Cricket: It takes an Irishman…

Just on a final note to yesterday’s One Day International at Stormont, whilst some England fans are whingeing about the pointlessness of such matches (it’s presumably because of Ireland’s impressive run in the World Cup), we only lost by 3 runs, and had a target of 17 runs to make off the last over (scorecard here). Impressive enough you might say. Then read the detail in the Irish Times this morning:

Nine wickets down and needing 17 to win from the final over and with one wicket remaining it was a time for heroes and Ireland had two at the wicket in Trent Johnston and Kyle McCallan. Johnston, on his 100th appearance for Ireland, had earlier taken four wickets for just 26 runs and now faced Shah. After a two and two singles, Johnston hit the fourth ball to the boundary fence to leave Ireland needing nine from the last two balls. Needing a six, Johnston clubbed the next delivery towards the long-on boundary.

Cue the final dramatic twist in the match. Former Ireland player Eoin Morgan, on as sub-fielder, was waiting on the rope and managed to leap in the air and palm the ball back into play, with Ireland’s batsmen awarded just a single after being called one-short. With the game up, Johnston would hit the final ball to the boundary to finish unbeaten on 20, but Ireland cruelly three-runs short.[emphasis added]

Great performance from Ireland, despite the loss of players like Morgan; they still have the capacity to put the frighteners on their supposed betters… Next time, with an Englishman on the boundary, maybe we’ll actually win…

  • Mark McGreg


    Before pulling the Irishman on England’s team card have a think about how many of the Irish squad were born the other side of the equator.

  • Greenflag

    Mick ,

    After a two and two singles?

    boundary fence ?

    needing nine from the last two balls?

    Johnston clubbed the next delivery towards the long-on boundary.?

    Morgan, on as sub-fielder, was waiting on the rope?

    After being called one-short?

    My cousin Mick maintained that there two kinds of people in the world -those who understood cricket and those who don’t .

    It’s like another language ;)Anyway well done the Irish even if a number of them are sub equatorial 😉

    The country needs all the positive ‘spin’ it can get these days 😉

  • The Spectator


    I was at the game, and I must report, having been about six feet from the incident, that when Eoin Morgan lept, he did so from OUTSIDE the boundry rope – strictly speaking it should have been a six.

    Apart from that, and leaving aside Collingwood’s chippiness, Ireland should have won at a canter, and it certainly cemented their ‘next best’ status.

    Plus a crowd of 7000 shows paying £35.00 a pop, shows there is definite support. If only BBC NI had shown the game, even on the red button.

    Oh, and we met some wonderful (drunk) guys from Waringstown who for some reason found my ability to discuss both An Dún and Cooke Collegians very amusing. Can’t imagine why…

  • The Spectator

    Oh and as for our “rent a crew”

    We fielded

    Andre Botha; Transvaal, RSA – married to an irish woman, dual citizen
    Trent Johnston: NSW, AUS – married to an irish woman, dual citizen
    Regan West; Taranaki, NZL – residence
    Alex Cusack; QLD, AUS – residence

    We could in theory have played Connell, whose also a kiwi

    England fielded

    Jonathon Trott ; Cape Province RSA
    Matt Prior; Transvaal, RSA
    Owais Shah; Karachi, Pakistan
    12th Man – Eoin Morgan, Dublin, IRL

    not to mention they could have played Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss, and Ed Joyce!

    Indeed, at the last T20, only India had a squad containing no “blowins” (Even the aussies originally named Symonds, who is english-born)

    So, if you don’t m id, bog off!!

  • Mick Fealty


    So can we offer that as a Slugger exclusive: We woz robbed!! By our own!!!

  • Dosser


    Nice bit of passport spotting. Have you any similar interests: train spotting or stamp collecting?

    The rub is that I find it distasteful this constant need to define players in terms of where they were born. In many cases it’s irrelevant; the issue is where they were brought up and learnt their cricket.

    Case in point: Owais Shah; he may have been born in Pakistan, but he was brought up in England. At what point, in your eyes, do these people actually become English? Are we to always live by the maxim that a cat born in a sardine case is really a fish?

    The same goes for Strauss, born in SA but brought up in England; and for Symonds, born in England but brought up in OZ from the age of three. In fact, Symonds refuted England’s overture to play by reminding them he was ‘a fair dinkum Aussie’.

    Ted Dexter was born in Milan and James Larkin could have played for Lancashire…

    In fact, if we follw your logic to its nutty conclusion, Australia is a team full of ‘blow ins’ because they don’t have any native Australians.

    Is there any point to your post other than the daft arguement that one has to be born in a country to represent them?

  • same old story

    I was also at the game and what struck me most was the number of people from the North supporting England over Ireland. You can include among that number a certain DUP MLA who was taking great delight in wandering around in and England baseball cap.
    Do unionists really go for England over Ireland?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    You do understand that ‘Ireland: the cricket team’ is something different again to ‘Ireland: the republic’, let alone, ‘Ireland: the Republican fantasy’?

  • The Spectator


    The prize for missing the point by light years is all yours.

