Like my da before me, I have to confess I love cricket. And alone amongst all the sporting codes, I’ve never had problem supporting England. As one Indian cricket fan tweeted me a week or two back it is cricket’s Foreign Legion team.
I don’t get to watch it much these days. We don’t have Sky and even if we did I couldn’t justify the extra money it costs to get the sports package (or the time I’d have to spend trying to get my money’s worth).
This season, as some kind of compensation for cricket starvation, I’ve thrown myself into the Baseball on BT Sports that came discounted with the phone and broadband package. It’s a similar game of patient strategy but Baseball can be explosively disruptive in just one or two innings.
From the fragments I’ve been able to watch of the Cricket World Cup down my local (clutching a cold glass of lime and soda) it has been the poorer for Ireland’s absence. But on Sunday, England’s Irish captain Eoin Morgan from Rush, Co Dublin will step into the “bearna baoil” and attempt to win for the first time.
In the midst of all the catastrophising of the relations between Britain and Ireland, some things will endure regardless, much as they did during the troubles when cricket clubs were seen as an unacceptable face of British culture.
Morgan, who played his first World Cup in the Green of Ireland is part of a generation of Irishmen from the south and the north who have smashed a glass ceiling many of their predecessors never thought possible. Such that on Sunday, I will be down the pub shouting “come on Morgan” and England…
And I’ll be wearing my now badly fading tee shirt from the day Ireland taught the old enemy to treat our lads with some respect…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty