Lankan Diary: Day 9 – An Irish Fan’s Scepticism

Posted: September 25, 2012 by thecognitivenomad in Cricket, World T20 2012
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Chandrasekhar Jayaramakrishnan

The only agenda for the day was to stop by the Premadasa (yes, once again) for the game between West Indies and Ireland – for once, a fixture that couldn’t be classified a dead-rubber. Both these teams had lost to Australia, and even though there was great disparity in standards on paper, we weren’t too keen on missing out on a chance to witness an upset (in case).

The West Indies have been touted as favourites by a good share of the fans that we’d run in to over the course of the tournament. More so, for their possession of big-hitting batsmen. Yes, their pacers did trouble Ireland yesterday (c’mon Ireland!), but given the start Ireland had, 129 seemed a score twenty runs too many. Tougher opposition await – as West Indies painfully realized during the game against Australia.

The Irish, on the other hand, have used primeval vocabulary via Trent Johnston to question the ICC’s intentions regarding the lack of opportunities that they’ve been getting at the international level. It is a shame that their performance this tournament has obscured Johnston’s dismissal of the ICC as being flaccid – for their usage of the term ‘minnows’ being a derogatory one for Ireland.

Irish fan Jack Tanner wants more consistent performances

We ran in to Jack Tanner, an Irish fan who resides in South England – fully geared with the Irish flag waving for every run scored. Jack remains hopeful, yet sceptical, about Ireland’s chances to win games on a consistent basis.

Cricket, in Ireland, is several rungs below Football and Rugby when offered as a choice for a youngster to take up. It is understandable – the game doesn’t have a history in Ireland as it does in England. Jack says it is fathomable to witness players switching allegiances to England in search of opportunities to play at a higher level – in other words, consistent international Cricket.

In conversation with the Irish fan Jack Tanner.

Boyd Rankin, the tall fast bowler from Ireland (who missed out yesterday due to an illness) has been vocal in expressing his desire to represent England if given a chance. This exodus doesn’t depict healthy signs for Irish cricket – clearly, as Jack said, it is about time Ireland start winning games consistently to show the ICC that they deserve the status that they’ve been after. The odd performances (Pakistan 2007, England 2011 – among others) don’t help.

It is a shame that the rain gods had to intervene to send the Irish home. In truth, a score of 129 was never going to suffice against the West Indian batting. But it’d have been interesting to see a full game on the cards with qualification at stake. Ireland doesn’t bow out a proud team this tournament – Phil Simmons has a colossal task ahead, and definitely not an easy one.


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