In September 1973 Ireland went on a three week tour to USA and Canada. It was the first such tour since 1909. The invitation came in 1970 from John Marder the President of the USA CA. Later the Canadian CA asked that the team visit Canada. The team visited five centres. The sequence was Louisville, Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The hosts were responsible for bed and breakfast. Accommodation was in private houses in Louisville and Toronto, in hotels elsewhere. All travel was by air on a package deal arranged by Messrs Joe Walsh, the Dublin travel agents. 15 months before the tour a large panel of players on or near the team agreed to raise the necessary money. They raised £4,500. They did this by way of draws, functions, donations and a brochure. This more than covered travel, insurance and management expenses.
Following an informal meeting of the selectors a letter was sent to 23 players on 24 April 1972, asking if they were available for the tour. These players were all who had played for Ireland in 1971 or had been a substitute. The 23 players were IJ Anderson, SJ Bradley, FJ Carroll, OD Colhoun, JG Crothers, RD Daly, PJ Dineen, GA Duffy, T English, DE Goodwin, M Halliday, J Harrison, AK Kirkpatrick, JD Monteith, GF Murphy, AJ O'Riordan, DR Pigot, MS Reith, JC Rose and J Wills. Six of these declared 23 themselves unavailable. They were AK Kirkpatrick, JD Monteith, GF Murphy, MS Reith, JC Rose and J Wills.
In June 1972 two more players were invited to join the panel following the selection of the team to play Scotland. The two newcomers were LP Hughes and JF Short. Both had to refuse. In July, CCJ Harte, following his selection to play against Wales, was added to the panel, which now numbered 13. An informal selection meeting was held at Ballymascanlan, Dundalk on Sunday, 25 February 1973. This meeting added nine more names to the panel. They were JWG Elder, AJ Finlay, BC Freer, T Harpur, I Harrison, KW Hope, A McCully, R Moan and GP O'Brien. Of these only McCully and Moan declared themselves not available.
The panel now numbered 25. On May 27, 1973 the selection committee picked the team to play Wales. They also added is the name of R Torrens to the panel. He had retired from international cricket following the match against Scotland in 1971 as he did not wish to play on Sundays. He had now changed his mind on Sunday play. On June 10 at Rathmines the selection meeting picked the team against Denmark and also the touring party of 15. The players were AJ O'Riordan (Captain), DE Goodwin, IJ Anderson, OD Colhoun, PJ Dineen, GA Duffy, JWG Elder, M Halliday, J Harrison, CCJ Harte, WI Lewis, A Linehan, BA O'Brien, DR Pigot and R Torrens. There were no uncapped players in the party.
The tour selection committee consisted of Messrs O'Riordan, Boucher, Robertson and Doctor Ritchie. Following the match against A Canadian XI Doctor Richie returned home and the remaining three selectors carried on for the rest of the tour. The four players who were left out for each of the matches were as follows (first name in each case is 12th man)
Louisville: A Linehan, PJ Dineen (Ill), JWG Elder, WI Lewis
Greater Chicago: CCJ Harte, PJ Dineen (Ill), J Harrison, JWG Elder (Ill)
Central Zone: DR Pigot, PJ Dineen (Ill), OC Colhoun, GA Duffy
Ontario Selected XI: IJ Anderson, PJ Dineen (Ill), CCJ Harte (Ill), DE Goodwin
Toronto CC: GA Duffy, PJ Dineen (Ill), R Torrens (inj), OC Colhoun
A Canadian XI: CCJ Harte, PJ Dineen (Ill) R Torrens (Inj), M Halliday
N.A.Cricket Assn: J Harrison, JWG Elder (Inj), R Torrens (Inj), BA O'Brien
N.A.Cricket Assn: WI Lewis, JWG Elder (Inj), AJ O'Riordan, A Linehan
S.A.Cricker Assn: IJ Anderson, J Harrison, OD Colhoun, DE Goodwin
USA: A Linehan, PJ Dineen (Unfit), JWG Elder (unfit), WI Lewis
Only J.D.Monteith was not available of those who played for Ireland in 1973.
On Wednesday, September 5 the various parties left Dublin and Belfast airports. They joined together at Shannon where Pat Dineen was waiting. The Atlantic was crossed in an Aer Lingers Jumbo Jet. The night was spent in a hotel near Le Guardia Airport from which, next day, the party travelled to Louisville. There was practice in the afternoon and the first match was played the following day, Friday.
First match Friday September 7 at Coxes Park Louisville. Ireland 160-2 declared (BA O'Brien 55, J Harrison 42 not out, I J Anderson 32 not out) XIII of Louisville and District 58 (M Halliday 5-20; G A Duffy 3-8; Won by 102 runs
Pat Dineen developed gout en route from Ireland and was unable to play until the match at San Francisco. The party went to Chicago on the night of the Louisville match.
Two matches were played in Chicago
Second Match Saturday, September 8 as Washington Park, Chicago. Ireland 116 (GA Duffy 23, BA O'Brien 18; P.Johnson 5-35; B Ramnanan 3-24) Greater Chicago 69 (DE Goodwin 7-27) Won 47 Runs. Third Match Sunday, September 9 at Washington Park, Chicago. Ireland 176-7 declared (A Linehan 50 not out; WI Lewis 41; R Torrens 31; B Ramnanan 3-23) Central Zone USA. 115-9 (D.E.Goodwin 5-33 ) Match Drawn.
On Monday morning the party flew to Toronto for a week's stay. All three matches were played at Toronto Cricket Club where the team saw a pavilion for the first time on the tour! - and what a massive pavilion is was. The ground was a fine one with a good grass wicket. However, as in the previous centres the matches were played on matting.
Fourth Match Tuesday, September 11 at Toronto Cricket Club. