as we can. I think that is happening but we need to do it at a faster rate. But I think the immediate future is good, we have some younger players who have been in the system for a while, and they’re ready to come up and take those spots that are now free.”

About retiring at the same time as her friend Ciara Metcalfe:

“I’m happy to be taking the pitch for the last time with her and glad I can share that day with her. We first played together at Malahide 24 years ago, so obviously we’ve come through a lot together. It will be a special day - it will be sad, but nice to be doing it with Ciara and nice to have my mum who will be there and my partner, it will be nice to have friends and family around.”


Ciara Metcalfe
Image: Ciara Metcalfe claimed her 100th international scalp in July this year

Dublin-born leg-spinner Ciara Metcalfe, who debuted in 1999 for Ireland, said:

“As a team we’re doing a little bit better each game and there is still lots to get out of this tournament. As for retiring, I’m really excited and a little bit sad but I’m trying to get through the game first and then I’ll deal with all the emotions of it.”

Asked about her career, she said:

“It’s been eventful - I’ve definitely done it my way. It hasn’t been plain sailing. It’s been up and down, I’ve been in the team and out of the team, fit and not fit, in form and out of form, but I wouldn’t change one minute of it. I’ve enjoyed it, it has been life changing, I’ve travelled the world and made some great friends. It’s been a great journey.”

In July this year, Metcalfe claimed her 100th international wicket.

“That was amazing - it was a long time coming. Again, I suppose I’ve had a colourful career. I haven’t reached some of the milestones that some of the other girls have, so that was definitely one of my things to knock off, and it was fantastic.

As for the future?

“Coaching. I’m over in Australia and I’m learning my trade there and moving onto my Level 3 Performance Coaching, then hopefully go on from there and take charge of a couple of teams.”

And when asked about the future of Irish women’s cricket, she said:

“The current squad is a great bunch, there’s lots happening and there’s lots of positives. These guys are working hard and it’s changing, Irish cricket is changing for the better.”

“We’re as professional as we can be for an amateur side, and with regards to contracts I think that is going to happen. I think will only benefit cricket - both men’s and women’s cricket - it’d be a good investment. I think you’ll see we’re only a few runs short of competing with these top teams. The men aren’t going to jump up to number 6 on the rankings anytime soon, but the women could it and that would have a great knock-on effect for both.”

“The main challenge is keeping people in the game, advancing the coaching at the grass roots level, which I think they are doing - Cricket Leinster for example are doing a great job at this. Overall cricket in Ireland is changing, it’s becoming more professional and we’ve investing more and it will get there. It’s like when you’re a coach and you’re waiting for people to grow up and hit a certain age and talent within the game, and it’s the same with our domestic system, it will come but it may be years before we see it.”

The clash between Ireland and New Zealand is on Saturday 17 November 2018, 4pm start (local time) or 8pm GMT. The match will be broadcast on Sky Sports in Ireland / UK.

 


India run chase too much for Ireland at WT20

November 15th 2018 | International, Women

India run chase too much for Ireland at WT20

Shauna Kavanagh plays the ball to leg

GEORGETOWN - Ireland Women’s team have lost their third Group stage encounter with the in-form Indian side, despite a good bowling performance that pegged the Indian batters back during the latter overs.

While Ireland and India have met on 12 occasions in the one-day format, but this was the very first clash between the sides in T20 format.

Arriving at the ground for an early start to the day, the two teams were met by cloud and rain, which threatened to delay the start of play. However, attentive groundstaff and a venue known for its fast-drying outfield meant that play got underway just a few minutes late with no loss of overs.

Ireland’s captain Laura Delany won the toss and elected to bowl. Buoyed by a small but vocal local support, India got off to a solid start with openers Mithali Raj (51 runs from 56 balls) and Smriti Mandhana (33 runs from 29 balls) put together an opening stand of 67 from 9.5 overs, until all-rounder Kim Garth struck with a good-length ball that held its line and knocked over Mandhana’s leg stump.

Jemimah Rodrigues (18 runs from 11 balls) threatened to accelerate the scoring until captain Delany and keeper Mary Waldron conspired to induce Rodrigues out of her crease, with the quick-hands of Waldron completing the stumping.

At 107-2 in the 15th over, India looked like they had the wickets in hand - which included Harmanpreet Kaur - in order to mount a big total, however Ireland’s bowlers took regular wickets over the remaining five overs and restrained the batting side to a final total of 145-6 from their 20 overs.

Garth was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 2-22 from her four overs, while Lucy O’Reilly and Eimear Richardson joined Delany with one wicket apiece.

Set 146 to win, Ireland’s openers Clare Shillington (23 from 23) and Gaby Lewis (9 from 19) started in a confident mood and made it to the last over of the powerplay without losing a wicket. Shillington once more smashed several boundaries in her innings, but on 23 she advanced down the wicket to spinner Poonam Yadav (1-14), but missed the wide spinning delivery and the Indian wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia completed the stumping.

During her innings, Shillington became the first Irish woman to surpass 1000 T20I runs, and fourth Irish player overall. With her impending retirement at the end of this tournament after a 21-year career, Ireland will need to fill the void left by the Belfast-born opener who has been an ever-present mainstay since her debut against South Africa in 1997.

Isobel Joyce (33 from 38), top scorer in the last match against Pakistan, once again tried to play the lynchpin role, however the Irish batting line-up couldn’t manage to mount any sizeable partnerships and eventually ended on 93-8 from their 20 overs.

Isobel Joyce, speaking after the game, said:

“We tried to put the Pakistan match behind us and learn from our mistakes, with the aim of just trying to go better every game. A world cup is tough for us - we don’t play the high class sides as often as they play each other, so it can be a very tough learning curve trying to put into place changes just two days after a loss like that against Pakistan.”

“A game like this for younger players can be daunting, especially when you saw how they [India] played against New Zealand - who hammered us earlier in the summer. But it’s one of those things you try put out of your mind.”

“I think once they posted 140-plus that was always going to be tough for us. I’m not saying we couldn’t do it, but when you look at other sides they are playing against top bowlers all the time - they play against the likes of Ellyse Perry several times a year. Today was the first time I’d faced some of those bowlers for several years. That’s the difference with the top sides.”

“We have played in this tournament every two years for the past while, and while we build up to the tournament each time, the occasion is still big for us. I think you can see the foundations are there for us if we were a professional side. I think if we regularly had players going to play in overseas competitions, you’d see the girls would be ready to go all in.”

 

Scoreboard in brief

World Women’s T20 Group Stage Match, Providence National Stadium, Guyana, 15 November 2018

India 145-6 (20 overs; M Raj 51; K Garth 2-22)
Ireland 93-8 (20 overs; I Joyce 33, C Shillington 23; R Yadav 3-25)

India won by 52 runs

  >> Full scorecard here.


Hamilton, O’Reilly reflect on World T20 tournament and look ahead to India match

November 14th 2018 | International, Women

Hamilton, O’Reilly reflect on World T20 tournament and look ahead to India match

Lucy O'Reilly claimed 3-19 in the last match

GEORGETOWN – Ireland Women’s Head Coach Aaron Hamilton was in a reflective mood but remained upbeat about his side’s journey through the World T20 tournament so far, and called for his squad to relax and focus on enjoying their cricket and the whole ‘tournament experience’ ahead of their third Group Stage match against India tomorrow.

The squad had a quieter day, with gym sessions, team meetings and physio sessions on the agenda.

Speaking from the team hotel in Georgetown, Hamilton said:

“Yesterday’s game was in all honesty a missed opportunity for us. Probably the biggest issue for us was dot balls - we didn’t display enough ability in turning over the strike and keeping the board ticking over. With the ball we were really good with the powerplay, but we just didn’t capitalise on it. Coming out of it there were probably three overs where we conceded 12 or 13 runs an over. But we finished bowling out our overs well.”

“I thought with the bat Isobel Joyce was very good, she started slowly but made up her runs as she went. And once again Shillers [Clare Shillington] played well out front. However, as a batting unit we probably just needed to play straighter for longer - most of our dismissals were going across the ball.”

“Our fielding was quite good. We put down a couple of harder chances - Shauna Kavanagh had a spectacular effort, and if it had stuck, it would’ve been fantastic.”

“But with the ball, Lucy O’Reilly was fantastic, all the way through the innings. Now that she’s got some overs under her belt, she’s now showing what she’s capable of. She finally getting her loads up to where they need to be. For Lucy it’s more of a mindset thing as well - this is her third world cup, so she knows and understands what is required.”

“Going into the last two games we’ll be working on improving our scoring shot percentage, to rotate strike. The team just need to relax and have some fun, to believe in themselves and believe they deserve to be here. We also need to extend our good patches for longer. The best teams can do that, they can make their good patches last longer in a game. That comes with playing more good quality cricket. That’ll improve over time - we’re getting there.”

Aaron Hamilton
Image: Aaron Hamilton wants the squad to relax and enjoy their cricket

19-year old pace bowler Lucy O’Reilly has been receiving some high praise for her performances in the tournament. She spoke about how she has brought previous tournament experience to this event:

“I think the experiences of playing at two previous world cups have helped me adjust with nerves. Playing in a tournament like this is a huge step up compared to any international, to be honest. Nerves can be a huge factor that can affect players, but luckily I’ve been able to channel them this tournament,” she said at the team hotel following a gym session.

“Apart from that it is about the enjoyment of it all, staying calm under pressure against the best in the world can be daunting, but luckily I’ve done it two times before, so that’s definitely something I’ve taken from the past two world cups.”

In response to veteran commentator Alan Wilkins’ praise of O’Reilly’s performances and technique, she said:

“I’m absolutely flattered to receive the comments I did from Alan Wilkins, and I’m feeling quite confident after the Pakistan game. I actually haven’t been bowling that much recently - I did take a year out for my Leaving Certificate and was away quite a bit this summer, so I actually wasn’t that confident coming into the tournament. Basically I felt I was a bit underprepared - but with the training we’ve had with the lead up and the facilities we now have at Abbotstown [Sport Ireland National Sports Campus] over the last six weeks, luckily it’s all paid off and hopefully I can put some more performances for the team over our next games.”

O’Reilly had, despite her modest assessment, a very good home season and was Ireland’s leading wicket-taker at the World T20 Qualifier. She was also chosen to be part of the inaugural ICC Women’s Global Development Squad in July.

“I thought the Global Development Squad was absolutely brilliant - to play against some of the best players in the world and with a different group of girls. Probably the main takeaway was learning to work with different individuals and sharing knowledge, and just the chance to bowl at the best players in the world was a great challenge, but something I loved doing.”

The clash between Ireland (world ranked 10th) and India (world ranked 5th) is set to be the first time these two sides have met in the T20 format. Their 12 previous encounters – all won by India – were in the one-day format of the game.

The ICC World T20 tournament schedule – Ireland

Group Stage

• 15 November: India v Ireland, Guyana (15:00 GMT)
• 17 November: New Zealand v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)

Finals

• 22 November: First semi-final, Antigua (20:00 GMT)
• 22 November: Second semi-final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 23 Nov)
• 24 November: Final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 25 Nov)

All matches will be broadcast – and will be on Sky Sports in Ireland / UK.

 


Pakistan overcome slow start to defeat Ireland at WT20

November 14th 2018 | International, Women

Pakistan overcome slow start to defeat Ireland at WT20

Mary Waldron attempts a stumping

Ireland Women’s cricket team have fallen to a second defeat at the Women’s World T20 tournament after a 38-run loss to Pakistan at the National Stadium in Guyana today.

Prior to play there was a special moment as captain Laura Delany presented a debut cap to Celeste Raack. The 24-year old Australian-born legspinner has only recently declared for Ireland and, after a season of Toyota Super 3’s cricket under her belt, decided her international destiny lay with the nation of her grandmother’s birthplace. Raack replaced Cecelia Joyce from the team that lost to Australia on Sunday.

Pakistan captain Javeria Khan won the toss and chose to bat first in hot and humid conditions. Early on the decision to bat first looked to backfire, with an early wicket and good tight bowling by Ireland’s attack held the Pakistan innings in check.

The first wicket of the innings fell to the experienced leg-spinner Ciara Metcalfe (1-16) who bowled with flight and turn, and conceded just six runs in her opening two overs. Replacing Metcalfe after her opening spell was the debutant Raack, who almost caused a sensation by taking a wicket with her first ball. The stumping chance was eventually turned down on review.

While the opening six overs belonged to the Irish bowlers, the next 13 belonged to Pakistan. Led by their skipper Javeria Khan (74* from 52 balls; 11 x fours) the Pakistan side dug their way out of trouble and posted a competitive total of 139-6. The final over, bowled by Lucy O’Reilly (3-19), produced three wickets as the Irish side went into the break with a challenging total to chase.

Requiring a solid start, Ireland lost stand-in opener Gaby Lewis for 2, however, replays showed that the Pakistan keeper Sidra Nawaz may have collected the ball before it had fully passed the wicket, meaning Lewis was potentially unlucky in her dismissal.

Clare Shillington decided to take the opposition on and compiled a promising 27 runs (25 balls; 5 x fours) until she played across the line and was bowled.

Isobel Joyce (30 runs from 31 balls; 4 x fours) then tried to take the senior batting role to steer the innings, but Ireland lost regular wickets and the run rate required grew until it became insurmountable for the lower order batters.

Ireland finished on 101-9, losing by 38 runs.

The squad now has a rest day before facing India on Thursday.

Scorecard in brief

World Women’s T20 Group Stage Match, Providence National Stadium, Guyana, 13 November 2018

Pakistan 139-6 (20 overs; J Khan 74*; L O’Reilly 3-19)
Ireland 101-9 (20 overs; I Joyce 30, C Shillington 27; N Sandhu 2-8)

Pakistan won by 38 runs

  >> Full scorecard here.

 


“The squad are in a very good headspace”, the role of sports psychology at the WT20

November 13th 2018 | International, Coaching, Women, Other

“The squad are in a very good headspace”, the role of sports psychology at the WT20

"Full credit to Head Coach Aaron Hamilton for his progressive mindset. He fully backs the sport psychology programme"

GEORGETOWN – As the Ireland Women’s cricket team begin their match day preparations for the all-important Group Stage clash with Pakistan today, Anne Marie Kennedy – the squad’s consultant sports psychologist – gave an insight into the squad’s mental preparations and how the players have benefitted from having access to her expertise in the lead up to one of their biggest games in recent memory.

“Since we got to Guyana I have been reiterating and reinforcing all the mental skills we have developed and have been working hard on over the past few months. To complement the psychological skills training, I have introduced mindfulness to the players not only as a performance enhancement tool but also to help them personally to regulate emotions, stay grounded and present,” said Kennedy.

“The application of mindfulness to athletes is scientifically proven to increase focus, attention regulation, clarity of thought, emotional control and the ability to stay in the present, all basic mental skills for any great athlete.”

“During our athletic mindfulness sessions the team get the ‘MVP Treatment’ - Meditation, Visualisation and Positive Self-Talk. After which each player is very focused on what they need to do and how they are going to do it. It’s a very empowering practice and one that they have taken on with great enthusiasm.”

Kennedy was keen to stress the squad had moved on from the first match against Australia.

“Overall, the squad are in a very good headspace - the collective mindset is very positive. We took a lot of confidence from our win against Sri Lanka and we are looking forward to the upcoming clash with Pakistan. We came out here wanting to compete and not just participate, and we are very satisfied that we are on track with our targets.”

“We know we have tough challenges ahead but we are committed to playing our own game, executing our own processes and putting in good performances.”

