Home > Ireland, Kenya > Opinion: Will Ireland capitalize on the heroics?

Opinion: Will Ireland capitalize on the heroics?

Kenya reached the semi final in the 2003 WC….. say what you will, but the point is that Kenya HAD to beat 3 test teams to get to that position irrespective of what New Zealand did….. Kenya beat Sri lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe (the last being a fairly stronger opposition than the current model)…… Kenya didnt do well in the semi final, but they were they gave Australia an interesting scare and did make a match with India in the super six stages……..

So the question is …… what happenned? Absolutely nothing…… did 20K kids start playing the game? Did the govt start taking active interest in the development of the sport? Did the sponsors start coming forward? Did Kenya get tournament calls from test countries? Did 4-5 of the Kenyan players get into domestic cricket of test countries?

Colins Obuya got a shot at English county for a season, and Kenya did get a call from Sharjah to participate in a tournament because India backed out at the last momment…….. nothing else happenned….. in fact the ‘higher profile’ didnt deter the previous board from doing whatever they did to screw things up completely to a breaking point…..

So how is….. or will…… the current Irish performance going to give the jump start to Irish Cricket? I think we will have to wait and see, but there are some common variables that can be monitored to see what is happenning and if things are going in the right direction after the ‘interest spring’…..

The first thing I would look at is the number of people, or rather kids, who would be taking up the game in Ireland. This should be easy enough to monitor given that Ireland has a pretty standard club structure and the numbers are calculated accurately and reported to the ICC….. I would expect some kind of a significant jump in these numbers…….

The second thing is about the exposure of cricket in the media…… whether cricket will now feature more regularly on the Irish media, be it newspapers, webzines or tv……

The third thing would be govt interest….. govt funding…..

Fourth would be sponsorships……..

Fifth would be invitations from other countries, be they Bangldesh, Zimbabwe or even UAE, or perhaps test nations looking to fill up a gap in a triangular tournament. Not only invitations but also how countries touring England would view a “one off” match against Ireland…..

Last thing would be county contracts……. or perhaps, depending upon what Ireland does in the remaining 6 games, what the ECC will do about incorporating them (and also Scotland) as a county side with professional paid squad…… Wishful thinking, but at least that can be kept as the perfect situation…… realistically, would the Irish players pick up county contracts? Morgan, Neil O Brian and Rankin are already taken…. and one can only hope that Porterfield and Kevin O Brien can also be picked up by someone…….

I will actually, use this posting as a space where I will try to collect information about this very topic…… specifically in the areas mentioned above……..

Categories: Ireland, Kenya
  1. Rich B
    April 6, 2007 at 5:27 am

    Irish friends tell me there’s a lot of new interest in the game in Ireland, kids playing in streets, etc. I expect there’ll be a bumper new intake at junior club level this year.

    Ireland are hosting 2 triangular ODI tournaments this summer, one with the West Indies. Attendance at these will be a good indicator of how much adult interest has sustained. If it can, and with increased sponsorship as well, part-time professional contracts for the squad shouldn’t be too far away.

    There’s still a long way to go yet, though.

  2. Frank Farchione, Melbourne, Australia
    April 6, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Give them Test status so that their current crop of players and any future players with ability are not lost to playing Test cricket for England (as is the case with Ed Joyce).

  3. Cuen Lucas
    April 7, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Nasir, I think that Ireland would have learnt from Kenya’s
    mistakes, and will work hard to push Irish cricket forward and not make the same mistakes made by the old KCB. The ICU seems to be really determined to do well, they worked with the ECB to get Ireland into the county circuit and organized the triangular ODI series once they had ODI status.

    They now have the two triangular ODI series on the horizon and their strong performances will prove to be quite a boost for attendances in those matches. Which will help both
    revenues and interest levels.

  4. Ram
    April 9, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Having looked at Ireland this World Cup, certain things are starkingly evident: First, they’ll fight till the last ball, which often means they’ll be effective against subcontinental teams that don’t respond to pressure all that well. Second, their fielding is of the highest quality, arguably on par with SA/Aus/NZ. Third, their inexperience against decent spin is glaring, they’ve been unlucky (or lucky?) to’ve got all 3 of their Super 8 matches so far in Guyana, the pitch where spinners have had a great time..One way to overcome this is to be in regular touch with Bangladesh and try to tour them as often as they can…afterall, the next World Cup is in the subcontinent by which time they would like to be an even improved team capable of standing up to the best even in dry conditions…

  5. Tom Lewis
    April 13, 2007 at 5:38 am

    Nasir, i think your right about the Irish needing to go professional in the near future and play in the County Championship, although i feel that funds may dictate this. William Porterfield is likely to be picked up by Gloucestershire, however i read somewhere that Kevin O’Brien has no plans to go back over to England. If there are five or six players in England with county contracts coupled with a squad of 15 playing in the county and one day championship that would be a good start. I only hope the ICC give them more support than they did Kenya.

  6. April 18, 2007 at 2:08 am

    The World Cup 2007 is not looking the same without India and Pakistan. It is a great shock that the two neighbouring asian countries, known for their fierce rivalry and for the passion of their cricket fans, is not taking part in the tournament.They have been moved out from group stage matches. They have only themselves to blame as they played poor cricket and deserved to be knocked out. I think the players let their teams down when the whole world was watching carefully.

    I am just hoping that the World Cup will get the rhythm again and become a lot more interesting in the coming days but the 2007 edition will always be remembered for Bob Woolmer’s murder rather than for the results during the event.

  7. April 25, 2007 at 12:27 am

    Not sure if Johnston had a paid cricket related job in the past, but this seems to be at least one step in the right direction……. i do believe that some of the irish guys , like Johnston, K O Brien, Porterfield, White, McCallan, Botha, Langford Smth etc, who were good enough to compete with the best in the world (barring potential WC finalists!)…. will also be good enough to be paid coaches for the domestic clubs……..


  8. April 25, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    well….. “More than a 100 people” is not much of a welcome…… so much for saying that thousands are excited about the team’s return back in Ireland….. we will monitor to see how many turn up in their first English County game on Sunday I think…..


  9. Ram
    April 30, 2007 at 10:39 am

    And…going by the crowd attendance for their homecoming game against Kent, the picture isn’t as rosy as was expected after their dream performance in the World Cup…


    Hopefully, the ICU can do better in marketing the sport…

  10. May 1, 2007 at 10:28 am

    Actually, with this blog entry, which essentially includes tidbits……. it seems clear that things are definitely moving in the right direction, the pace may be slow, but something is happenning……


  11. June 19, 2007 at 7:43 am


    This shows 2 things; firstly that the Stormont games are being telecast live in Ireland, first time since 1980, and secondly that the player numbers are up this year amongst the juniors. However, when you look at the increase, though impressive in percentage terms, in real tersm we are still talking about 100 extra kids playing the game…….

  12. Cuen Lucas
    June 20, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    That increase of 100 or kids was at one club alone so it’s actually looking quite good. If the Irish team can do well on T.V. then it’ll really set things going.

  13. Ram
    June 22, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Ireland’s ODI against England last year easily managed to attract 8,000 people to the stadium but now it looks like their ODIs against India and SA are struggling to even sell out 5-6,000 tickets which is not quite what’s expected after their WC heroics and increased publicity; however TV deals from the five games should bring in sufficient revenue for the ICU…I think nowadays sponsors want good crowds in stadiums before they can start backing a sport and the ICU probably needs to address this…Any ODI against the top 8 should be able to consistently attract 10-12,000 people for the ICU to be able to convince novice sponsors and stakeholders about the game’s popularity and following in the country…

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