THE Charity Test Match may not last five days, but it will certainly be just as memorable for those who play in it as the one up the road in Malahide. It will be staged on the weekend of June 23rd/24th in the Civil Service grounds in the Phoenix Park, the birthplace of the sport in Ireland.
Organised by John Egan (Chapelizod CC), Tony Connell (Civil Service) and Dick Forrest (Leprechauns), the two-innings game will feature an Ireland side taking on a Rest of the World selection, with one player from each of the other 11 test nations. The Irish side will feature players from 11 different clubs.
Former Dublin All-Ireland winning goalkeeper John O'Leary will be representing Ireland, while former Phoenix head coach Matt Lunson (Australia) is captaining the international team.
The standard will be “social” – CL Division 9 upwards – but its primary purpose is to celebrate Ireland getting test status and raise funds for the McVerry Trust homeless charity. Peter McVerry is long-standing campaigner for the homeless who once played a Leinster senior game for Old Belvedere.
The game is the brainchild of Egan, a founder member of his club. "It came to me last year watching a cricket match that with their being 12 ICC full members now the numbers worked out perfectly for an Ireland versus one of each of the other countries match. It shared the idea with a few people and Tony Connell and Dick Forrest were very supportive.
"We decided to support the McVerry Trust because homelessness is one of the most important issues in Dublin at present. The McVerry trust has worked tirelessly for 35 years helping the most disadvantaged in our society. We are celebrating a bright future for Irish cricket while acknowledging that we must do our best in our society to help ensure a brighter future for all."
The second day of the ‘Test’ will have family entertainment, live music, BBQ, face painting etc, with a large raffle in aid of the McVerry Trust. For €10 you get a burger, a pint and a raffle ticket with all proceeds directly to the homeless charity.