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NWCU Pakistan first test match

Pakistan Confirmed For Ireland’s First Test

NWCU Pakistan first test match

Ireland Vs Pakistan first test match

Ireland’s first men’s Test match will be on home soil against Pakistan from Friday, May 11th to Tuesday, May 15th, following an agreement between the two sides reached during the International Cricket Council meeting in Auckland.

Ireland and Afghanistan were given Test status in June when they became the 11th and 12th Full Members of the ICC and Cricket Ireland has since been looking for the right opponents for an historic first match.

“We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural Test match next year,” CEO Warren Deutrom said. “It has been our wish to make our Test debut in front of our own fans within 12 months of becoming a Test nation, and against a big team, so I’m delighted.”

Pakistan certainly fit the bill as a team who were top of the Test match rankings as recently as last year before slipping back after the retirement of captain Misbah-ul-Haq and senior batsman Younis Khan.

“There is a lot of work to do from now to ensure that it will be an occasion to remember but we, and I’m sure our players and fans, can’t wait to rise to it,” Deutrom added.

“We would like to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board most sincerely for agreeing to be our first opponent in Test cricket, the Pakistan team has been a regular visitor to our shores in recent years, and their agreement to be our opponent on this important occasion for Irish cricket is further evidence of their terrific support.”

Irish captain William Porterfield welcomed confirmation of the match saying: “It’s fantastic news for Irish cricket. It’s going to be a bit special and it’s always great to be a part of history.

“There’s a special affinity between ourselves and Pakistan going back to the 2007 World Cup and they’ve been regular tourists here over the past decade.

“Test cricket is the pinnacle of our sport and I know how much this game will mean to not only the players but all involved with Irish cricket. It’ll be another step on what has been an incredible journey for our sport in a relatively short passage of time.

“It’s sure to be an incredible and emotional experience for all involved. I know how much this will mean to all the players and just how much we all will forward to our dream of being Test cricketers realised. I’m certain there will be an incredible atmosphere from both sets of fans who will be keen to witness a piece of history.”

The Irish venue for the five-day Test has yet to be confirmed, but a final decision will be announced in due course.

Sion Mills Cricket club

From Sion Mills to Stormont – 1969 to 2017

 

Sion Mills Cricket Club

Sion Mills Cricket Club

Sion Mills Cricket Club is inextricably linked to two things: The Mill where 700 local people found work, and for whom the club was founded, and a single day in 1969 when a touring West Indies side were humbled by the “Gentlemen of Ireland”.

A number of Sion players made it on to the field that day, the most famous of whom was Ossie Colhoun. A fitter who worked in the mill, Ossie kept wicket for Ireland that day and represented Ireland on 87 occasions.

The other 699 staff in the mill were given the day off to watch the match and took advantage of the opportunity to see the West Indies in their back garden.

Sion Mills CC was always linked to the fortunes of the Mill as it was initially founded to provide recreation for the staff. In the ‘60s and ‘70s the Mill was thriving, the team was winning and the players were getting international recognition.

Sadly, the decline of the Mill signalled the beginning of the decline of the cricket club too. Not to mention, the football, tennis, bowls and handball that were all part of the haven of sport in Sion Mills.

I wasn’t alive when a team of household names from the Caribbean finished a test match at Lord’s in London and travelled via Belfast to Sion Mills, County Tyrone to play Ireland the next day.

However, the way in which the story of what transpired that day, has been passed from generation to generation and transcended cricket fans to make news all over the world, I sometimes feel like it’s a part of my history too.

Looking at the old video clips from the BBC and seeing batsman after batsman trudge back to the pavilion never fails to stir the spirit. While there recently, I made sure to stand in the same spot as the camera had been, while taking some photographs.

When I visited the club recently, I saw a club fighting hard to keep its’ head above water. And yet, the mantra of “There has to be a club here” survives.

Every member, every player and every officer is determined to keep their club alive. This is a club built on local values and family pride, fathers, uncles, grandfathers played for the club. One of the current squad drives from Ballina for every game.

This club will survive and may even thrive again through the hard work and dedication of the members, coaches and families in Sion Mills.

The club may have been founded for the workers of the Mill but it exists now for the people of the village.

It needs to continue for all the people who know very little about cricket but still say: “Sion Mills? Didn’t Ireland bowl the West Indies out for very little there in the ‘60s?”

Making cricket as mainstream as that story became would be fantastic for all the current club, provincial and international players in Ireland.

Our next opportunity to do so comes against the West Indies next Wednesday September 13th at Stormont. Will those of us lucky enough to be there next week be reminding our grandchildren about the time in 2017 when we beat the men from the Caribbean?

Get your tickets here

Cricket Ireland Celebrate Full Membership

Cricket Ireland Celebration

Warrens_explanation CRICKET IRELANDCricket Ireland today celebrated the ICC decision to grant Full Membership and Test Status at a gathering in Dublin where staff, players, union representatives, volunteers, sponsors and government officials heard of the ‘remarkable journey’ the sport has undergone to achieve acceptance in the top echelons of world cricket.

Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom outlined just how rapidly the sport had developed in such a relatively short time, but emphasized that he saw the historic decision as just the beginning for the sport in Ireland.

“Last month, the night before our historic match against England at Lord’s I said that Irish cricket is crossing a Rubicon – yesterday, we crossed it!

“By becoming a [Test-playing nation and] full member of ICC, we have completed one stage of a journey that has taken Irish cricket from marginal and mostly ignored to one of the premier nations in the world’s 2nd biggest sport.

“And it is a journey that has been travelled with remarkable speed. Just 10 years ago our then-new corporate strategy outlined one of its key goals as the Ireland team being competitive in England’s county club competition.

“Every time we set ourselves a mountain to climb, we do so. We have always believed that the shame is not in failing to reach an ambitious target, but rather being afraid to try. And having proven our credentials to the world cricket community, we now have the opportunity to achieve an even bigger goal, which is to make cricket a mainstream sport in Ireland.

“In the last four years, we have rapidly realised that producing a competitive Test team is in fact only one part of a much bigger whole – that instead our goal needs to be broader and further reaching – that it needs to envision Ireland not just being a major force in cricket, but cricket being a major force in Ireland.

“Everywhere I look in Irish cricket, I see people with the talent and desire to succeed on the field of play, and off it. I see accomplished players, talented youngsters, dedicated volunteers, passionate administrators, generous sponsors and a growing profile. I see a desire for success, a burning self-belief and a willingness to innovate and embrace best practice. With all this in place, and the game finally ready to embrace change, where might we be in the next 10 years,” concluded Deutrom.

One of Ireland’s most senior international Ed Joyce also paid tribute to the tireless efforts of everyone who made the remarkable journey possible.

“We all owe a big debt of thanks to the players, volunteers, coaches and supporters that have brought us to this point,” said Joyce. “However this can’t be the end point of the journey and the really hard work starts now.
Joyce made his debut back in 1997 against Scotland, and is amazed by the transformation in the game during those two decades.

“When I started playing cricket for Ireland, the idea of us playing at test level was ridiculous so to be a small part of this journey makes me very proud.”

Joyce sounded a word of caution that there may well be testing times ahead with the elevation, but felt that solid foundations were already in place.

“Getting to the point where we’re consistently competitive could take a while and we have to be ready for that as well but hopefully this is the start of a special time for cricket in Ireland.

“We’ve achieved quite a lot with very little over the last decade so with the extra funding and fixtures that comes with yesterday’s announcement, we should be able to speed up our progress.”

He also congratulated Afghanistan, who were also given Test status, and hoped that other countries would follow suit in the coming years.

“I’d like to pass on my congratulations to Afghanistan too for their elevation. Their cricketing story is an incredible one and they deserve everything that is coming their way. Hopefully yesterday opens the door for more countries to get elevated status.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD expressed his delight at Cricket Ireland’s achievement of Test status. “This a great result for the hard work put in by many people over many years in developing Irish cricket.

“This development is a massive milestone for the sport in Ireland and is a landmark date as no other country has received full membership since Bangladesh in 2000. We can all be truly proud of what Cricket Ireland has achieved.”

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin TD , welcomed the achievement by Cricket Ireland , saying at the conference : “Irish cricket is now at the top table in world cricket and Irish fans can look forward with relish to seeing some great cricket fixtures in the coming years.

“In recent weeks, we have seen some wonderful cricket in the ICC Champions Trophy, ultimately won by Pakistan and the thought of Ireland competing against such top cricketing nations in Test cricket is an exciting prospect.”

Photos from the event can be viewed by clicking here

Joyce Century Keeps Leinster in command on day 2

Ed Joyce Cricket IrelandED JOYCE’S 46th first-class century ensured Leinster Lightning maintained the upper hand on the second day of their Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship match against North West Warriors at Oak Hill.

Joyce dominated Lightning’s innings, stroking 23 fours and two sixes as he top scored with 156 as Lightning posted 365 for 9 declared – a first-innings lead of 130.

Lorcan Tucker scored his maiden first-class half-century, hitting 56 from 119 balls (5 fours, 1 six) in a solid Lightning batting display.

Four players got into the twenties, with John Anderson making 29, and George Dockrell, Jack Tector and Simi Singh all scoring 27.

The Warriors attack battled manfully, with Andrew McBrine, Craig Young and David Scanlon all taking three wickets apiece.

With 17 overs to negotiate before the close of play The Warriors were soon in difficulty yet again, losing Irosh Samarasooriya, Ross Allen and Andrew Austin to finish the day on 44 for 3.

The Warriors face a daunting challenge to salvage anything on the final day, and much will depend on the experienced Niall O’Brien (16*) if they are to escape with a draw.

Play on Thursday gets under way again at 11am.

Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship

Leinster Lightning v North West Warriors at Oak Hill, Day 2 of 3

North West Warriors 235(87.2 overs; A McBrine 67, D Rankin 47: S Singh 3-59)and 44-3 (17 overs)
Leinster Lightning 365-9 dec (101.3 overs) E Joyce 156, L Tucker 56; C Young 3-70, D Scanlon 3-79, A McBrine 3-91

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