You felt for the Ireland Women team as they looked certain to end their 15 match T20 World Cup losing run against the West Indies last week, only to let victory slip from their grasp. They also ran India close, losing by just five runs.

They are a very young team and under the watchful eye of Ed Joyce clearly improving, especially in their attitude and scoring rates. Orla Prendergast has emerged as one of the leading players in the tournament, and it won’t be a surprise if she is rewarded with a gig at The Hundred or another high profile tournament.

However, there is an elephant in the room – their fielding. 

It has been well short of top international standard. Not just their catching, but there is a clear lack of pace and mobility in the field. The lack of athleticism in a young side is troubling. 

While in the amateur days, this could be forgiven, but with contracts comes expectations. When Adi Birrell took charge of the men in 2002, this was one area where he felt there should be no excuses for not being able to compete with the top teams. Indeed, he helped transform Ireland into one of the top fielding sides at the 2007 World Cup, on a par with their peers.

There is no shortage of backroom staff with the squad in South Africa – at least 11 or 12, but with one notable absence – no dedicated fielding coach.

That was also the case for the Under 19 World Cup recently and the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia. It’s no coincidence then perhaps that Ireland dropped the most catches of any side in that tournament.

For some reason the squads now take a doctor, as well as the usual physio, Strength and Conditioning Coach and psychologist etc. 

While I pray to God I don’t put a commentators curse on myself, I have been to the doctors once in the last 40 years. Now why would athletes in the prime of their lives (18-30) need a doctor with them?  Especially in countries boasting first-rate hospitals and medical facilities.

Surely in pure cricketing terms, a fielding coach would be much beneficial to a cricketing squad than a doctor?

I’m sure John Mooney would jump at the chance to be involved. He has been employed in the past as fielding coach of Afghanistan and West Indies when Phil Simmons was at the helm of both. William Porterfield is another from that 2007 team that would certainly add value too. Although contracted now by Warwickshire, short-term deals out of season could be arranged.

In games of small margins – the one percenters – this to me looks more like a ten percenter.


The Ireland Test side are off to Desert Springs for a training camp. They will of course be ending a four year exile when they take on Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in early April. I could be wrong but it appears to me they will be on a hiding to nothing given the lack of red-ball cricket under their belts.

It has been a year since the Wolves played. That is quite incredible. They aren’t learning from past mistakes, and the lack of a meaningful domestic cricket schedule isn’t helping either. There is no interprovincial multi-day cricket scheduled for 2023. Would the money spent on going to Spain have been better spent playing a few red ball matches as warm ups?

We are nearly in March and still no schedule for the forthcoming season. There aren’t that many games to announce so why the delay? There will be three T20 weekends – one each in June, July and August - and a 50 overs competition on a home and away basis, with six games in May and six in August. It’s not exactly the County Championship, is it?


Eoin Morgan brought the curtain down on his playing career last week and what a career it has been. A World Cup winning captain of England who revolutionized their approach to white ball cricket. A pioneer.

In his retirement statement he made no mention of his time with Ireland. Deliberate on his part or an oversight?

Maybe he still remembers being booed when he came out to bat against Ireland at Malahide? That day of course he was being applauded by the end as he made a match winning hundred.

With little fanfare he turned up at a Leinster youth coaching session run by one of his former coaches Brian O’Rourke.

A case of actions speaking louder than words for one of the true world greats.