And asked what value a sports psychologist has brought to the squad?

“I’m biased of course but I think it’s vital that a sport psychologist is involved. Performance is not just technical and physical. If you are not working on your mental preparation you are neglecting a huge piece of the pie. You could be the most talented athlete in practice with the best technical skills and physical prowess but if you can’t regulate your emotions, manage distractions and setbacks, focus on the relevant cues and perform under pressure you will not be able to execute your skills to the best of your ability.”

“You cannot leave your mental skills to chance. Full credit to Head Coach Aaron Hamilton for his progressive mindset. He fully backs the sport psychology programme and has given me a lot very valuable contact time to develop our players. A lot of work done but still much more to do. It’s a very exciting time to be involved in Irish cricket.”

The clash between Ireland (world ranked 10th) and Pakistan (world ranked 7th) is set to be an evenly contested match. The sides haven’t met in the T20 arena since 2014, with Pakistan victorious in two of the last three matches between the sides, however the victory last Wednesday night over Sri Lanka showed that the Irish side won’t fear another spin-heavy team from the Asian region. Both sides have succumbed to Australia in the Group Stage so far, and will both be keen to register their first tournament victory.

The ICC World T20 tournament schedule – Ireland

Group Stage

• 13 November: Pakistan v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 15 November: India v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 17 November: New Zealand v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)

Finals

• 22 November: First semi-final, Antigua (20:00 GMT)
• 22 November: Second semi-final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 23 Nov)
• 24 November: Final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 25 Nov)

All matches will be broadcast – and will be on Sky Sports in Ireland / UK.

 


“Armageddon struck” - Harry Tector talks about life as a club cricketer in Sydney

November 13th 2018 | International, Coaching, Youth, Other

“Armageddon struck” - Harry Tector talks about life as a club cricketer in Sydney

Jason Krejza provides some advice for Harry on spin bowling

Harry Tector is currently playing club cricket for Randwick-Petersham Cricket Club in Sydney and overnight he was named in the Club’s “Team of the Round” after scoring a 92 in second grade. He recently spoke to us about his time in Australia so far.

“I am currently in my fifth week of a 10-week International Cricket Programme and I am absolutely loving my time here in Sydney. I am playing for Randwick Petersham through the Cricket Ireland Exchange Programme and everyone at the club has been so welcoming and helpful during my time here so far.”

“The season starting off poorly for me on a personal level but we managed to beat St George 2nd grade by 8 runs which was a great start for us. The following week I managed to score 118 against the University of NSW which was a relief more than anything as it settled my nerves about getting a big score and proving myself to my teammates. We managed to win the game by 100 or so runs.”

“My weeks are pretty busy with the programme as we have running sessions, physio and mobility training, one-on-ones, group training with the rest of the guys in the programme, as well as gym and recovery sessions. The sessions mainly take place on the grounds of UNSW, but also at the SCG which is fantastic.”

Harry Tector
Image: Harry undertaking a physio session


“The programme is split in half with 10 of us doing it full-time and nine others doing it part-time. It is predominantly made up of English County first and second team players so training is of a very good standard. It is run by Howard Grice who has been extremely beneficial for me so far in improving my game but we also work with Jason Krejza (former Australian off-spinner) and Grant Lambert (former NSW all-rounder), both of whom have helped me improve my batting and bowling with little tips and work ons.”

Harry subsequently scored 11 against North Sydney in a 50-over match (a match that had to be abandoned because: “Armageddon struck with the heaviest rain, thunder and lightning display I have ever seen”) and a 70 against Western Suburbs in a two-day game.

As well as second grade, he plays for the Poveidon Grey Under-21’s side at the club (“we have won 2 from 3 games against Sydney Uni, Sutherland and East’s, myself scoring 20 odd in all those games without kicking on to get a big score which was disappointing”), but says that Daniel Bell Drummond has just joined the mighty ‘Randy Petes’ so he’s looking forward to getting to know him and hopefully learn a thing or two from him as: “he is a serious player and a lovely guy also”.

Outside club cricket life in Sydney, Harry was recently selected by Cricket Ireland to attend the upcoming batting camp in Bangalore, which he says: “...will no doubt improve my game against spin. I’m also looking forward to seeing my Knights teammate and roomie James ‘Princer’ McCollum again on that trip which will be good!”

He was also recently named the Male Academy Player of the Year at the Cricket Ireland Awards.

“As I said in my video for the event, the Academy has really played a huge part in my development as a player since I was 13, when Craig Hogan and Ryan Eagleson started it up. Now with Pete Johnson at the helm, as well as Eagy and Ed Joyce, it continues to benefit me and many others hugely. A massive thanks has to go to Shapoorji Palonji for their continued support of young Irish cricketers and hopefully we will start to see the fruits of their labour on show for Ireland, Men and Women, now and in the years to come.”

And what of life in Sydney outside of cricket?

“Aside from cricket I have been taking in all Sydney has to offer and have grown fond of the Coogee Bay Hotel and Pavilion when time allows - as well as spending as much time at the beach as possible!”

“I would just like to wish the Laura and everyone on the Irish Women’s Cricket Team the very best of luck in the T20 World Cup. I have no doubt they will do our small island proud.”

Tamarama Beach
Image: Tamarama Beach in Sydney

 


Delany refocuses squad on clash with Pakistan on Tuesday

November 12th 2018 | International, Women

Delany refocuses squad on clash with Pakistan on Tuesday

The squad trained today at the National Stadium ahead of the Pakistan encounter

GEORGETOWN – Ireland Women’s captain Laura Delany was keen for her side to take on the learnings of their match against Australia and refocus on the next challenge against Pakistan in Guyana on Tuesday.

The squad were back at the National Stadium in Georgetown training this afternoon training beneath overcast, humid skies.

“Yesterday evening was quite a tough game for us. Going into our match we’d obviously watched the earlier games in the Group and could tell it was going to be a tough wicket to bat on. So we batted first, but didn’t put enough runs on the board and made it quite difficult for our bowlers to defend,” said Delany.

“In T20s plans change quite quickly, and last evening was probably a prime example of that. As a bowling unit we’d spoken before the game - and had done a lot of homework on the batters - but when we got out there we bowled slightly wider or a different length to what we’d said. So from my perspective it became about mixing it up with the bowlers and changing the fields to defend any way that we could.”

“Today is ‘technically’ a rest day - but not really. We had monitoring this morning, have a training session this afternoon, and a team meeting this evening. So not a huge amount of time to rest, but we are going to reset and refocus at training today.”

“This is one of the biggest tournaments you can play at in women’s cricket and there is a great standard of cricket being played. Pakistan tomorrow is certainly our biggest game in the Group Stage and we’re itching to move on from the last game and get into it.”

The clash between Ireland (world ranked 10th) and Pakistan (world ranked 7th) is set to be an evenly contested match. The sides haven’t met in the T20 arena since 2014, with Pakistan victorious in two of the last three matches between the sides, however the victory last Wednesday night over Sri Lanka showed that the Irish side won’t fear another spin-heavy team from the Asian region. Both sides have succumbed to Australia in the Group Stage so far, and will both be keen to register their first tournament victory.

The ICC World T20 tournament schedule – Ireland (upcoming matches)

Group Stage

• 13 November: Pakistan v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 15 November: India v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 17 November: New Zealand v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)

Finals

• 22 November: First semi-final, Antigua (20:00 GMT)
• 22 November: Second semi-final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 23 Nov)
• 24 November: Final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 25 Nov)

All matches will be broadcast – and will be on Sky Sports in Ireland / UK.

 


Ireland come up against an in-form Australia

November 12th 2018 | International

Ireland come up against an in-form Australia

Clare Shillington hit three boundaries in the opening overs

Ireland Women’s team gave a good showing but were beaten well by an in-form, full strength Australian team tonight in Georgetown, Guyana.

