Ireland cricket team

Ireland cricket team

Infobox non test cricket team
country_name = Ireland

image_caption = Flag of the Ireland cricket team
icc_member_year = 1993
icc_status = Associate with ODI status
icc_region = Europe
current_captain = William Porterfield
WCL_division = One
regional_tournament = European Cricket Championship
regional_tournament_division = One
first_match = 10 September 1855 v Gentlemen of England at Dublin
world_ranking = 10th
regional_ranking = 1st
icc_trophy_apps = 4 | icc_trophy_first = 1994
icc_trophy_best = Runners up, 2005
odi_matches = 22
odi_win_loss_record = 6/13 (1 Tied/2 NR)
fc_matches = 131
fc_win_loss_record = 32/41
la_matches = 100
la_win_loss_record = 21/69
asofdate = 15 July 2007

The Ireland cricket team is the cricket team representing all Ireland (i.e. both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland). Due to political difficulties, the Irish Cricket Union was not elected to the International Cricket Council until 1993, and qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 2007.


The English brought cricket to Ireland. The game was introduced to the Garrison towns of Kilkenny and Ballinasloe in the early 1800s. The spread began in the 1830s and many clubs, still in existence today, were founded in the next 30 years.

The first Irish National team took the field in 1855 long before any Test Match was ever played. The match was -v- The Gentlemen of England in Dublin.

Charles Lawrence, an Englishman, was in Dublin playing, coaching and developing the game in Ireland in the 1850s. He went to Australia with H.H. Stevenson's team in 1861 and stayed to coach the ever growing numbers playing there.

The touring professional teams all came to Ireland in the 1850s and 1860s. The first match -v- M.C.C. was in 1858.

The spread of cricket continued until the early 1880s. Two events then became retarding factors. The first was the outbreak of land wars when Landlord and Tenant were alienated. the second was a ban placed on the playing of foreign games by the Gaelic Athletic Association who are the guardians of the native Irish games of Hurling and Gaelic football, this ban was not lifted until 1970. If a player played the extremely popular Irish games he could not play the foreign games. If he did he would be banned from the Irish games. [ [ Cricinfo - Ireland - History ] ] The archives record a tour of North America in 1888. Their first match with first-class status was played in 1902 against a London County side including W.G. Grace. The Irish won convincingly, by 238 runs.

Ireland's greatest cricketing success to date was in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, where they achieved a tie against Zimbabwe and victories over Pakistan and Bangladesh, and ended the tournament ranked 10th overall in the official ICC rankings [ [] ] above Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Before 1993

After the 1902 tour of England, where four matches yielded one win, two draws and one loss, the Irish didn't play first-class cricket again for five years (although London County visited again in 1903 and drew. [ [] Dead link|date=March 2008] ). The Irish were soundly beaten on home soil, by Yorkshire and South Africa, suggesting that there was still quite a gap in class.

The Irish played yearly first-class games with the Scots with regularity, only interrupted by wars, up until 1999, but all their other cricket was dictated by whenever touring international sides found it convenient to visit Ireland. However, they often surprised Test nations in these games, winning by 60 runs in a 3-day game in Dublin over the West Indies in 1928, for example. They did, in fact, take a liking to the West Indies - their arguably finest cricketing moment came in 1969, when they defeated a West Indian side including Clive Lloyd and Clyde Walcott (who admittedly was 43 at the time) by nine wickets, after bowling them out for 25. The match was played at Sion Mills in County Tyrone. This was the last time time Ireland defeated a touring side until 2003 when they beat Zimbabwe by 10 wickets. [cite web |url= |title=Ireland overwhelm Zimbabwe in ten-wicket win |author=Wisden Cricinfo staff | |date=2003-06-13 |accessdate=2008-05-28]

The Scots and the Irish were mostly competing with Sri Lanka for the title as best non-Test nation at the time - indeed, Ireland drew with Sri Lanka in a rain-hit first-class match in 1979, Ireland scoring a total of 341 for seven wickets in two innings while Sri Lanka made 288 for six wickets in one innings. However, the ICC refused to include them until 1993.

ICC Trophy

In 1994, they competed in the ICC Trophy for the first time. However, with a relatively good squad of players greatly improved in standard from those of the 1960s and 1970s, they only won three of seven games to finish seventh in the tournament.

Three years later in Malaysia, they squeezed through to the semi-finals after a good showing in the group stage, but lost by seven runs to Kenya after Justin Benson, who had played county cricket for Leicestershire, had slowed down proceedings with an 85-ball 35. As Ireland needed 216 runs from 50 overs (300 balls) to win, that left the other batsmen to hit very, very quickly, and that was not possible. To compound their misery, they lost the third place play-off with Scotland, thus missing a place at the 1999 cricket World Cup.

