Particular tribute..?

The First and Deputy First Ministers-to-be seem very keen on joint statements at the moment.. despite not, officially, being in office yet. The latest is a congratulatory message, and an invitation to tea, to the Ireland Cricket team.. fresh from their adventure in the West Indies. But there’s something less than statesman-like about the manner of the congratulations.. Adds The statement is hereFrom the Belfast Telegraph report

In the letter to the Irish World Cup cricket team Mr Paisley described their success as “a marvellous achievement”.

“I warmly congratulate the team and pay particular tribute to the Northern Ireland players and their manager, Ulsterman, Roy Torrens,” he said.

While the Deputy First Minister-designate singled out other players..

Mr McGuinness, an avid cricket fan, added: “When these are achieved against the odds and confound all expectations it makes them all the sweeter.

“I am of course particularly delighted to have seen the contribution made to the teams success of local players Jeremy Bray, Peter Gillespie, Kyle McCallan and Andrew White.”

Given the vital roles played by the South African-born coach Adrian Birrell, his deputy and next national coach West Indian-born Phil Simmonds, not to mention the players who qualified to play for Ireland through residency such as captain Trent Johnston and Andre Botha, singling out ‘Northern Ireland players’, or even ‘local players’ [no mention of Boyd Rankin? The O’Brien brothers? Dave Langford-Smith? – Ed], strikes the wrong note entirely.

ANYhoo.. outgoing coach Adrian Birrell points to the way ahead for the Ireland cricket team.

Adds More from Trent Johnston