    My point was simple, and clearly aimed at Mark McGreg. For anyone who supports England to accuse Ireland of fielding ‘blow-ins’ is gross hypocrisy.

    The rub is that I find it distasteful this constant need to define players in terms of where they were born. In many cases it’s irrelevant; the issue is where they were brought up and learnt their cricket.

    1. I couldn’t give a f*** what you find distatsteful. Your distaste is of no interest or merit.
    2. The issue is who they are eligible to play for – whether by birth, marriage, naturalisation or residence – everyone I named is eligible to play for the country they play for, and good on them. But for the record, Pietersen was ‘brought up’ in South Africa, as was Matt Prior and Morgan and Joyce were brought up in Ireland.

    I just find the smarmy “Ireland only plays blowins” attitude a bit rich. I couldn’ care less who anyone else plays – i merely made the point that every team (bar India) go a bit beyond “land of birth” – some (like England) – well beyond it. Ireland are frankly no worse than anyone else.


    Yes, I spotted Mr Weir too (and Mr Hamilton for that matter, though he kept his allegiances to himself! ;-))

    Favourite sledge of the day

    “Ravi Hates You!” to Jonathon Trott (who got his spot in the Oval Test)” followed by “Trott’s got your place” to Ravi!! – Oooo Psycology ;-))

  • Greenflag

    Good lord or I don’t believe it as a certain Victor Meldrew used to say .
    So behind the pastoral sunny afternoons and the white clad gentlemen and the cucumber sandwiches and the tea there lurks a bunch of dare I say it

    Cricket Hooligans 😉

    Calm down lads . Methinks Mick was to pardon the repetition taking the michael or having some fun.
    Most of us should at least have heard of and or remember the days when in international competition in another sport -for Ireland /NI Ireland to lose by only 3 goals was considered a ‘moral’ victory 😉

  • fin

    You do understand that ‘Ireland: the cricket team’ is something different again to ‘Ireland: the republic’, let alone, ‘Ireland: the Republican fantasy’?

    That would seem to be lost on the DUP

  • The Spectator


    Next time Ireland play a big one dayer – come with me and I, a veteran of many a game at Left Corner Back, will initate you into the arcane world of Willow. You’ll not be sorry.

  • Greenflag

    spectator ,

    ‘will initate you into the arcane world of Willow.’

    Many thanks for your kind offer and I’m tempted .

    However GF is normally a persistent aggravating kind of bastard who believes unselfconsciously and sometimes unconsciously that there is nothing that is beyond his undertanding once he applies his remaining thinking cells to the matter in hand. The only remaining impediment to his full understanding of this amazing and very lucky planet we all manage to exist on is however the game and rules of cricket 😉

    I believe it was in the pubescent period of life when my late Uncle Mick tried to point out the finer points of the game to my then distracted teenage mind. Alas my powers of concentration then were focused entirely on the shapely form of a nubile female in law and his words somehow got lost in my scrambled limbic system my neo cortex having shut down on the visionary delight sitting opposite me . Mine Uncle might as well have tried to address a DUP supporter in Ballymena on the benefits to be accrued in a UI 😉 or teach a cockroach the Greek alphabet .

    Thereafter I somehow convinced myself that the rules of this game would forever be beyond my powers of comprehension. As I made no further progress with the said nubile in law on that occassion or ever after she being at least 5 years older than I, I somehow associate cricket with a personal failure . So whenever somebody mentions cricket I get an immediate flashback to memory which by now one would think I should have long since forgotten .

    I thank you nonetheless and will not say never as per the title words of a James Bond movie .

    ‘a big one dayer ‘

    I have heard it said that cricket can go for days even perhaps weeks if the weather is bad which it generally is on this rain sodden island . Children are born into the world and don’t see their father for several weeks while he’s tied to the stumps ? Isn’t that why cricket is played in the sunnier climes of South Eastern England , South Africa , India , Pakistan and Australia/New Zealand , and the West Indies whereas Canadians , Irish, and Scots generally give it a miss? Mind you with all this global warming Ireland could become a real contender in the sport unless of course all of this global warming does’nt trigger another Ice Age and bring if not the curtain down on our prospects but a mile high glacier instead :(. You are aware I’m sure that another 50 ice ages are forecast after I believe we will enjoy a really hot spell for about a billion years 🙂

    Weather won’t just be stopping play then eh ?

  • brendan,belfast

    Can someome address this as a serious question please?/

    How come someone can play cricket for Ireland (assuming he is, by some definition, Irish) and then simply be picked by England?

    In cricket does the England team have first call on all GB / Irish players?

    Doesn’t declaring allegiance count like in soccer?

    Help me understand.

  • The Spectator

    OK Brendan

    Cricket qualification is somewhat looser than you’d find with say soccer. 4 years residence is sufficient. Most importantly, since Ireland is not a “Full member” i.e. a Test Nation, playing for ireland does not rule you out from playing for England. Having played for england, you then have to wait four years to play for Ireland again.

    Not exactly fair, and I’m led to believe Ed Joyce is trying to get that rule modified as we speak – I understand the ICC is sypathetic.