The 2001 tournament in Canada showed the batting skills of Ed Joyce, who ended up with a batting average of 71.80 in eight innings, including four fifties. Joyce, who had been signed by Middlesex two years earlier, could not save the team from a number of defeats, however. They lost to the USA by six wickets in the first match in Canada, and also lost to Denmark by 12 runs. In the end, the Irish lost five matches, finishing seventh in the tournament. This was possibly Ireland's lowest point in cricketing history.

The 2005 ICC Trophy, which was hosted in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland - the group stages in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the final stages in Dublin, Republic of Ireland - has seen the Irish improve drastically, however. Ed Joyce's four years in county cricket, where he earlier in 2005 became the first batsman to hit 1,000 runs, gave him the experience to lift the Irish to big totals (he averaged 106 in four innings for the Irish), and even when he left for County Championship games with Middlesex, they managed to win, taking a four-wicket thriller over Canada thanks to Peter Gillespie, who hit a career highest score in the ICC Trophy with 64 not out - his first fifty - to anchor their chase to 239. Earlier, South African-born Andre Botha had taken four wickets for 47 runs against. Indeed, their bowling was often the key in this tournament, but former Essex player Adrian McCoubrey was in fact one of the least penetrative. However, that bowling let them down in the final against Scotland, as they conceded a total of 324 for 9 after electing to bowl first. The return of Joyce did not help them, as he made 81, but the Irish still lost the match by 47 runs. Joyce later that year qualified to play for England, leaving the Irish cricket team. He is still hailed as one of the best players ever produced by Ireland.

Intercontinental Cup

With the introduction of the ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004 [ Cricinfo, retrieved 23 July 2008] , Ireland received a chance to play first-class on a regular basis. Whilst they beat the Netherlands, Ireland lost their group match against Scotland in 2004 [ Cricinfo, retrieved 23 July 2008] and failed to progress beyond the group stage. Ireland won the next two editions of the tournament.

Ireland won their first ICC Cup in Oct 2006 with a 6 wkt win over Kenya [ Cricinfo, retrieved 23 July 2008] . An unbeaten century by Niall O'Brien, half centuries from Eoin Morgan, Andre Botha & Jeremy Bray, along with a 4 wkts apiece from Andrew White & Kyle McCallan were the principal contributions.

Trent Johnston again led Ireland in their successful defense of the ICC title in May 2007, when they beat Canada by an innnings & 115 runs, mainly thanks to Man of the Match Jeremy Bray's 146 century [ Cricinfo, retrieved 23 July 2008] .

One-day Internationals

Thanks to their second place in the 2005 ICC Trophy, Ireland qualified for the 2007 World Cup and gained official ODI status until 2009.

Ireland's first official One Day International was played in Belfast (at Northern Ireland Civil Service Cricket Club, Stormont) against England on 13 June 2006. It was the first time Ireland had played the full England side. Tickets sold well for the game, with a full house of 7,500 attendees.

Marcus Trescothick scored a century as England, scoring 301 for 7 from their 50 overs, overcame a gritty and proud Irish team who made 263 for 9 from their allotment, including 52 from Andre Botha in his first full One-day International. Two months later, Ireland recorded their first ODI win, beating fellow Associates Scotland by 85 runs after Eoin Morgan made 99. Ireland also received a valuable 5-figure sum from Vodafone, who sponsored the game. [ [] Dead link|date=March 2008] The game was televised live on BBC Two Northern Ireland.

August saw them participate in Division One of the European Championship, against Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands and Scotland. The games against The Netherlands and Scotland had ODI status. They won this tournament, and the Irish teams won the European Championships at every single age level, from Under 13s upwards.

Cricket in 2007

January 2007 saw the start of more than 3 months of almost constant cricket. First was a visit to Kenya, where they took part in Division One of the ICC World Cricket League. They then traveled to the United Arab Emirates, where they played an Intercontinental Cup game against the UAE at Abu Dhabi.

The World Cup

World Cup Squad

In August 2006, the Irish Cricket Union named their squad for the 2007 World Cup. [ [ Ireland name World Cup squad] , from Cricinfo, retrieved 25 August 2006]

The team was managed by Roy Torrens.

Warm-up Matches

In the final 13-a-side warm-up matches before the World Cup, Ireland lost to South Africa, but only by 35 runs; and beat Canada comfortably by 7 wickets.

