I’ve always believed that bad news can wait, so I opted to let 24 hours pass before writing anything on Ireland Women’s T20 World Cup exit after their heavy loss to Scotland on Sunday.

Given that emotions were obviously raw last night, would the news of a cancelled series against Netherlands at Bready and a portion of the Sri Lanka games have been better told to the players later in the week/month?

In my previous life as Ireland Media Manager, I was only asked once to do a rewrite on a match report, and that was when the Women were heavily beaten. I was mildly critical but word came down that it wasn’t helpful when trying to get sponsorship.

I thought that as an international team they deserved better than being patronized – it wasn’t a Leinster girls U13 side. I went OTT in the rewrite, “Despite a battling 15 by X, Ireland lost a hard-fought clash by 200 runs against y, with Merrion’s player z having the best figures of 1-102…”

Since then, Ed Joyce’s side have been transitioning into a fully professional, contracted side, albeit one with some way still to go. With the territory though, comes greater expectation and scrutiny.

It’s a fine line though. The players will be hurting after Sunday, and they don’t need me to put the boot in. They know where it went wrong, and I’m sure the dismissals of the top order will be replayed in their mind countless times over the next few months.

They are still young, and will learn. I for one wouldn’t want judged on my photography and writing abilities in my early years.

It’s a balance though. Realism and truth matters.

I saw it was six years since Craig Easdown took over my role, and he wrote a piece stating why in his opinion they were the best years ever for cricket in Ireland. You’ve never had it so good, Harold McMillan style.

While some aspects were certainly valid, there was one glaring omission. The failure of the Men’s senior side to qualify for the last two 50-overs World Cups.

It does no one any favours to try and airbrush failures out of the picture. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. It may take a few months for the pain to subside, but the squad will recover. They do need more quality and depth in all departments. That is obvious.

The Super Series is soft cricket. Better than nothing but far from what is required as a stepping stone to international cricket. Lobby bowling and easy runs. No pressure or consequences.

Unlike yesterday. 


The recent furore over staff cars – Teslagate as dubbed by Nathan Johns -was one of a number of topics addressed by CEO Warren Deutrom in the Last Word Podcast.

It was a lengthy interview – well over an hour – but my biggest takeaway from it all was how tired Warren looked. And old. Of course, I see it myself these days when I look in the mirror. Myself, Warren and Richard Holdsworth are all of similar vintage.

It’s time for change. This is not a case of what have the Romans ever done for us? No-one can argue about the legacy and the dramatic impact/transformation Warren in particular has had on Irish cricket.

The most worrying aspect for me in all the recent hullaballoo was the absence of any contrition in the interview, and the fact that nobody in the Board or the office thought it worthy of challenging the decision to buy the cars in the first instance. 

Any why do so many staff need cars? How many in total have them and how much does it cost? About the same as it would have taken to bring world champions Australia over for a five-match series.

Are they really all that afraid to challenge or offer a different opinion? Do Board meetings offer any sort of scrutiny to what is being spent and what on? I would love for a really detailed breakdown on where the millions go. I can dream I guess.


While covering a two-division European tournament in Scotland in 2006, there was a rain break (surprise, surprise) in the game between the hosts and Ireland at Ayr. In the media tent, Rod Lyall was reading out the scores from the second tier games, along the lines of France are 64 for 4 against Gibraltar, Norway 80 for 2 against Belgium etc, when David Townsend announced that nobody cared…That set Rod off on a rant, but ‘DT’ was probably right. Nobody did really CARE.

That’s how I felt about the T20 Festival (sic) in Pembroke last week. I didn’t care. Neither did many others given how few bothered to watch, either in person or online. How has it come to this? I can offer many reasons, but for once I’m not so big on solutions.

What used to be a Friday-Sunday, with music, promotions, kids’ activities and the like is now more of a wake than a festival. Games are now midweek with people at work and the children at school. I was at a match at Bready last year and I could name the crowd – 11 of them.

It’s not that Cricket Ireland aren’t spending money on it, far from it. The games are streamed by HBV, Sportsfile are paid to attend, the games are ball-by-ball on NV Play, and Cricinfo are also paid to provide a competing live scoring service to their own system – Justin does a great job. It’s that they just don’t seem to care about their own competition, a case of money can’t buy you love

The dispersal of talent across the four teams diluted the identity. You get the sense the players don’t really care, and that filters through to everything.

You will rarely see me commenting on player selections, as I prefer to leave that to selectors, but I will comment on media matters. 

I use BBC Radio Foyle as my barometer for media interest in competitions, and last week they didn’t want anything on the Warriors bar a two-line report the next morning on their breakfast programme.

Not a lot. But it was still two lines more than Cricket Ireland put on their own website on any of the six games. If they can’t be bothered, why would they expect any Irish media to be?