Home > Ireland, Pakistan > Opinion: Ireland provides vindication to associate junkies……

Opinion: Ireland provides vindication to associate junkies……

Anyone who has been involved in passionate discussion about the development of cricket, or the expansion of cricket beyond traditional boundaries over the last few years would have also encountered contrary opinions. Alas, on this St Patricks day, Ireland, who have 99% qualified for the super eights round of the world cup by knocking out Pakistan, have vindicated them all.

What you will see is that even Cricinfo was questioning the logic of minnow thrashings after SA beat Ned, but today, despite Ned going down to Aus in a similar fashion, the opponents of minnow inclusion are quiet.

Very frankly, the Irish qualification, and perhaps even the Kenyan or Bangladeshi qualification (this one looking more imminent), is exactly what the world cup needed; something fresh. Something that you would not see in a champions trophy or other tournaments.

Regarding the St Patricks day victory by Ireland, I must say that it was the most phenemenal victory by an associate against a test team. The only other time I have seen an associate dominate a test team for 8 hours was when Kenya beat Zimbabwe in 2003. Otherwise, it is about the test team missing the script in the last 25%, or at most the second innings. Ireland however had Pakistan down from the time they won the toss.

Categories: Ireland, Pakistan
  1. Ram
    March 19, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    The performances of both Ireland and Bangladesh have quietened the upper echelons of the sport, at least for the time being…It must however be remembered that such performances are not new to this event and that contrary to public desire and expectations, these lesser teams have always left a mark in World Cups starting from SL in 1979…What’s more important in the longer run is for the ICC to back these teams…For them, World Cup performances are only the starting point, not the end..

    For instance, Ireland have won several fans and admirers among the world of Test nations due to their strong performances against Zim and Pak…this means that some of the top 8 boards may actually not mind playing a few games against Ireland since these games are now likely to generate some public interest not only in Ireland but also in the Test playing world…Consequently, the ICC must cash in on the new found respect for the Irish team and look to encourage more and more ODIs against the top 8 for the next 2.5 years for which they’ve ODI status…Bilateral series involving Ire should become a more common feature now…

  2. Rich B
    March 20, 2007 at 6:12 am

    Yes, you’re right. The experience of Associates playing full members will be invaluable, but the exposure to the cricketing world is infinitely more valuable. I think that considering the opposition it has faced, the ICC has done about as much as it realistically can for the Associates over the last couple of years. With the results we’ve been having it’s about time the national cricket boards of the full members booked in a couple of short ODI series per year.

    In terms of exposure and finance these games will be huge. It seems a long way off but if the leading Associates can just get to the point financially where they have a squad of 15 on full-time contracts, playing regularly against each other and in 1st class domestic competitions of full member countries (and attracting ok crowds) and against full members sometimes (attracting large crowds) this will do them the world of good. I think you can only go so far with minimal popular interest, which is why I worry about the Netherlands and am hugely encouraged by Ireland.

  3. Efaz
    March 24, 2007 at 12:46 am

    How is the development program in Ireland ?

    They sure have some exciting prospects in Eoin Morgan, Naill O’Brien, and Boyd Ranking.

  4. Cuen Lucas
    March 24, 2007 at 4:42 am

    A thought, people are always saying that the Associates should not be playing in the world cups, but, as Ram pointed out,in every world cup there has always been an associate who has dished out a black eye to one of the test nations. Now looking closer at the teams, three have gone on to get test status, and Sri Lanka have gone on to win the competition for themselves.
    So all the critics may like to use facts to back up their argument on leaving the associates out, but on closer inspection, the facts against the critics are stronger!


  5. March 24, 2007 at 9:26 am

    Ireland got good team…and this world cup is getting exciting with top team out from the group stage,the likes of pakistan, india.. !!!

  6. Tom Lewis
    March 26, 2007 at 3:37 am

    Ireland took a clean sweep at all age groups at the European Championships last year, which suggests they have a decent youth set up. I think a problem over the years has been losing talented players to other sports such as Rugby and Hockey. There are currently a number of Irish players on the brink of getting a county. William Porterfield is expected to join Gloucestershire and James Hall is apparently going to join Warwickshire. There are others such as James Shannon, Paul Stirling and Fintan McCalister who could be playing in England this season.

  7. Cuen Lucas
    April 7, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    I just hope the other four associates try make the most out of the rest of their ODI window, and continue to come out fighting, despite a disappointing world cup for them.

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