Conor Olphert delighted at Ireland call-up
Bready bowler Conor Olphert is one of two new faces called into the Ireland men’s senior squad ahead of the two T20 Internationals against India in Dublin at the end of the month.
The 25-year old is joined on the panel by his North West Warriors team-mate Stephen Doheny, another player who has flourished on the Interprovincial stage this summer.
Olphert, whose father Mark was also capped by Ireland in 1998, admits he was ‘a bit surprised’ to get the call this week, adding it’s been some week for the Magheramason club.
“Everyone was delighted when Alana (Dalzell) won her first Irish cap against South Africa on Tuesday and we’re all very proud of her. I suppose it shows that we’re doing something right up here.”
“Obviously it will be amazing if I do manage to get capped and have two Internationals in the house, but I’m realistic enough to know that this isn’t a team you just walk into.”
“They are all quality players in this Ireland set-up and there are plenty of excellent bowlers, so I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself.”
Of course the father/son angle isn’t the only symmetry in this week’s call-up as Conor is following something of a pace bowler tradition at the Magheramason club.
Boyd Rankin went on to enjoy an illustrious career at club, Interprovincial and International level and Craig Young is currently doing likewise, and perhaps now a similar window is opening for Olphert.
He was certainly full of praise for that pair when acknowledging their part in his own recent development.
“I’ve obviously played quite a bit alongside Craig and it’s a great experience learning from bowlers of his quality. He’s always around with a bit of advice or encouragement and I’ve learned a lot from that.”
“Working with Boyd in the Warriors set-up has been absolutely brilliant. He’s a guy who has performed at the highest level in the sport but he’s such an unassuming person.”
“It might seem a simple thing to people, but as a bowler, having another fast bowler as your head coach just gives you something extra. He knows what’s going through your head at the top of your run-up and that experience and know how is kind of reassuring.”
“I know that a lot of my development as a bowler in the last 18 months is down to those two and I do look up to them.”
“This week’s call-up really is an exciting time for me and I’m very much looking forward to the India games.”
“I’ll obviously be trying to put it up to the other bowlers because of course I want a chance to test myself at this level.”
“Getting the chance and making the most of it is the challenge now.”