Green Wickets
Ed Leahy
Ireland's Adventures at the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
By Ed Leahy.
Liberties Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-905483-33-4.
Hardback, 172pp.

Price: £12.00

In a year that was full of sporting upset and disappointment, Green Wickets is the story of the outstanding team performance of the Irish selection in 2007. Journalist and fan Ed Leahy was one of the only ever-present reporters to follow the tournament, and his book also features numerous exclusive photographs taken by team member Paul Mooney.

From the last-gasp draw with Zimbabwe, to the epic win over Pakistan, the escapades of the 'Blarney Army' and the Irish team are all detailed and illustrated through officials' and team-members' behind the scenes images. Who will forget Ireland's progress to the Super Eights and the frantic calls home to employers to ask for another month's leave - and that was the players not the fans!

The last match against Bangladesh saw Ireland enter the top flight of one day competition. Add in the curious Bob Woolmer affair, and the book makes for a colourful and intriguing story, in exotic climes, of a remarkable few weeks in Irish and cricket sporting history.

Ed Leahy was one of only three journalists present for all of the period of Ireland's involvement in the tournament and, in addition to his work for RTÉ, he writes on cricket for the Irish Independent. Ed has sourced behind the scenes images from team members and has extensive interview notes from all the protagonists. The book also features brief chapters on the islands and countries where Ireland travelled for their matches.

Cricket in December - Yeah Mon (Book Launch)

It is a long way from the Caribbean - in terms of distance and in terms of temperature - to the Irish Writers' Centre on a December evening, but there was still a carnival atmosphere as a large crowd gathered to celebrate the publiciation of the final Liberties Press title in 2007: Ed Leahy's book Green Wickets - Ireland's Adventures at the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

The title appropriately enough was formally launched by the team's coach at the tournament and mastermind of their success Adrian Birrell. Amongst the large gathering of a hundred or so people were Ed's family and friends, as well as the Irish Cricket team captain Trent Johnston and his team-mates David Langford-Smith and Kenny Carroll. Several of the Leinster clubs were represented with guests from Civil Service and Leinster Cricket club amongst the well wishers seeking the signature of the author and team members.

Launching the title Adrian Birrell recalled how the ground-work for the teams success was laid when he took the team to his homeland around Port Elizabeth in South Africa. It was there he said the team learnt to live with one another and became like a large happy family. In praising the book and Ed's account of the events in the West Indies he mentioned these memories would be with the Irish team and himself for the rest of their lives - and the numerous photos by team member Paul Mooney and Inpho's Morgan Treacy would serve as a reminder of those wonderful days.

Author Ed Leahy, having confessed to almost fainting during Adrian's speech, rallied to thank one and all in particular his family and girlfriend Paula who had been so supportive during the writing of the book. Ed recalled how welcoming the Irish team had been to the members of the media and he said he would be hard pressed to find a better bunch of guys to spend six weeks in the Caribbean with.The assembled audience were probably thinking 'nice work if you can get it'.

Once the speeches were over, the crowd bustled together with conversation and wine flowing freely. The normally relaxed atmosphere of the Writers Centre soon buzzed with as colleagues and acquaintances enjoyed meeting each other under such informal circumstances. Eventually the gathering dispersed into the pre Christmas night, with some of the number retiring to Conway's bar to continue the recollections and celebration.