Pre-game Ireland gathered in a team huddle to award Kim Garth her 100th cap - a milestone that began with her international debut in 2010 against New Zealand.

After warm-ups were complated Captain Laura Delany won the toss and chose to bat. Ireland looked towards a confident start and a 30-run opening stand between Clare Shillington (19 runs from 18 balls; 3 x fours) and Cecelia Joyce (10 runs from 27 balls; 1 x four) gave the innings a platform to launch from.

However, the combination of a direct hit run out of Joyce, combined with some tight middle overs bowling by the world’s number one team, took a cluster of wickets and slowed the Irish scoring rate, and when Kim Garth came to the crease to join her captain, Ireland was 46-5 after 13 overs.

Delany and Garth took the initiative though, and put on a 41-run partnership to give the total a boost. Garth’s innings of 24 runs (26 balls; 2 x fours) was ended on the third last ball of the innings, and Delany (14 runs from 20 balls; 1 x four) and Shauna Kavanagh (6 runs from 2 balls; 1 x four) finished the innings unbeaten with the team total on 93-6 from 20 overs.

As Delany said in the post-match captain’s interview, Ireland felt that 120-130 was a par score and a total they could defend, so the challenge for the bowlers was immense.

Australia then took control of their innings with a 71-run opening stand - bolstered by the in-form Alyssa Healy whose 56* from 31 balls included the record of the fastest half-century in World T20 history.

Garth was rewarded for her all-round efforts on the night with the wicket of Beth Mooney but Australia passed the required total in the 10th over and claimed a nine-wicket win.

Kim Garth, speaking at a press conference after the match, said:

“Obviously, it was a tough day at the office for us, we were really excited about it coming into the game, off the back of a big win against Sri Lanka and we felt that we could cause a few upsets, but we’re pretty disappointed with this evening’s performance. It was tricky against Australia, but we’re just going to have to park it and move on to Pakistan on Tuesday.”

“The wicket was slow, but we talked about our percentage of scoring shots and - when you lose a cluster of wickets - to just concentrate on getting down the other end and turning the strike over. We managed to do that better at the back of the innings, but once we got stuck in the middle we found it hard to get out of that rut. It is something we need to learn from going forward.”

“Bowling, we did a lot of planning and a lot of individual plans for particular batters, but we just didn’t execute those plans very well. We were happy with the start we had with the bat, we were 27-1 I think after the Powerplay, but then we lost a few wickets in a cluster which put us back.”

“It is so exciting to be here, and we’re looking at the expansion of the Women’s Championship to 10 teams - we have to concentrate ensuring we’re in that top 10 in two years.”

Scorecard in brief

World Women’s T20 Group Stage Match, Providence National Stadium, Guyana, 11 November 2018

Ireland 93-6 (20 overs; K Garth 24, C Shillington 19, L Delany 14; E Perry 2-12)
Australia 94-1 (9.3 overs; A Healy 56*; K Garth 1-17)

Australia won by 9 wickets

>> Full scorecard here

 

 


Cricket Ireland signs first multi-year media rights deal

November 11th 2018 | International

Cricket Ireland signs first multi-year media rights deal

Warren Deutrom and Mr Md. Moinul Haque Chowdury from TSM

Cricket Ireland has signed its first multi-year media rights deal that will see broadcast rights for its four-year programme of international men’s cricket shown around the world.

The deal, signed with Total Sports Marketing (TSM), covers men’s home fixtures in the current ICC Future Tours Programme between 2019 to 2022, and will ensure coverage of Irish men’s international cricket in many of the world’s key cricket markets.

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:

“This is an exciting time for Irish cricket fans around the world as it will be putting Irish cricket on the world stage and engaging many millions of cricket fans. This deal is yet another signal that Irish cricket is rapidly growing in stature and profile around the world, and that the quality and quantity of matches coming up over the next four years will attract significant global interest.”

“This is the first time that Cricket Ireland is engaging directly with the broadcast rights market and is another welcome development arising from our elevation to Full Member status of the ICC, and entry into the future tours programme. One of our priority objectives now is to work with TSM and our broadcast advisers Pitch International to ensure that, alongside our worldwide footprint, we also have visibility in our key domestic markets of Ireland and the UK, not just on TV, but also radio and online. We also express our gratitude to Pitch for helping us negotiate our first significant deal in this space.”

“The deal provides an element of financial stability for Cricket Ireland by allowing us to enter into multi-year budgeting processes. This, in turn, means we can – with more certainty - invest back into talent development and support the game at domestic and grass-roots levels.”

Mr. Md Moinul Haque Chowdury, CEO & Proprietor of TSM, said:

“We are extremely proud to associate ourselves with Cricket Ireland. Cricket Ireland and TSM’s values are closely aligned to develop and grow the sport of cricket across the globe. We look forward to working closely with Cricket Ireland to create an innovative and exciting cricket experience for the fans and stakeholders, and help take the Cricket Ireland brand to a bigger global audience.”

 


Jack Tector to return to Dublin after match injury

November 10th 2018 | International

Jack Tector will return home to Dublin immediately after sustaining a knee injury while playing club cricket in South Africa.

Tector, 22, recently travelled to spend two months training with former Irish Coach Adi Birrell and playing for Old Grey Cricket Club, as part of the Ed Joyce Scholarship Programme.

The extent of his injury will be assessed on return to Dublin by Mark Rausa, Head of Physiotherapy and Medical Services at Cricket Ireland.

 

 


Ireland Women’s Energy Boost ahead of World T20 opener

November 9th 2018 | International, Women

Ireland Women’s Energy Boost ahead of World T20 opener

Hanley Energy sign sponsorship extension for two more years

The Ireland Women’s cricket team have received welcome news that their major sponsor, Hanley Energy, has agreed to extend its sponsorship of the national team for a further two years.

On the cusp of their first Group Stage match at the ICC Women’s World T20 tournament, the news provides a vote of confidence about the future of women’s cricket in Ireland, and is reward for the hard work, success and dedication of the squad over many years.

Clive Gilmore, CEO of Hanley Energy, said:

“We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Irish Women’s International cricket team for the third year running. Hanley Energy wishes this talented squad every well-deserved success in the forthcoming T20 World Cup.”

Dennis Cousins, Commercial Director of Cricket Ireland, said:

“We’re always delighted when a long-term sponsor signs an extension. It gives a real sense that they believe in the team, that they see a positive future and that each party’s values are aligned.”

“Hanley Energy is a progressive thinking company, and obviously with the upswing of interest and engagement with women’s sport in Ireland, this is a great time to be involved.”

“It is the support of generous sponsors like Hanley Energy that has allowed us to increase our investment in the national team and its support structures. If we are to grow the game here in Ireland, we need a solid base of sponsor support, and for this reason the news should provide a boost to all within the game.”

The ICC World T20 tournament schedule – Ireland

Group Stage

• 11 November: Australia v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 13 November: Pakistan v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 15 November: India v Ireland, Guyana (15:00 GMT)
• 17 November: New Zealand v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)

Finals

• 22 November: First semi-final, Antigua (20:00 GMT)
• 22 November: Second semi-final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 23 Nov)
• 24 November: Final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 25 Nov)

All matches will be broadcast on Sky Sports in Ireland / UK.

 


Delany and Hamilton look ahead to start of World T20s

November 9th 2018 | International, Women

Delany and Hamilton look ahead to start of World T20s

Captain Laura Delany says the team is in great spirits

The captain of the Ireland Women’s cricket team, Laura Delany, said her squad was buoyed by the victory in the warm-up match against Sri Lanka on Wednesday night, however minds are firmly fixed on Sunday’s first Group Stage match against the world’s top-ranked side, Australia.