Group Stage

Ireland had an excellent World Cup debut in the 2007 tournament. Their first game was on March 15 when they tied with Zimbabwe, primarily thanks to Ireland's first ever World Cup century by Jeremy Bray and economical bowling in the final overs by Trent Johnston and Andre Botha; the Zimbabweans were dismissed for 221 off the last ball of the innings (Ed Rainsford run out) with the scores level.

In their second match, played on Saint Patrick's Day, they beat the fourth-ranked team in the world, Pakistan, by three wickets, thus knocking Pakistan out of the competition. The result is regarded as one of the biggest shocks in international cricket history.

These two results were sufficient to advance Ireland to the "Super 8" stage of the tournament. Their final group stage game was against the West Indies, where they lost by eight wickets.

uper 8 Stage

In the Super 8 stage, they lost their first four matches against England, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, but then recorded a 74-run victory against the 9th ranked team in the world and Test playing nation Bangladesh.

As this was their second win against a full ICC member, Ireland have gained 'promotion' by way of recognition in the ICC's official one-day rankings. [ [ ICC] - Ireland qualifies for LG ICC ODI Championship] This list now consists of the ten full members, Kenya and Ireland.Ireland was defeated in their final Super-8 match against Sri Lanka, by 8 wickets, with 40 overs remaining.

The Irish team received a heroes welcome on April 24 2007 in Dublin after a highly successful World Cup campaign. [ [ - Sport - Tue, Apr 24, 2007 - Irish team receive a heroes welcome ] ]

ummer 2007

Subsequent to the World Cup, former West Indies cricketer Phil Simmons took the role of team coach from Adrian Birrell.

In May 2007 they played in the final of the ICC Intercontinental Cup against Canada. This competition represents the next level after Test Match status for non-Test international teams. [ [ About the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2006-07]] Ireland ran out convincing winners by an innings and 115 runs at Grace Road, the four-day match concluding within two days. This made Ireland the first team to successfully defend the Continental Cup, confirming its current status as the most successful non-test playing nation. [ [ Ireland defends ICC Intercontinental Cup inside two days at Leicester]] In August 2007 Ireland played Scotland and Bermuda in the First Round of the 2007/2008 competition.

India had agreed to play South Africa in a series of One Day Internationals in Ireland in June 2007, as a result of a 'neutral venue' contract clause for such matches between BCCI and the Indian broadcaster Zee TV. But because of Zee TV turning it down at the last minute, Nimbus Sports agreed to telecast the matches including India-Pakistan at Titwood, Glasgow, Scotland. [ [ Nimbus awarded rights for India-South Africa ODIs] Cricinfo, May 31, 2007] In addition to lucrative staging rights, Ireland also played one-off matches at Stormont against the two teams. Missing several players from their World Cup squad, Ireland lost both games.

Ireland hosted a quadrangular tournament in Dublin and Belfast from 10 July to 15 July involving the West Indies, The Netherlands and Scotland. Ireland and the West Indies both won two games with their direct encounter being a no result due to rain. The West Indies were declared tournament winners because of a bonus point won against the Netherlands. Scotland and the Netherlands both lost two games while the match between the two was also rained out.

Thus Ireland played three ODIs against test nations (two losses and a no result), and five ODIs in total this summer, winning the two matches against fellow associates Scotland and the Netherlands. A triangular ODI series in Scotland as well as the European Twenty20 Championship had to be cancelled due to conflicting dates with the above mentioned quadrangular series. [ [http://content- Inaugural European Twenty20 tournament cancelled] , from Cricinfo, 17 May, 2007]

Cricket in 2008

In March, Ireland toured Bangladesh, playing three ODIs against the hosts, losing all three of them. [ [ Bangladesh v Ireland 2007-08] , from Cricinfo, 2 April, 2008]

Also in 2008, Ireland will finish their Intercontinental Cup campaign with fixtures against the United Arab Emirates (in March, won), the Netherlands (in July, won), Canada (in August, drawn), Namibia (in October, won) and Kenya (in October).Fact|date=September 2008

In July, Ireland played a tri-series against New Zealand and Scotland in Aberdeen, Scotland and lost both matches.Fact|date=September 2008

Reigning champions Ireland hosted the European Cricket Championship (Division One) in late July and they won their 3rd Euro title, winning every game, including the decisive encounter against Scotland by 7 wkts (D/L). Ireland were captained by William Porterfield. Fact|date=September 2008 In early August, Ireland hosted five other Associate nations at the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Belfast. Ireland recorded victories over Scotland and Bermuda in the pool encounters to reach the semi final, where in a low scoring match (August 4th) they defeated Kenya by 4 wickets with 5 balls remaining to advance to the final and secure automatic qualification to the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England. The Netherlands, despite an earlier pool loss to Canada, secured the other berth, with third placed Scotland qualifying after confirmation of Zimbabwe's withdrawal from the tournament.Fact|date=September 2008

