Liberties Press is pleased to announce the publication of Green Wickets: Ireland's Adventures at the 2007 Cricket World Cup by Ed Leahy. This highly illustrated hardback gift book, which charts the heroic achievements of the Irish team in the Caribbean features an introduction by the team's coach Adrian Birrell, who is launching the book today (5 December) at 6pm in the Irish Writers' Centre 19 Parnell Sq, Dublin 1.
In a year that was full of sporting upset and disappointment, ‘Green Wickets' is the story of the outstanding team performance of the Irish selection in 2007. Journalist and fan Ed Leahy was one of the only ever-present reporters to follow the tournament, and his book also features numerous exclusive photographs taken by team member Paul Mooney. From the last-gasp draw with Zimbabwe, to the epic win over Pakistan, the escapades of the ‘Blarney Army' and the Irish team are all detailed and illustrated through official and team-members' behind the scenes images.
Who will forget Ireland's progress to the Super Eights and the frantic calls home to employers to ask for another month's leave - and that was the players not the fans! Denis O'Brien and his Digicel organisation helped out the team financially and looked after the Irish media with phones and accommodation, while the last match against Bangladesh saw Ireland enter the top flight of one day competition. Add in the curious Bob Woolmer affair, and the book makes for a colourful and intriguing story, in exotic climes, of a remarkable few weeks in Irish and cricket sporting history.
Ed Leahy was one of only three journalists present for all of the period of Ireland's involvement in the tournament and, in addition to his work for RTÉ, he writes on cricket for the Irish Independent. Ed has sourced behind the scenes images from team members and has extensive interview notes from all the protagonists. The book also features brief chapters on the islands and countries where Ireland travelled for their matches.
Some quotes from the book:
If you move down the pitch a bit further, you will see a lot of grass all over the wicket. This is a lot of grass. We didn't see so much grass on the other two pitches that have been used. Not too sure as to whether it's because it's St Patrick's Day that they left all this greenery. Ireland should be happy with that. I'm not too sure how happy the batsmen will be when they see how much it moves off the seam. But the colour, certainly happy with that, Ireland.
Michael Holding (West Indies legend and cricket commentator)
It was a very special thing [to bowl Ed Joyce] and I couldn't really believe that I got him first ball. I had targeted him before the game, so to get him first ball was unbelievable. I don't think he was too happy after the game, as he shook hands but didn't say much, so I'll be looking forward to catching up with him in the near future. He's a good lad; it's just a pity that I had to get him first ball .
Boyd Rankin, Ireland opening bowler
When I took over, we were probably ranked eighteenth or twentieth in the world. Now we're arguably the strongest Associate . And along the way, we've picked up some major scalps. Our fielding is excellent, we have a long batting line-up, and the bowling is very good when we get it right. But if you ask me what our greatest strength is, it's the team spirit. I am very proud of what we've achieved.
Adrian Birrell, Ireland Coach