“The win against Sri Lanka could not have come at a better time for us. To finish our warm-up games with such a convincing win against the team ranked 7th in the world - three spots ahead of us - has instilled a lot of confidence in the group. We performed with both the bat and bowl which has been one of our biggest challenges so far. As a group we have never beaten Sri Lanka, so this in itself is a huge accomplishment for the team. It was a team performance in which everyone contributed, however Clare Shillington really stood out with the bat.”

“We now head into our group games, neither group has any easy game. We hope to take the confidence from our last warm-up game into our first match against Australia, however we know come Sunday that we have to reset and work just as hard as we did last Wednesday. We have our final training session tomorrow, and whilst the team are in great spirits, we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves as we have some very tough games ahead. We have our own targets set for each game and all I can ask is that every player plays with the freedom and confidence previously displayed.”

Aaron Hamilton, National Women’s Head Coach and Performance Pathway Manager, provided an insight into the planning for the tournament:

“For the squad, the preparation and planning has stopped, and now our focus is fully on Australia. While the management team have assessed, and developed strategies for each Group Stage opponent.”

“The two warm-up games gave us great opportunities to acclimatise in match conditions – and the Sri Lanka result showed we are beginning to bring together all elements of our game. Now it is all about executing those team and individual plans.”

“T20 cricket is a funny game. To the onlooker it seems short and sharp, not as tactical as longer forms of the game. But this can’t be further from the truth. All that changes from longer forms of the game is that the decision-making is accelerated and you have to be ready to adapt quickly.”

“And when it comes to big tournaments against big teams, it is all about not being overwhelmed by the occasion and focussing on executing our processes.”

“We’re not naïve about the scale of the challenge ahead, but we have to go into these games with the self-belief they we belong here on the world stage and play to the best of our abilities.”

The ICC World T20 tournament schedule - Ireland

Group Stage

• 11 November: Australia v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 13 November: Pakistan v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 15 November: India v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 17 November: New Zealand v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)

Finals

• 22 November: First semi-final, Antigua (20:00 GMT)
• 22 November: Second semi-final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 23 Nov)
• 24 November: Final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 25 Nov)

All matches will be broadcast on Sky Sports in Ireland / UK.

 


Board confirms review of Inter-Provincial Series ahead of 2019 and other Board Meeting outcomes

November 9th 2018 | International

Board confirms review of Inter-Provincial Series ahead of 2019 and other Board Meeting outcomes

The Inter-Provincial Series will be reviewed ahead of 2019

The Board of Cricket Ireland has called for an immediate review of the Inter-Provincial Series to consider the current structure and whether improvements can be made ahead of the 2019 season, at its recent Board Meeting held at Ballymascanlon House Hotel on 7 November 2018.

The Board began by voicing its heartfelt support for the Ireland Women’s team, which is set to start its World T20 campaign on Sunday. The Board acknowledged the intensive preparation programme that had been developed by Head Coach Aaron Hamilton and his support staff.

The Board also acknowledged the recent retirements of Niall O’Brien and John Anderson, registering their appreciation for the significant commitment and contributions both players have made to Irish cricket.

Inter-Provincial Series review

The Board then discussed the Inter-Provincial competition, and supported a proposal for the Inter-Provincial Structure Working Group to convene in order to undertake a review of all aspects of the competition. The Board directed that recommendations, which should include input from Provincial Unions and the Irish Cricketers Association, having been considered by the Cricket and High Performance Committees, should be brought forward to its December meeting on how the competition can be made stronger, and better ensure there is a pipeline of talent feeding into the international system.

Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland Performance Director, said:

“The Board endorsed the recommendation to begin an immediate review and ensure the competition adapts to our changing circumstances. Much has changed since the revival of the Inter-Pros in 2013, most notably the granting of first class status, the achievement of full membership, the introduction of our first Inter-Pro contracts, and, perhaps most significantly, the door all-but-closing on the English County system as a development/finishing school for Irish players.”

“All major cricket nations have strong, competitive domestic first-class systems that feed talent into their senior international team. While the Inter-Pros has shown the potential, time is against us given the age-profile of our senior squad and the disappearance of the County pathway, so there is consensus that we need to further increase the standard and professionalism of the competition. The competition is where our best young players need to be gaining regular, competitive cricket experience.”

“The Working Group will examine ways in which we can ensure the competition is facilitating best v best, and make recommendations around the volume of matches played and whether or not a fourth team may be required in the 50-over and 3-day cricket competitions. While there was some speculation within cricket circles that there was a proposal to reduce Munster Reds involvement in the IP20s, the Board made it clear that this was not envisaged, however it would await the outcome of the Working Group review before any definitive decisions were made.”

High Performance cricket programme

The Board also received a presentation from Andrew White (Chairman of National Men’s Selectors) and Graham Ford (National Men’s Head Coach) on season 2018 and the next four year selection and succession strategy for the senior men’s team, up to and including the 2022 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. The presentation addressed central contracts, selection policy, succession planning and the need to invest further in facilities and the talent pathway. The Board noted that 19 central contracts for 2019 will be offered by the end of November, and the Ireland Wolves squad to Sri Lanka in late December will be announced by the end of November.

2019 International fixtures

The Board received a proposal for approval for the venue allocation of men’s international matches in 2019. An announcement will be made in due course about match allocations following further consultation with prospective venues. The Board also noted that an announcement was imminent about broadcast arrangements and media rights for various men’s internationals and acknowledged management’s work on delivering these key outcomes.

The Commercial Director updated the Board on ticketing timeframes for the England ODI, noting that that tickets will go on sale by the end of November. Details will be announced shortly.

Development and Participation Programme

The Board received an update on the review of cricket development and, in particular, the recent high-profile issues around proposed transference of operational responsibility for delivering strategic objectives around grass-roots/schools from Cricket Ireland to the Provincial Unions. The Board noted the current consultation process underway with those employees potentially impacted by the proposals, and re-stated Cricket Ireland’s commitment to ongoing funding of this area via the Unions.

Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland CEO said: “The Board acknowledged the difficulties inherent in this process, in particular trying to deal fairly, respectfully and – given the employer-employee relationship – confidentially, with some much-respected employees. This process has only ever been about implementing our strategic plan goal to ensure that responsibility for grass-roots activity should reside with the organisations that engage at this level on a daily basis, and that we continue to fund the Unions to do this. We shall continue the consultation process with our employees and reach a conclusion at the appropriate time.” 

Governance updates

The Board was also updated on the new Governance Sub-Committee (GovCom). Ross McCollum, Chair of Cricket Ireland, said:

“The purpose behind forming GovCom is in the inherent interest of good governance. While Cricket Ireland is already regarded as a leader in governance within Irish sport, our continued journey to compliance with the Sport Ireland-endorsed Governance Code demands that we maintain the issue of the Board’s operational effectiveness under frequent review.”

“GovCom will review the Board’s terms of reference, Membership of the Board and its sub-committees, and Cricket Ireland’s ongoing adherence to the Governance code’s recommended practices.”

The Board endorsed the initial membership of GovCom as: Anne Nolan (Chair), Alan Waite, Joe Doherty, Frank Sowman, Murray Power and an independent governance expert that will be nominated following consultation with Sport NI and Sport Ireland.

 


Ireland Women’s cricket team complete warm-up for World T20 with convincing win over Sri Lanka

November 7th 2018 | International, Women

Ireland Women’s cricket team complete warm-up for World T20 with convincing win over Sri Lanka

ANTIGUA - Ireland Women have completed their warm-up matches for the ICC Women’s World T20 with a convincing victory over Sri Lanka Women.

After winning the toss, Captain Laura Delany chose to bowl first. Sri Lanka started well, making their way to 40-1 from 7 overs.

However, a wicket by Isobel Joyce with the first ball of the eighth over sparked a collapse, as the Irish bowlers ran through their opposition claiming nine wickets for just 45 runs over the next 11.1 overs.

Celeste Raack, the Australian-born legspinner playing on her second match for Ireland, claimed two wickets, while Lara Maritz - the Toyota Super 3’s Player of the Year - came on late and claimed 3-1 from her eight balls.

