The year was 2006 and in the Ireland team tent the players watched Steve Harmison unleash the first delivery in the historic first ODI versus England.

Having seen it 'live', as a man they turned to see, courtesy of the 2 second transmission lag, it a second time. The collective gasp was audible as 92.3mph popped up on the screen but the nervous giggle that followed told more about how the task ahead was being perceived.

Facing the fastest bowling has always been a challenge to batsmen, none more so than in the 1932/3 'Bodyline' series.

Each generation has revisited it - Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith broke bones and battered England into submission in the 60's.

I was at Old Trafford on that Saturday in 1976 when Michael Holding, Andy Roberts and Wayne Daniel peppered Brian Close and John Edrich in the final session of the day. In that session I don't think a single delivery would have hit the stumps but that wasn't the aim.

Neither was it the aim of that Australian pair Thomson and Lillee who finally ‘released’ David 'Bumble' Lloyd back to the dressing room where he commented that he hadn't received a single delivery in his half of the pitch!

The West Indies careered through the 80s with their five man pace attack, but in reality it was pick any five from seven as their opponents found there was no respite from 'chin music'.

Throughout those generations batsmen have had to cope, and I put it no stronger than that. Anyone who prospered with the bat against sheer pace has been the exception rather than the rule. Little can prepare you to face such an examination.

Ireland's preparation before their first Gillette Cup match versus Middlesex featuring Wayne 'Diamond' Daniel and Vince van der Bijl was to spend a couple of hours the afternoon before the game in the Lord's Indoor School with cranked up bowling machines at 18 yards range and take the risk that someone wouldn't be fit the next morning!

Two sets of video clips have emerged this week from the U19 World Cup - the first showcases the 6-15 that Pakistan left-arm quickie Shaheen Afridi collected against Ireland but it only tells part of the story.

The second should be compulsory viewing for those whose comments at times show little understanding of the reality of International cricket even at U19 level, it was an 'assault' from the Pakistan seam attack. So much so that I questioned the thinking behind it being produced as a 'highlights' package from the organisers.

It was indeed uncomfortable to watch our boys being peppered and some cases hit by what the coach described as "140kph bouncers, all day.” and I can only imagine the feelings and concerns of some of the parents as their offspring faced up to the barrage.

I tweeted earlier in the week quoting Steve James in the Daily Telegraph who reworded the old saying: 'No one likes fast bowling, it's just that some play it better than others' - his revision reading: 'Everyone is scared of fast bowling, but some suppress it and hide it better than others.'

Former international player and parent of one of the current U19 squad, Deryck Vincent added to that saying: 'Anyone who says they like fast bowling has never faced fast bowling!'

The reality is that our young players will face the same challenge every time they go out to play on an international stage when they will face pace that they don't see in their normal diet of league cricket.

How they cope with that is the challenge that many others have faced through the generations and some would argue that no one has ever found an answer and the thoughts of every player who has faced that kind of examination will be with them. Perhaps there is indeed no preparation that will ensure success in this environment and the best anyone can hope for is the maxim - 'forewarned is forearmed.'

Barring two remarkable results in the final round of matches Ireland will face the West Indies next Tuesday when their biggest challenge may not be the pace attack, but remembering to keep inside the crease when backing up and not to do the gentlemanly thing and pick up and throw the ball back to a fielder!