Thursday, 28 June 2012

Irish Cricketing History Part 1

Cricket is a long-established sport in Ireland. However due to recent successes in the 2007, 2009 and 2011 World Cups. Cricket in Ireland has enjoyed quite a huge increase in popularity.

Most notable the first victory in 2007, when Ireland stunned the cricketing world. When Ireland was able to defeat one of the favourites for the entire tournament in Pakistan. Having before that, come back from the dead to tie with Zimbabwe. Then showing they weren't just one hit wonders, when they comfortably defeated Bangladesh in the Super 8's.

Then in the 2009 T20 World Cup, they were able to produce another Test scalp when they defeated Bangladesh. Then arguably the biggest upset of all time, when they chased down England's 327 to win by three wickets. With special thanks for Kevin O'Brien, who scored the fastest World Cup century of all time with a century from 50 balls.

Ireland was introduced to cricket in the early 19th century, in the towns of Kilkenny and Ballinasloe. The first national Irish team played in 1855 against the Gentlemen of England, the game was played in Dublin.
The game was developed in Ireland, with most of the work done by the coaching Englishman Charles Lawrence. Ireland was visited for their first time by touring professional sides in the 1850's and 1860's, with it's first match coming against Marylebone Cricket Club(M.C.C) which occurred in 1858.

With the dominance of Kilkenny in the current National Hurling League of Ireland. It could be argued the introduction of Cricket was a strong aid in this development. Hurling is arguably the most popular sport that is currently being played in Ireland. With Gaelic football alongside it, in the popularity stakes.

The game of cricket became increasingly more popular until the 1980's. However through Ireland's aim for independence and it's fight for freedom. The Gaelic Athletic Association enforced a ban of all foreign games in the 1980's. Which only resulted in stunting the growth of cricket in Ireland.

This ban was not lifted until 1970, nearly a century later. Whilst anyone playing foreign games would be banned from the more popular national sports of Hurling and Gaeilic football.

Irish teams still toured Canada and America in the years of 1879, 1888, 1892 and 1909. Even more interesting, Ireland managed to defeat a touring South African side in 1904.

Ireland's first match with first-class status was on the 19th of May 1902, which was contested by a London County side. Which included the legendary W.G. Grace. The Irish team was captained by Sir Tim O'Brien, the Irish side lost quite convincingly by 238 runs.

Tim O'Brien was born in Dublin who played cricket for England in five Test matches. He was a powerful right-handed batsman. During his playing career, he played in 266 first-class matches as an amateur for Oxford University.

He was well known for his hard hitting innings, with his highest score being 202. This came alongside Robert Slade Lucas, they pair put on 338 in only 200 minutes. He also captained Ireland and England, he recorded a top score of 167 against his alma mater. For the country of his birth, during a brief Irish tour of England. This remained an Irish record until 1973.

The Irish Cricket Union had been officially founded in 1923, however it's predecessor had been active since 1890.

However cricket in Ireland never got worldwide popularity untill events that took place in the 2007 World Cup.

The Irish Cricket Association joined the ICC in 1993, which had given Ireland the chance to enter the World Cup Qualification system. However it wasn't until 2007 when Ireland would first qualify for the Cricket World Cup.

Twelves teams competed to qualify for this World Cup from the associate sides.
Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands, Oman, Papa New Guinea, Scotland, Uganda, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Ireland had a comfortable enough time in Group A, finishing in 1st place. While Scotland were the side to finish in first place in Group B.

Which would leave Ireland and Scotland to battle it our for the overall winner. However by Ireland had qualified for the semi-finals on July 7th, which had won them places in the 2007 World Cup. Also granting them official One Day International status from the 1st of January 2006.

Scotland had posted an impressive 324/8 in their innings, which Ireland was unable to chase. Ireland Managed 277/9 from their alloted overs.

However they still had the main prize of qualifying for the biggest prize of all, the 2007 Cricket World Cup.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Brilliant article Colm. Nice to see you digging so deep to write about Irish cricket.

  3. Really nice bro excellent creation.Excellent article bro.I have never seen this of Article.

  4. gripping article i would say,it kept me hooked, excellent effort, keep going, and best of luck for ireland, may they upset all the teams in the upcoming t20 world cup

  5. Great job mate....Never come across such a great article...Really great work mate....

  6. hmmm gud mate...keep it up