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What Should Be Ireland Fate in Cricket?

Tim Holt
811   //    10 Jul 2011, 09:05 IST

A visit to the dim dark past paints a very familiar plight that Ireland might replicate in cricket

The Irish after the success of two very fine World Cup campaigns have been seeking higher recognition in the form of Test status. This seemed very far away with the ICC’s decision to limit numbers in the World Cup and then eventual back flip over this.

Then with crickets power brokers showing the lead and the other Nations following in quite literally turning their backs on Bangladesh. A move that doesn’t inspire hope of another Test new comer being introduced now or for a very long time.

For as seen with Bangladesh. The cricketing powers that be will preach about seeking global relevance and inclusionism of new entities, but the sad reality is words mean very little and only the financial gain matters

Sad reality for the men in green, that with them not representing $$$$ for the incumbent Nations. It means that Test status will be talked about, but never granted at least for a good long time.

A fate seen in the plight of the African Nation now known as Zimbabwe. That for many years under its previous title of Rhodesia was forced to serve as a feeder state in Tests for South Africa and other Nations. Due to no higher honours being available for their own with Test status

This despite a period of nearly 20 years from the early 1950′s onwards where under the banner of Rhodesia in the South African Regional competition. Where they challenged for honours perennially and produced some very fine South African players

Test Cricket was never forth coming until 1992. When Rhodesia ceased to exist replaced by the renaming of the Nation Zimbabwe after independence

This tale of woe ring a bell Ireland?

For we have already seen a fine Dublin boy in Eoin Morgan excelling for England as the spin talents of George Dockrell are being just as coveted. All seeking the higher honours that their talents so need.

Definitely a case of the strong exploiting the weak on the basis of what they can offer in terms of Test Cricket.

Which Ireland can’t offer at present, but if you take away the romance and appeal of their case.

What should be their place in the current game?

The calls for their Test status has come on the back of two very impressive World Cup campaigns in One Day International Cricket. Performances that have great merit, but need to be put in context in regards to the standard is so much lower to what is seen in Tests.

Then without any First Class structure in Ireland how can they be expected to develop players for the demands needed in Test Cricket.

As seen in Bangladesh with their absence of a worthy Domestic competition. They have struggled mightily in the Test arena to the point where they are more and more being ostracised with their place in the Test arena being questioned.

Cricket can’t risk this situation happening again with a hasty inclusion of Ireland into the Test arena.

So the Irish need to develop a base to be seen as being credible of Tests. This by trying to get an Irish Team in English County cricket and setting up unofficial ‘Tests’ with lesser Nations reminiscent of the ones Sri Lanka played in the 1960.

It’s hard for me to discount these calls for Test status for Ireland for I am Irish myself.

Though Irish Pride is first and foremost and thus we need to wait until we are truly ready. So as to bring honour to our great Nations name, rather than embarrass it.

Tim Holt
Cricket through the eyes of an Irishman. Do check out more on my blog <a href="">atouchofirishintheglobalvillage</a>
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