Ireland falling (slowly) towards cricket!

Delcan Lynch on how the Irish are finally getting Cricket. Cricket is a situational game. If it’s a dull game, it’s dull. But when it’s tight, as this Ashes series has been from day one, then it’s hard to stop watching. Not since England last won the Ashes back in 1981 has there been such compelling comtition in the International game, when Ian Botham and Bob Willis dug deep and produced some of the most gripping cricket. If you’ve never tried it, or remain sceptical, try the last test from the Oval staring on Thursday. On Channel 4, nó trí mhean an Ghaeilge ar TG4!

  • Henry94

    one feels a great yearning within Irish people, a longing to understand this game

    I think what we feel is a yearning in the Sunday Independent/Reform Movement for Irish people to be more British and the funny thing is that they share with extreme nationalists the belief that an interest in cricket will make it so.

    File under wishhful thinking.

  • Oilbhear Chromaill

    I used to be a member of a cricket club in college but then again I never donned the whites and exclusively stuck to the black stuff in the bar. The Cricket Club and An Chuallacht were the only societies with access to their own bars.

    If it’s true that TG4 are going to screen the Ashes, well that’s one up for the station though it’s a pity that the station is still not in a position to broadcast in Irish the All Ireland Hurling and Football finals owing to the old question of rights. RTE should concede to its sister station the rights ‘as Gaeilge’ to broadcast these signal events in the Irish sporting calendar.

  • maca

    “nó trí mhean an Ghaeilge ar TG4!”
    “it’s hard to stop watching”

    I nGaeilge nó i mBéarla tá sé an-leadránach le bheith ag féachaint air, i gcás seo ní aistreoinn ach an bealach 🙂

  • 9countyprovience

    If Ireland is falling slowly it must be very slowly. I know of one person who watches cricket. It may be popular in South Dublin, but we all know that they’re west Brits anyway 😉
    I can never see it taking off in places like Kerry. I’d say if Ireland won the largest competition in cricket, whatever it may be, it would go relatively unnoticed. We like to have our tea uninterrupted in this country, we don’t like to mix sport with it. And there is still a strong smell of Sasanaigh off the sport. If it takes off then fair play, but I don’t think that I’ll be watching it. Soccer will fulfill my ‘garrison sports’ lust (hee hee).

  • Mick

    “…still a strong smell of Sasanaigh off the sport”

    You missed the magnificent West Indian fast bowling attack of the mid to late eighties then? 😉

  • Keith M

    On a personal note, I have to say that the end of the second test was the sporting highlight of the year so far. Normally I only enjoy the one day contests, but this Ashes series has been rivotting stuff from start to finish. Roll on Thursday!

    9countyprovience “If Ireland is falling slowly it must be very slowly. I know of one person who watches cricket. It may be popular in South Dublin, but we all know that they’re west Brits anyway.” Actually you might be surprised to learn that the main interest in cricket in this country, is not on the southside of the city, but on the northside. Starting at Clonttarf and running up the coast to Balbriggan, there are lots of cricket teams. The recent Irish success and the exciting ashes series means that quite a lot of people are talking cricket around Dublin (and I suspect beyond) that’s why Ch4 are taking it.

    It’s rare for me to argree with Oilbhear Chromaill, but on this I do. I think that it’s a shame that RTE shows GAA games. These should be shown exclusivly on TG4. The GAA likes to conduct as much of its business as it can as Gaelige, so they should have no issue with it, and its not as if those interested in hurling or Gaelic fottball won’t be able to follow the game. It seems like a perfect “win-win” for me.

  • Kelvin Doherty

    A friend of a friend plays for a village team in England. Each year they play a couple of games in a different country at the end of the season( an excuse to get pissed). At the mo they are in France and next year they are heading off to Cork!!

  • Van Gogh

    I can think of several brands of paint that would be much more interesting to watch drying than test cricket.

  • DCB

    I was a member of the cricket team at my old work – have never lifted a bat in my live, did get some great junkets out of it though

  • Mick

    VG, try watching the last Test at the Oval for half an hour on Sunday (if they are still playing by then)? It should be tight, and it should make for gripping sport.

    If you do get gripped, try turning the tv down and switch to BBC R4 on Long Wave – just along from RTE. They sometimes come up with some memorable radio.

    BTW: which cricket international also won a Nobel prize?

  • middle-class taig

    There’s always been a semi-underground esoteric fetish for cricket in nationalist areas. I’m sure I read somewhere that it was even a feature of life in Long Kesh. I have to admit to being a devotee. How, I always wondered, could any younng nationalist growing up in the 70s and 80s not thrill to a game in which a black man could stand unrivalled at the centre of one of the citadels of the Empire (Lords) and imperiously despatch every missile launched at him by the best that decadent Empire had to offer? Viv Richards was my hero for many a year. Later, Waugh’s determination and Alderman’s consistency were great examples for a young fella pursuing his own sporting career. You can learn a lot from cricket, and cross-apply it to other sports. Patience, strategy, misdirection, subterfuge, cunning. Most of all, I can’t think of another sport which is so singularly psychological. Bowelers don’t get batsmen out; batsmen do.

