So it's back to county cricket this week for most of the Irish team and back to conditioning and training for the home based players.
One great bit of news for us at Surrey this week is that we welcome fellow Irishman Kevin O'Brien back to the Kia Oval for his second stint with the club.
As we are all aware Kev is a proven match winner in this form of the game and his experience playing in different competitions throughout the world will hopefully stand us, and him, in good stead for the short period he is here.
I'm sure he will have a big part to play with both bat and ball. Over the years he has been used a fair bit for us in T20 cricket as a useful change bowler. It's so important in this format to know exactly what you are trying to execute at the right time. That is one of Kev's major strengths.
Before our T20 campaign kicks off we have the game against Gloucester at the Oval to hopefully finish with a win. We currently need another 222 to win as the rain falls in SE11. It was a good toss to win by Graeme, the pitch clearly had a fair bit in it for the seam bowlers and we exploited that beautifully on day one to bowl them out for 160 odd.
Unfortunately we were only to make 130 odd ourselves. I performed the cardinal sin of getting out again when set, hugely disappointing, as myself and Jason Roy had begun to transfer pressure back on to them.
We again managed to restrict them to a decent total leaving us 267 to win and a good 45 minutes batting on the evening of day two left us 226 with 10 wickets in hand. Unfortunately for us, Zafar Ansari's bad luck with injuries continued, after head butting an advertising board in our second game he was struck on the back elbow by a nasty rising delivery. He retired hurt and eventually went back in at number 11 and it looks like that will have to be the place he assumes in this innings as well.
With the T20 starting in three days it's far from ideal. He balances our side perfectly in that competition. An x-ray has revealed no break but bad internal bleeding so hopefully time will heal it nicely.
Away from Surrey, William Porterfield's Warwickshire are playing my favourites for the title, Yorkshire. For me they have the best side and the only thing that may get in the way of that is potential England call ups. Gary Ballance is now a cert after his start to the season, while Joe Root is an established player. Add in to that, Tim Bresnan and the outside chance of Jonny Bairstow getting a run, it could potentially be a big hole in their side.
For now though, I can only see the first two I've mentioned playing in the first test and therefore the Yorkshire steam train will continue. England have just announced their t20 and ODI squads and my Surrey teammate Jade Dernbach has missed out.
Jade gets a lot of bad press and I guess people only see what is on tv, a tattooed guy with flash hair, who celebrates when he gets wickets. Once you get to know him, Jade is a good guy. Wears his heat on his sleeve and cares for his team mates. He is also a mighty fine death bowler.
Last year, he and Azhar Mahmood were the main reasons we made finals day. He may not have shown it at international level but in county cricket, there is no one I would rather have bowling the last over of a game for us. Hopefully he comes back to us, puts in performances that can't be ignored and gets back in and performs ulike the people that know him, know he can.
Back home, the big news is that Cricket Ireland have confirmed two massive fixtures for next season with both Australia and England playing One Day Internationals in Ireland. I have no doubt the marketing department will have an easy job selling out both of those games. You only have to look at the success that was Malahide last year to see how that cricketing public got behind us.
Credit should go to both Australia and England for putting the games in place. At the moment we are still relying on favours from full members and whilst there is an agreement in place with the ECB, they deserve credit for having that in place in the first place. If the games are anything like last year they will be a great spectacle and special to be involved in front of a home crowd.