With just 86 runs the target, Ireland lost opener Cecelia Joyce early, but Clare Shillington and Gaby Lewis steadied the innings with a 43-run stand from just under six overs.

Shillington, the Player of the Tournament at the World T20 Qualifier tournament in July, batted assertively hitting seven boundaries in an innings of 50*. Her partnership of 41* with Delany (15*) saw the Girls in Green home, chasing the target in just 13.2 overs.

  • Full scorecard available here.

Aaron Hamilton’s side returns to Guyana tomorrow to prepare for the first Group Stage match against Australia on Sunday.

You can find out more about the Women’s World T20 tournament here.

 

SUMMARY SCORECARD

Sri Lanka v Ireland, World T20 Warm-Up match, Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua, 7 November 2018

  Sri Lanka 85 (18.2 overs; H Madushika 31; L Maritz 3-1, C Raack 2-16)
  Ireland 86-2 (13.2 overs; C Shillington 50*, L Delany 15*; U Prabodani 1-8)

Ireland Women won by 8 wickets

 

The ICC World T20 tournament schedule - Ireland

Group Stage
• 11 November: Australia v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 13 November: Pakistan v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 15 November: India v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
• 17 November: New Zealand v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)

Finals
• 22 November: First semi-final, Antigua (20:00 GMT)
• 22 November: Second semi-final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 23 Nov)
• 24 November: Final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 25 Nov)

All matches will be broadcast on Sky Sports in Ireland/UK.

 


Ireland Women make ‘Cricket for Good’ visit to Antiguan school

November 7th 2018 | International, Women

Ireland Women make ‘Cricket for Good’ visit to Antiguan school

The Ireland Women’s team have paid a visit to the Christ the King High School in Antigua as part of the ICC ‘Cricket for Good’ initiative that aims to inspire the younger generation and encourage them to take to the sport.

The ICC, in conjunction with Cricket West Indies, is delivering a school/community engagement programme to educate kids about the event and give them the unique opportunity to meet past and current international cricketers.

The Irish squad spent a couple of hours meeting with the students and learning more about local culture, while providing the kids a sense of excitement at meeting the on-field stars.

CSR visit

 

The squad play their second warm-up match against Sri Lanka tonight, then head back to Guyana to start the Group Stage matches on Sunday.

The Group Stage schedule is as follows:


SUNDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2018
  • Australia Women v Ireland Women
  • Match starts 8pm (GMT)
  • Sky Sports Mix (19:30), Sky Sports Cricket (19:30)

TUESDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2018
  • Pakistan Women v Ireland Women
  • Match starts 8pm (GMT)
  • Sky Sports Cricket (19:30), Sky Sports Mix (19:30), Sky Sports Main Event (19:30)

THURSDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2018
  • India Women v Ireland Women
  • Match starts 3pm (GMT)
  • Sky Sports Cricket (14:30), Sky Sports Mix (14:30), Sky Sports Main Event (15:00)

SATURDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2018
  • New Zealand Women v Ireland Women
  • Match starts 8pm (GMT)
  • Sky Sports Mix (19:30), Sky Sports Cricket (19:30)

 

 

 

 


Jacob Mulder released from contract by mutual-consent, plans on return to Australia

November 7th 2018 | International

Cricket Ireland has confirmed that the Australian-born Jacob Mulder has been released from his central contract by mutual consent, in order to pursue other opportunities back in his homeland.

The 23-year old, who was born in Perth, Western Australia, made his international debut for Ireland in 2016 and appeared 14 times for the national side. His last match was against Netherlands in August 2017. The legspinner claimed 22 international wickets at an average of 23.86, with best bowling performance of 4-16 against Scotland in the semi-final of the Desert T20 Challenge at Dubai in 2017.

Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director at Cricket Ireland, said:

“Jacob has a skill set and talent which is greatly needed in the Ireland set up. The decision to amicably end Jacob’s contract early allows him to move back to Australia for the remainder of the winter. The door is still open for him to regain a contract in the future, but in the meantime we wish Jacob well for his immediate future, and hope that we see him back pushing for a place in the Northern Knights next season.”

 


Garth’s all-round form on display during warm-up

November 4th 2018 | International, Women

Garth’s all-round form on display during warm-up

Kim Garth on her way to 34

A tough warm-up game against an experienced Bangladesh outfit on the surface, but Ireland Women will take away a number of positives and be able to take some areas of improvement into the next warm-up match.

The undoubted stand-out performer of the match was Kim Garth. The 22-year old all-rounder hit 34 runs from 35 balls in a critical rearguard innings with the bat, then claimed 3-4 from two overs.

A brief spark of batting positivity at the top of the order from 17-year old Gaby Lewis (15 runs from 13 balls; two fours) gave Ireland another peek at the potential of the batting side.

These two performances possibly underlined why Wisden Magazine recently rated Garth and Lewis in their top 25 world’s best young women cricketers.

The warm-up match also gave Head Coach Aaron Hamilton a chance to provide eight bowlers with some acclimatising match experience, which will be crucial at this ground as this will be the venue for all four of Ireland’s group stage matches.

  • Full scorecard available here.

Hamilton’s side will have a few days to regroup before they return to action against Sri Lanka Women in their second warm-up match on Wednesday.

You can find out more about the Women’s World T20 tournament here.

 


Murtagh, Delany take out top player awards at 2018 Turkish Airlines Cricket Ireland Awards

November 3rd 2018 |

Murtagh, Delany take out top player awards at 2018 Turkish Airlines Cricket Ireland Awards

Tim Murtagh and Laura Delany take out the top international player of the year awards

Tim Murtagh and Laura Delany have been awarded the International Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year, respectively, at the 7th Annual Turkish Airlines Cricket Ireland Awards – with Waringstown Cricket Club capping off a trophy-laden year being named Tildenet Club of the Year.

In front of a packed house of 120 invited guests, journalists and sponsors, the event MC Rob Hartnett (Sport for Business) led the ceremony with 19 Awards given out on Irish cricket’s night of nights.

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said in his opening speech:

“Tonight we reflect on one of Irish cricket’s biggest years – it has been one of great achievement. Most people would probably mark this down as a very good year in our sport. Just consider these highlights alone: the hosting of our inaugural men’s Test match, our senior women’s team qualifying for the World T20, the staging of two sell-out T20 Internationals against India, hosting the ICC conference for the first time, opening our new high performance centre at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus, welcoming our first female President and securing over one hundred men’s international fixtures over the next four years.”

“For fans of Irish cricket, these are exciting times – more games, greater exposure for our international and domestic structures, and the emergence of new and exciting young talent.”


With a nod to the recently launched 20x20 campaign that aims to raise the profile of, and participation in, women’s sport, Deutrom said:

“My hope is that not too far in the future that talk of ‘the senior squad’ or ‘the World Cup’ is not automatically assumed to be about men. One of my personal highlights of the year was our women qualifying for the World T20 - which was another demonstration of the huge talent among our female cricketers. Neither was it a surprise to see Kim Garth and Gaby Lewis rated by Wisden as among the top 25 young women players in world cricket.”

“I have spent more time this year with the women’s squad – in Zimbabwe, in Amsterdam, and in meeting rooms – and I can’t help but be reminded of the same hunger and determination of our men’s squad a decade ago. Of a group of amateur cricketers playing for all the world like professionals, players making personal sacrifices to play for their country; players desperate to prove they belong on the world stage.”

“The cricket world is growing up in its recognition of women’s cricket, and it’s a responsibility we share. Gradually we are seeing more female leaders in Irish cricket – as President, on our Board and in Executive positions in the national governing body and provincial unions. We need more women and girls in our sport, watching our sport and running our sport. It’s a challenge we have to rise to – not because of some politically-correct token gesture, but because it’s the right thing to do.”

Warren Deutrom


The event, hosted at the historic Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in Dublin, saw nineteen awards handed out.

Test Triangle Male Youth International Player of the Year
• Winner: Tim Tector

Devenish Nutrition Female Youth International Player of the Year
• Winner: Leah Paul

Cricketshop.ie Groundsman of the Year
• Winner: Philip McCormick

Oasis Volunteer of the Year
• Winner: Harry Rutherford, Bready Cricket Club

Shapoorji Pallonji Male Academy Player of the Year
• Winner: Harry Tector

Shapoorji Pallonji Female Academy Player of the Year
• Winner: Rebecca Stokell

Frontline Security Official of the Year
• Winner: Mary Waldron

Toyota Super 3s Player of the Year
• Winner: Lara Maritz

O’Neills Male Club Player of the Year
• Winner: John Anderson

O’Neills Female Club Player of the Year
• Winner: Isobel Joyce

Tildenet Club of the Year
• Winner: Waringstown CC

Emerging Club of the Year
• Winner: Adamstown CC

Hanley Energy Men’s Inter-Provincial Player of the Year
• Winner: George Dockrell

Sunday Independent Aengus Fanning International Emerging Player of the Year
• Winner: Una Raymond-Hoey

Hanley Energy Women’s International Player of the Year
• Winner: Laura Delany

Turkish Airlines Men’s International Player of the Year
• Winner: Tim Murtagh

The evening also saw a number of Special Awards given to:

Outstanding Contribution and Service to Irish Cricket, in honour of John Wright
• Winner: Dr Murray Power

Clear Currency Contribution to Irish Coaching
• Winner: Stephen Dyer

Cricket Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame Award
• Winner: Garfield Harrison


Award Winners 2018

 


Adamstown Cricket Club to be recognised with Special Award on Friday

November 1st 2018 | International

Adamstown Cricket Club to be recognised with Special Award on Friday

Members of Adamstown Cricket Club, Irish internationals Simi Singh and Peter Chase at Adamstown Castle school visit

Adamstown Cricket Club, located in west Dublin, will be recognised with a special Emerging Club of the Year award at the 2018 Turkish Airlines Cricket Ireland Awards on Friday 2 November 2018.

Formally founded in 2009, Adamstown Cricket Club is leading the way in developing and growing the sport of cricket in their local community.

Elaine Nolan, Participation Director for Cricket Ireland, said:

“The nomination for Adamstown was a ringing endorsement of the commitment and achievement of the many volunteers associated with the Club over the last nine years. On the pitch, their teams are competing well in the Cricket Leinster competitions, but it is off the field that the Club is truly making their mark.”

“In terms of player and member size, the Club is one of the largest in Ireland, and put out six teams in open competitions this year, six teams in Cricket Leinster’s youth leagues, and a Girls Minor team.”

“A major achievement this year was also the opening of a new indoor hall with cricket training facilities in the Adamstown community, which was attended by Irish internationals Kevin O’Brien and Isobel Joyce.”

“The Club also states that it is very much at the start of a long-term journey and seeks to establish itself as one of the leading clubs on this island.”

“The entire team running the Club should be very proud of their work and we are delighted to be able to recognise their contribution to cricket in Ireland.”

The Cricket Ireland Awards will be held on Friday 2 November 2018. Photos from the evening and real-time updates will be posted on the Cricket Ireland Twitter account on the day.

The full nominees list for Awards is as follows:

Test Triangle Male Youth International Player of the Year
  *  Neil Rock
  *  Harry Tector
  *  Tim Tector

Devenish Nutrition Female Youth International Player of the Year
  *  Aisling Byrne
  *  Louise Little
  *  Leah Paul

Cricketshop.ie Groundsman of the Year
  *  Philip McCormick
  *  Dale McDonough
  *  Noel McGinnis

Oasis Volunteer of the Year
  *  The Clinton Family, The Hills Cricket Club Leinster
  *  Harry Rutherford, Bready Cricket Club North West
  *  Chris Thomas, Limerick Cricket Club Munster

Shapoorji Pallonji Male Academy Player of the Year
  *  Tyrone Kane
  *  James McCollum
  *  Harry Tector

Shapoorji Pallonji Female Academy Player of the Year
  *  Cara Murray
  *  Lara Maritz
  *  Rebecca Stokell

Frontline Security Official of the Year
  *  Gary Blair
  *  Mary McElwee
  *  Mary Waldron

Toyota Super 3s Player of the Year
  *  Cecelia Joyce
  *  Isobel Joyce
  *  Lara Maritz

O’Neills Male Club Player of the Year
  *  John Anderson
  *  Adam Dennison
  *  Murtaza Sidiqi

O’Neills Female Club Player of the Year
  *  Mollie Devine
  *  Isobel Joyce
  *  Nicky Niblock

Tildenet Club of the Year
  *  Bready CC
  *  Templepatrick CC
  *  Waringstown CC

Hanley Energy Men’s Inter-Provincial Player of the Year
  *  Andrew Balbirnie
  *  George Dockrell
  *  William Porterfield

Sunday Independent Aengus Fanning International Emerging Player of the Year
  *  Josh Little
  *  Una Raymond-Hoey
  *  Rebecca Stokell

Hanley Energy Women’s International Player of the Year
  *  Laura Delany
  *  Cecelia Joyce
  *  Gaby Lewis

Turkish Airlines Men’s International Player of the Year
  *  Tim Murtagh
  *  Boyd Rankin
  *  Paul Stirling

The evening will also see a number of Special Awards given to:

  *  Outstanding Contribution and Service to Irish Cricket, in honour of John Wright
  *  Clear Currency Contribution to Irish Coaching
  *  Cricket Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame Award


Dr Murray Power to be honoured at Cricket Ireland Awards

October 31st 2018 | International

Dr Murray Power to be honoured at Cricket Ireland Awards

Dr Murray Power to be honoured at Cricket Ireland Awards

Dr Murray Power will be recognised with a Special Award - Outstanding Contribution and Service to Irish Cricket, in honour of John Wright - at the 2018 Turkish Airlines Cricket Ireland Awards on Friday 2 November 2018.

Aideen Rice, President of Cricket Ireland, said:

“Dr Murray Power has for many years now made an outstanding contribution to Irish Cricket, and particularly to cricket in Northern Ireland.”

“A former Chairman of the Irish Cricket Union and former President of Cricket Ireland, Murray serves with distinction as the Cricket Ireland Company Secretary, a member of the Finance Committee as well as helping to guide the transition of disciplinary procedures in the sport. He also led the successful process that saw the old Irish Cricket Union’s incorporation process to become a limited company.”

“But for many, it is his tireless and long-term commitment to the game at a grass-roots level that is most noteworthy.”

“Murray leads on the organisation of the Schools Committee to deliver the Schools’ competitions programme for all age categories annually across Northern Irish schools. He also leads on the delivery and organisation of the annual Schools tour which sees him arrange travel, accommodation and opposition as well as lead on the organisation of the selection process.”

“In addition, he commits much of his time to Ulster and Irish Universities cricket throughout the year with an important role in supporting the organisation of the Irish Universities indoor and outdoor annual competitions. His drive to ensure these competitions continue to be delivered throughout Ireland ensures that a valuable part of the cricket participation structures remains integral to the life of university students.”

“Within the Northern Cricket Union, Murray is the registered Company Secretary, and similar to his work at Cricket Ireland-level, he played an instrumental role in the Union’s incorporation process to become a limited company as well as the Union securing Charitable Status which sees many benefits for the Union’s operations now too. His governance expertise has meant he has been a valuable volunteer when it comes to ensuring compliance with legislation for company law as well as charity law.”

“If that wasn’t enough, Murray can regularly be seen officiating at many cricket matches throughout the season as a scorer for provincial school and club events, Provincial events as well as international matches, when required.”

“Murray’s contribution continues to grow and his passion for cricket is clearly still evident even after so many years involved in the game and we are delighted to be able to recognise this on Friday.”

