Monday, 12 March 2012

Tim Murtagh

The merry-go-round for players leaving Ireland to play for England will continue for many years. So what can Ireland do to prevent the exodus of players from worsening the team. With Test cricket not around the corner anytime soon, they must think of new ways to add to the side.

One of the ways is using players born outside Ireland, with Irish relations as a path to qualify for Ireland.

I've heard people say that Ireland are just as bad when they take these players in. As this is exactly what England are doing.

Although there is a distinct difference with these situations. The likes of Trent Johnston, Andre Botha, Tim Murtagh etc, were never likely to play for their countries of birth. Then Eoin Morgan & Ed Joyce were always wanted for their countries of birth.

If a player is willing to come to an associate side. Do the hard work put the training in and stick with the side through all the situations. Not just there for the marquee games and have the right temperament. Then why not welcome him in with open arms. Although there is a line to be drawn somewhere in this situation, we can't have associates playing 11 Australians in their side.

So we come to Ireland's newest recruit in Tim Murtagh the Middlesex fast bowler.

He is a left-handed batsman and a right-arm fast-medium bowler. He has represented England during the 2000 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup.

His first talent is bowling however he has improved significantly with the bat over years.

Injury among the Surrey bowling attack in 2005 had led to more opportunities for him. Including a very impressive 6/24 against Middlesex in the 2005 T20 Cup.

After a struggle to find a regular spot with Surrey, he began a search for a new club after the 2006 season. He was to sign for Middlesex in December 2006.

Where he was to quickly find his feet with scoring 874 runs at an average of 32.37. Whilst also taking 68 wickets at an average of 37.72 in first-class fixtures.

Since the move to Middlesex his bowling average was to improve vastly. With his wickets costing nearly 12 runs fewer than his wickets for Surrey. While his bowling average in List A games is nine runs less than it was for Surrey.

After a conversation with Ed Joyce of Ireland in 2011 led Murtagh to seriously consider qualifying for Ireland. He was entitled to apply for an Irish passport through his grandfather, who was born in Dublin.

He didn't dawdle with his application and was granted Irish citizenship in January 2012. He was first called into the Irish team as a reserve player. If any of the first 14 squad were to get injured he would be likely to be called into the squad as a replacement.

So in the upcoming 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in the UAE, we could get our first viewing of Murtagh in an Irish jersey. With 16 teams vying for the two measly spot available for the associate sides.

Hopefully if he was to get his chance in these qualifiers, he could show the Irish fans why he was selected for Ireland. Especially if he were able to replicate his 6/24 for Ireland, it would cause a lot of people to be very happy.

While Tim Murtagh is still quite young for cricket, he appears to be a big coup for Ireland. His long experience of English County cricket will hopefully help him hit the ground running. Also with his ability to bat lower down in the order will also strengthen the Irish side hugely.

He's also well known with many of the Irish squad. He's played with Ed Joyce in the past. While he currently plays with Paul Stirling, Andrew/Stewart Poynter, Andrew Balbirnie, so it shouldn't be difficult to incorperate himself into the side

With Ireland losing Eoin Morgan and possibly other players over the coming years. Tim Murtagh will be a vital signing for Ireland. As they look to continue their utter dominance at the associate level.

1 comment:

  1. I think top associate sides like Ire, Neth, Afg should never let their players to represent top test playing nations...which mostly happen in SA and more so in England....I have heard that even George Dockrell and Boyd Rankin were to be future recruits from Ire from England