World T20 Tour Diaries Day 13 - Tim Murtagh
September 21st 2012 by Tim Murtagh | International
Tim Murtagh writes the latest edition of the ‘World T20 Tour Diaries’. He tells us all about his journey into Irish cricket and his experience in Sri Lanka on tour with the Boys in Green so far.
My journey to Sri Lanka started all started a long time ago with a conversation with Ed Joyce who was my teammate at Middlesex at the time. He told me that the fact that my grandparents were Irish was enough for me to qualify to play for Ireland. He spoke to Mark Garaway, who was high performance director of Cricket Ireland at the time, Mark got in contact with me and the wheels were set in motion from there.
The Irish squad and everyone around them are a great bunch of lads and have made me feel very welcome since I joined the team for the last four days of the qualifying tournament for the ICC World Twenty20 in Dubai last year, and it was a perfect opportunity to get to know the lads as well as cheer the ‘Boys in Green’ on to a fantastic tournament victory.
This team is not much different to any other I’ve been on, there are no egos and we are very close as a group. I knew most of the boys before I became part of the squad through playing against them in the County set-up, so that made joining the team that bit easier. It also helps that I play with Paul Stirling in Middlesex, so when it became clear that I would be involved with Ireland at some point I chatted to him about the set-up and the team in general.
My wife Karina played a big part in me gaining Irish citizenship. There was a huge amount of paperwork and we had to get papers from my aunt who is in France, my granddad’s birth certificate and marriage licence, things like that. Karina has also really enjoyed my arrival into the Irish set-up, she arrived in Colombo last week and in a way this is like a reward for all the hard work she put in as well.
I always dreamed of playing in a World Cup but obviously growing up I thought it would be for England. A few years ago I knew that if I wasn’t called up for England by then, I probably never would be. So when the opportunity came up to play for Ireland, it was extremely exciting. It’s a dream to play on the big stage and such a huge honor to represent the country, the pride in playing in the green of Ireland is immense and to do so with the group of lads that we have makes it even better.
Twenty20 has always been a format I’ve enjoyed. I think the pressure is off the bowler in the short form and it’s on the batters. People are there to see fours and sixes and batsmen are expected to post big scores, so I just try to keep it simple when I’m bowling and work on two or three deliveries. It’s good having Craig McDermott as part of the coaching team; he’s working with the bowlers on changing small things. Players are here because they know what they’re doing so Craig is not making massive changes, just tinkering and adding to what people already have in their armory.
The mood in the camp has obviously been a bit down since the loss to Australia on Wednesday. It wasn’t so much losing that has people down, it was the manner of it as we all know that we didn’t do ourselves justice or play anywhere near what we are capable of. Watching from the sideline, we were never really in it. It’s out of the players’ systems now though, we know that we’re not suddenly a bad team and that we need to draw a line under that match. I’m happy to be continuing to support the squad and am working really hard in training so that if I’m needed for Monday I will be 100% ready for it.
In preparation for Monday against West Indies, who we are playing under lights, we did a training session under lights yesterday after the lads who went to The Arklow Boys Orphanage arrived back. Getting used to catching the white ball under lights takes some getting used to and hopefully that training session will stand to us. After that, we went to a drinks reception that the Irish Ambassador held for us here and it was a good opportunity for everyone involved with the squad out here to relax for an evening. Every day is something different on tour with the Ireland team, and I’m loving every minute.
Tweet of the Day
Stuart Thompson tweets about the inspiring visit to the Arklow Boys home
@SRThompson91 ‘Enjoyed our morning at the arklow boys orphanage, some very talented cricketers there, full of laughter and smiles #lifebackintoperspective’
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