The Cricket Ireland Awards will be held on Friday 2 November 2018. Photos from the evening and real-time updates will be posted on the Cricket Ireland Twitter account on the day.

The full nominees list for Awards is as follows:

Test Triangle Male Youth International Player of the Year
  *  Neil Rock
  *  Harry Tector
  *  Tim Tector

Devenish Nutrition Female Youth International Player of the Year
  *  Aisling Byrne
  *  Louise Little
  *  Leah Paul

Cricketshop.ie Groundsman of the Year
  *  Philip McCormick
  *  Dale McDonough
  *  Noel McGinnis

Oasis Volunteer of the Year
  *  The Clinton Family, The Hills Cricket Club Leinster
  *  Harry Rutherford, Bready Cricket Club North West
  *  Chris Thomas, Limerick Cricket Club Munster

Shapoorji Pallonji Male Academy Player of the Year
  *  Tyrone Kane
  *  James McCollum
  *  Harry Tector

Shapoorji Pallonji Female Academy Player of the Year
  *  Cara Murray
  *  Lara Maritz
  *  Rebecca Stokell

Frontline Security Official of the Year
  *  Gary Blair
  *  Mary McElwee
  *  Mary Waldron

Toyota Super 3s Player of the Year
  *  Ceclia Joyce
  *  Isobel Joyce
  *  Lara Maritz
O’Neills Male Club Player of the Year
  *  John Anderson
  *  Adam Dennison
  *  Murtaza Sidiqi

O’Neills Female Club Player of the Year
  *  Mollie Devine
  *  Isobel Joyce
  *  Nicky Niblock

Tildenet Club of the Year
  *  Bready CC
  *  Templepatrick CC
  *  Waringstown CC

Hanley Energy Men’s Inter-Provincial Player of the Year
  *  Andrew Balbirnie
  *  George Dockrell
  *  William Porterfield

Sunday Independent Aengus Fanning International Emerging Player of the Year
  *  Josh Little
  *  Una Raymond-Hoey
  *  Rebecca Stokell

Hanley Energy Women’s International Player of the Year
  *  Laura Delany
  *  Cecelia Joyce
  *  Gaby Lewis

Turkish Airlines Men’s International Player of the Year
  *  Tim Murtagh
  *  Boyd Rankin
  *  Paul Stirling

The evening will also see a number of Special Awards given to:
  *  Clear Currency Contribution to Irish Coaching
  *  Tildenet Emerging Club of the Year
  *  Cricket Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame Award


Nominees for 2018 Cricket Ireland Awards revealed

October 29th 2018 | International

Nominees for 2018 Cricket Ireland Awards revealed

The nominees have been revealed

The Turkish Airlines Cricket Ireland Awards 2018 will be held on 2 November 2018 - we reveal the names shortlisted for each award below.

Test Triangle Male Youth International Player of the Year

  *  Neil Rock
  *  Harry Tector
  *  Tim Tector


Devenish Nutrition Female Youth International Player of the Year

  *  Aisling Byrne
  *  Louise Little
  *  Leah Paul


Cricketshop.ie Groundsman of the Year

  *  Philip McCormick
  *  Dale McDonough
  *  Noel McGinnis


Oasis Volunteer of the Year

  *  The Clinton Family, The Hills Cricket Club Leinster
  *  Harry Rutherford, Bready Cricket Club North West
  *  Chris Thomas, Limerick Cricket Club Munster


Shapoorji Pallonji Male Academy Player of the Year

  *  Tyrone Kane
  *  James McCollum
  *  Harry Tector


Shapoorji Pallonji Female Academy Player of the Year

  *  Cara Murray
  *  Lara Maritz
  *  Rebecca Stokell


Frontline Security Official of the Year

  *  Gary Blair
  *  Mary McElwee
  *  Mary Waldron


Toyota Super 3s Player of the Year

  *  Ceclia Joyce
  *  Isobel Joyce
  *  Lara Maritz


O’Neills Male Club Player of the Year

  *  John Anderson
  *  Adam Dennison
  *  Murtaza Sidiqi


O’Neills Female Club Player of the Year

  *  Mollie Devine
  *  Isobel Joyce
  *  Nicky Niblock


Tildenet Club of the Year

  *  Bready CC
  *  Templepatrick CC
  *  Waringstown CC


Hanley Energy Men’s Inter-Provincial Player of the Year

  *  Andrew Balbirnie
  *  George Dockrell
  *  William Porterfield


Sunday Independent Aengus Fanning International Emerging Player of the Year

  *  Josh Little
  *  Una Raymond-Hoey
  *  Rebecca Stokell


Hanley Energy Women’s International Player of the Year

  *  Laura Delany
  *  Cecelia Joyce
  *  Gaby Lewis


Turkish Airlines Men’s International Player of the Year

  *  Tim Murtagh
  *  Boyd Rankin
  *  Paul Stirling


The evening will also see a number of Special Awards given to:

  *  Clear Currency Contribution to Irish Coaching
  *  Tildenet Emerging Club of the Year
  *  Gibney’s Outstanding Contribution to Irish Cricket, in honour of John Wright
  *  Cricket Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame Award


Statement on the review of cricket development

October 26th 2018 | International

Cricket Ireland has been made aware of public reporting on a review currently underway on the future of grassroots development in cricket around Ireland. The following background is provided to clarify the current process.

A review of the development side of cricket across Ireland has been undertaken, as part of a joint project between Cricket Ireland and the Provincial Unions. This review is in line with the requirements of the Cricket Ireland Strategic Plan 2016-2020, and aims to find the most effective and efficient ways of developing the game at a grassroots level and supporting clubs and schools.

The outcomes from this review propose that the future development of cricket across Ireland is the responsibility of the Provincial Unions, and not Cricket Ireland.  This will ensure development activities meet the needs of local clubs, schools and communities.

There is absolutely no intention to invest less in our development programme, but is actually the transference of responsibility and accountability to the Provincial Unions objectives which are clearly flagged in our strategy.

As part of this process, it is currently envisioned that dedicated Provincial Union roles will be created as a more appropriate means of delivering on Club Cricket objectives outlined in the Cricket Ireland Strategic Plan.  Any new roles developed will be significantly different in terms of structure, approach and job role, therefore transferring staff from their existing roles to any new role in the Provincial Unions is not possible.

As such, regionally-based development roles - of which there are six in total - that currently sit within the Cricket Ireland structure are potentially impacted by these proposals and the relevant staff have been informed and consultation has begun on the way forward.

Why is this review underway?

The Cricket Ireland Strategic Plan outlines a number of key priority activities that seek to grow participation across Ireland and recognise clubs as the hub of our sport.

In the last 12 months, Cricket Ireland has invested over €900,000 in club and grassroots cricket via the Provincial Unions, this support has strengthened the ability of the Provincial Unions to direct funding and resources into growing participation in their regions.

However, the current structural arrangements are no longer fit-for-purpose, as they were established at an earlier time when Provincial Unions had not developed the capacity to take on this responsibility.

It is now time to correct and modernise the structure and lines of accountability within our sport. While this was clearly outlined in our strategy, we still felt it important to re-verify our thinking on this with our unions and proposals fully endorsed.

Why is this review happening now?

Discussions have been ongoing between Cricket Ireland and the Provincial Unions in relation to the outcome of the review and proposals were signed off by the Cricket Ireland Board.  We are now moving to implement the review outcomes.

What are the next steps?

While no definitive outcome has been pre-determined, we will be looking at the best way to implement our Strategic Plan objectives. We recognise that there is a human element to consider, and will work with affected staff involved with fairness, dignity and in accordance with any legal requirements.

While details of these consultations will remain confidential, we also recognise that transparency and accountability is important in what we do. Hence this information has been provided to explain the intent of the review and the current proposals as they stand.

We will provide updates as the process proceeds.

 

 

 


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