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Monday, September 28, 2009

Ireland No More in English Country Cricket

Cricket Ireland has declined an ECB offer to continue its participation in County cricket, citing that Ireland now wants to focus more on international cricket. Ireland coach Phil Simmons believes that his side plays the game all-year round, and therefore, facing a timing problem. Warren Deutrom, chief executive of Cricket Ireland, has revealed his gratitude to ECB for its support to cricket in Ireland.

It has been reported that Netherlands would now fill up the gap of Ireland in county cricket and it would be interesting to see if the Dutch side can also become a dominating force like Ireland among the ICC associate members.

There is no doubt, Ireland has been more active in international cricket over the last few years and have achieved a number of successes at international level. Ireland reached the Super Six round of last World Cup in 2007 defeating Pakistan and then they defeated Bangladesh in the Super Six. This year, Ireland defeated Bangladesh in World Twenty20 in South Africa. Ireland will take part in the qualifying competition of ICC World Twenty20 2010 next February in order to clinch a spot of the final tournament.

Well, I do not think that Cricket Ireland has taken the right decision by outing out of County competition. Ireland has improved a lot by taking part in the county cricket and a number of players have played so well that they got call up from England national team. Naturally, county cricket was the breeding ground of Ireland over the years. It is true that Ireland can now play more international cricket, but international stage is not the ideal place where players can develop their game and improve skill and talent. It is true that Ireland from now would not have to allow their best players to play for England, but they have also lost the potential source of getting quality players who can lead Ireland in international circuit.

Anyway, it is now a big chance for Netherlands to improve their cricket. The Dutch side has a number of potential talents who can flourish their potential by playing in English country cricket.

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