In late August, Ireland played three ODIs at home versus Kenya. Ireland won the first game, the second game could not be finished due to rain and the last match was completely washed out.Fact|date=September 2008

In October, a trip to Kenya for a tri-series of ODIs with the hosts and Zimbabwe is scheduled. [ [] Cricinfo, Accessed 09 September 2008]

Tournament History

World Cup
*1975 to 1992: not eligible (not an ICC member)
*1996 to 2003: did not qualify
*2007: 8th (Super Eight Stage)

Intercontinental Cup
*2004: First round
*2005: WON
*2006/07: WON

ICC 6 Nations Challenge
*2000: 3rd place
*2002: Did not participate
*2004: Did not participate

ICC Trophy
*1979 to 1990 inclusive: Not eligible - Not an ICC member.
*1994: Second round
*1997: 4th place
*2001: 7th place
*2005: 2nd placeEuropean Championship
*1996: WON
*1998: 4th place (Division One)
*2000: 4th place (Division One)
*2002: 3rd place (Division One)
*2004: 2nd place (Division One)
*2006: WON (Division One)
*2008: WON (Division One)

Triple Crown
*1993: 2nd place
*1994: 3rd place
*1995: 3rd place
*1996: WON
*1997: 3rd place
*1998: 3rd place
*1999: 4th place
*2000: 2nd place
*2001: 4th place

English county competition

Ireland, along with Scotland, has at times played in competitions for English county cricket sides, including the Benson & Hedges Cup and the Friends Provident Trophy. Since there is no nationality restriction in county cricket, non-Irish players have competed for Ireland in these matches. Hansie Cronje of South Africa competed for Ireland in the 1997 Benson & Hedges Cup, thanks to sponsorship from Irish industrialist Tony O'Reilly.

In 2006 Ireland took part in a newly expanded C&G Trophy, playing nine English county sides. For this tournament, they were bolstered by the signings of Saqlain Mushtaq and Shahid Afridi, the two overseas players they are allowed when competing in English domestic competitions. Ireland recorded one win (by 47 runs at Bristol against Gloucestershire)in their 9 matches.

In 2007, Ireland played in the Friends Provident Trophy against nine English county sides. Of those nine matches, they lost six and the remaining three matches were abandoned due to rain.

In 2008, Ireland played 8 games in the Friends Provident Trophy Midland Division, winning just one (a 4 wkt win over Warwickshire, mainly thanks to a 69 from Porterfield) & having one other game abandoned.


One-day Internationals

*Highest team total: 308 v Canada, 4 February 2007 at Jaffery Sports Club Ground, Nairobi, Kenya
*Highest individual innings: 142, Kevin O'Brien v Kenya, 2 February 2007 at Ruaraka Sports Club Ground Nairobi, Kenya [Cite web |title=Ireland ODI Career Highest Individual Scores |url= | |accessdate=2007-03-16]
*Best innings bowling: 4/36, Kyle McCallan v Kenya, 2 February 2007 at Ruaraka Sports Club Ground Nairobi, Kenya [Cite web |title=Ireland ODI Career Best Individual Bowling Figures |url= | |accessdate=2007-03-16]

Most ODI runs for Ireland [cite web|url=;id=29;type=team| title=Ireland ODI Career Batting| publisher=Cricinfo]

Most ODI wickets for Ireland [cite web|url=;id=29;type=team| title=Ireland ODI Career Bowling| publisher=Cricinfo]

ICC Trophy

*Highest team total: 315/8 v Bermuda, 1 July 2005 at Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast, Northern Ireland
*Highest individual innings: 127 not out, Alan Lewis v Gibraltar, 24 March 1997 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
*Best innings bowling: 5/25, Derek Heasley v Papua New Guinea, 6 July 2001 at G Ross Lord Park, Toronto, Canada

First Class

*Highest team total: 531/5 declared v UAE, 11 February2007, ICC Intercontinental Cup match at Abu Dhabi
*Highest individual innings: 209 not out, Eoin Morgan v UAE, 11 February2007, ICC Intercontinental Cup match at Abu Dhabi

ee also

* Cricket in Ireland
* List of Irish ODI cricketers
* Irish women's cricket team
* Irish national cricket captains


External links

* [ Irish Cricket Union]
* [ Cricinfo - Ireland]
* [ History of Irish Cricket book]
* [ Irish cricket magazine]

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