I have to confess to not being a huge fan of the various T20 franchises across the globe. I watch very, very little of them, and only then if there is an Irish interest or there’s nothing else to do.

Ireland’s latest exploits at the World Cup, plus a glut of tournaments going on simultaneously has led to opportunities for at least eight of them to ply their trade abroad. I think six of them went to the USA pre-Christmas to play in a 10-over tournament – quite what the cricketing standard and value of the event was like is out for decision, but limited aside from a nice break in the Florida sunshine.

What would have happened if one of them had sustained a serious injury?

Not that it is easy for Cricket Ireland to deny players if the chance arises. While in theory they are under contract, there is very little to hold a player if they want to go.

Can you imagine if for example they had refused to issue a NOC (No-Objection Certificate) to Josh Little for the IPL? He would simply retire from international cricket and take up the lucrative deal.

It’s a juggling act for CI, and in case for the players. Say for example Stephen Doheny, Neil Rock or Ross Adair hit the ground running this week and produce something extraordinary in Zimbabwe that makes them undroppable? How then will the guys that opted to miss out feel? It could be interesting.

Back to Josh Little, and it did the heart good to see the young Dubliner go for so much money. Life changing. I first came across ten years ago when he was part of the Leinster U13 interprovincial title winning side, captained by Harry Tector and coached by Brian O’Rourke, and a certain Barry McCarthy!

I’d love to claim that his brilliance was immediately noticeable to me, but that would be lying. He really stood out for me after his Ireland debut when he was involved in the Under 19 squad that beat Scotland in the famous win over Scotland in Jersey, as he took the final wicket.

David Townsend ‘DT’ liked him from the off. “He has what the Aussies call, a bit of the mongrel in him.” Up for a fight. He certainly has been at the heart of the senior T20 revival. His left-arm pace adding much variety to an honest, but very workmanlike attack.

Let us hope he isn’t overworked or injured as we head into a crucial 2023.


You’ll often see mentioned in press releases and articles about ‘clear pathways’ and how the route to the senior international side is well signposted these days.

However, Ross Adair’s elevation to the squad for the forthcoming tour of Zimbabwe is a little off path.

The CIYMS and Northern Knights hard-hitting batsman has played ZERO times for Ireland Wolves.

It seems barely believable that he will go straight from interprovincial to the international arena without the intermediate step of the Wolves to help.

But then again the sum total of the Wolves in 2022 was two weeks in March/April against Namibia.

Thankfully that shameful lack of cricket for the Wolves looks like being redressed in 2023, with a number of tours lined up. While pre and post season tours are very welcome, it’s not quite clear how a mid-season tour to England will play with the clubs losing players at a critical juncture of the year.

However, get used to it. This will be the new normal for Irish cricketers, and their appearances at club level will in all likelihood be few and far between.


Cricket Ireland is making strides towards Sport Ireland’s directive to have at least 40% women at Board Level. There are now three women on the board out of 12 giving them 25%. This information was contained in a Sport Ireland press release outlining the 33 NGB’s who have 40%, and the 33 NGB’s that currently fall short of the target.

When I went looking to find out who the three were, it wasn’t immediately obvious. The last Board meeting minutes on the CI website were from February 2019, almost four years ago, and the Board members composition was also out of date.

After asking around though I was told they are; Val Quinn (former head of Coca Cola Ireland and now a life coach), Solicitor Paula Gibbs, and Julie Fenton (Head of Integrity Services at Ernest and Young).

I’m not sure of their cricketing background, if any, nor does there need to be.

There have been valid criticisms in the past at the lack of international cricket experience on the board, and while the trio bring valuable outside expertise, they don’t help in this regard.

With two women places still required to fulfil the Sport Ireland criteria, maybe an approach to a few former women internationals. The Joyces for example? Just a thought.


It’s the start of a big month for cricket at all levels, and the Under 19 girls have been in action with warm-up matches ahead of their inaugural T20 World Cup next week. 

They have recorded wins over UAE and Zimbabwe, while they lost today against Pakistan. It’s a great opportunity for the squad to make a name for themselves and forge their way into the senior ranks.

Best of luck to Glenn Querl and his young charges for the rest of the month.