There are some things that you want to remember for ever,
Tuesday March 22, 2011
There are some things that you want to remember for ever, helping Paul Stirling put his socks and shoes on after the Dutch game because he was riddled with cramp is not one of them I can assure you. Playing at a world cup for a country that you are passionate about is.
Six times I sang Ireland's call before games and six times I was filled with so much pride. I really cannot reiterate how much the last 50 days has meant to all 21 people out there representing Ireland.
We managed to top off our time in India with a win over our European rivals, a team that we have now not lost to in four years and who have beaten us just twice in the last ten. What a stat that is.
There is no doubt that Holland played their part in what was a fantastic advertisement for associate and European cricket. With the greatest respect to them however it would have been seen as a disaster had we not won that final game.
At one point it was looking rather in their favour, it was a good batting track, there is no doubt about that but the lads will feel that we did not bowl like our usual selves. We bowled two sides of the wicket and two lengths, we were of course hampered by the injury to George Dockrell, who has been a revelation since he came into the side 12 months ago.
Take nothing away, also, from Ryan ten Doeschate who is a very fine player, someone who would walk into a lot of the full member sides in the tournament. Ryan, by his own admission was "a late developer" has been a more than consistent performer in county cricket for the past number of seasons.
If he had developed slightly earlier we wouldn't even have seen him in England. We would still have played against him in India, it just would have three days earlier in the green of South Africa.
Having been set 307 to win we never even dreamed of coming away with anything less than a win. The way the two openers set about chasing the total down in brilliant fashion getting us off to just the start we needed. They rode their luck along the way but they deserved it, playing with no fear.
In the end 307 was comfortable for use with every batsman who went to the wicket playing their part in the chase. we enjoyed the win afterwards, not quite to the same scale as the England game but we enjoyed it.
Before the tournament started we set out with two aims. To make the quarter finals and to proved that we belong at crickets top table. In my opinion, we got one out of two. From a personal point of view I was pleased with the way the tournament went.
I was bitterly disappointed at not playing in the first game, I didn't feel that I deserved to be dropped but one thing that I have learned is that there is no shame in not being in the final eleven of an Irish cricket team such is now the quality that we have.
After having missed that game I worked my way back in and felt that after that I did well. If I had to pick two highs and lows from the tournament from a team a personal perspective although there were many along the way I actually think it would be quite easy.
Beating England and losing to Bangladesh and then getting 61 against West Indies but also being adjudged lbw in the same game whilst we were in a position we could win from.
All in all I have to say that these 50 days have been the best experience of my life, I couldn't think of a better bunch of guys to spend them with, that is the truth, we are so close. John Mooney said in an interview we would die for each other out there, and that for me sums it up perfectly.
Roll on Australia in 2015 - hopefully we'll be there to shake the world again.