    Strange to find myself hoping for an England victory at the weekend. Interesting, that the rejuvenation in English sporting fortunes (cricket, rugby, Olympics) coincides with the English stepping off the burning deck of that crumbling Empire, desisting from trying to bind the rest of us into some non-existent British identikit and remembering what Englishness is. Picking a team full of normal lads rather than a shower of toffs is also a winner in my book.

    Mick, I hear Blowers is dropped for the decider. At least he’s not throwing a Carvalho over it.

  • Martin

    Samuel Beckett, but I think he gets into Wisden rather by virtue of playing for Dublin University for Northants when he was at Trinity, that side having First Class status at the time. I’m not sure he ever played for Ireland…

  • slug

    This is quite encouraging.

    One of the things that is pretty evident from this summer is how divided NI is as a society and I’ve been thinking that efforts at integration in housing and schooling are much needed. Sport used to be one of those areas that divided people but it feels as though this is diminishing a bit. Hopefully we can see a process in which (i) supporters stop having tribally driven negative attitudes to particular sports (ii) sports people start participating out of enjoyment rather than cultural factors (iii) there is greater contact and common cultural ground. Trevor Ringland talks about this stuff a lot but I can see there is potential here.

  • Martin

    As history in sport goes – cricket is ripe. Parnell skippered for Wicklow CC … while De Valera, though not exactly a talented player, took a keen interest in the Blackrock side. There is an anecdotal tale told of how he turned up at a match in Trinity after he had made it in politics. He picked up a bat, played a few practice balls but dropped the bat like a hot potato when a cameraman arrived on the scene. Beckett was a useful batsman who played for Trinity in the 1920s against county sides. His death was reported in Wisden, the cricket bible – the only Nobel Prize winner to get such a mention.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Very ecumenical to see all these closet cricket fans in the Green corner, are there many of you Unionists out there who sneak a look at the telly when your county is playing or even secretly harbour ambitions to lift Sam Maguire?

  • George


    North Dublin is the “stronghold” of cricket in the city not the southside.

  • darthrumsfeld

    BTW: which cricket international also won a Nobel prize?

    Posted by: Mick at September 5, 2005 03:50 PM

    He wasn’t an international, that I know of, but John Hume was a useful spinner for one of the Londonderry cricket clubs in his youth

  • Young Fogey

    Not sure this will be the best introduction, Mick – batters pitch plus the chance of an odd shower or two would tend to make you think this one will head for a draw. It’s been a great series so far, however.

    Like mct I my first cricket memories are supporting the West Indies in their glory days, not just Viv Richards but the terrifying pace attack of their bowlers. Sad to see how far they have fallen now, losing support to ESPN-broadcast basketball on the islands, a game which really is as exciting as watching paint dry. I also feel rather odd supporting England in this series but the Aussies need taken down a peg or two and normal Pombashing service will, I assure you, be resumed ASAP.

    As well as the 2007 World Cup coming up (which we’ll be playing in for the first time), the other potential big boost for Irish cricket would be if Ed Joyce started playing test cricket.

    (PS – the trick of following cricket is NOT to give it too much attention; have the BBC scorecard up in work or a few bevvies and something good to read if watching at home and Test Match Special on Radio 4 Longwave ONLY is the way to follow cricket, and can easily be accompanied by some housework/net surfing/childcare whatever.)

  • smcgiff

    And the winner for most stupid comment of the day/week/year goes too…

    ‘and its not as if those interested in hurling or Gaelic fottball won’t be able to follow the game. It seems like a perfect “win-win” for me.’

  • smcgiff

    Damn1 Hate when my spelling lets me down when I’m being acerbic!!!

    ‘batters pitch plus the chance of an odd shower or two would tend to make you think this one will head for a draw.’

    Which means England would take the Ashes. Go on Eng… Engl… Nah! Can’t do it! 😉

  • Young Fogey

    Which means England would take the Ashes. Go on Eng… Engl… Nah! Can’t do it! 😉

    I take your point! 😉

    One of the nice things about this series is how it has been dominated by two of the world’s great cricketers – Flintoft and Warne – at the peak of their form, both of whom are sportsmen and all round good guys to boot.

    The only vaguely unsporting thing in the series has been has been Ricky Ponting’s constant slabbering at the wicket, which is enough on its own to make me want England to win. Through clenched teeth. And to be fair, even that has been short of full on sledging.

  • D’Oracle

    9 County,
    Cricket is not at all popular in South Dublin boy and neither are its inhabitants west Brits. They are by and large an unpredictable bunch of unguided missiles and free-thinkers.

    George,as always, is on the button ;any cricket freaks about these parts seem to hang out in the northmost parts of County Dublin.

    Isnt geo-sociology great gas; full of surprises!

  • Young Fogey
  • Young Fogey

    Flintoff gone, 126-5, lead 132. The England circket team have a curious capacity for self-destruction.

  • anwar khan

    i am a left arm fast bowler with 6,6feettall from india how can i play cricket in your club please tell me details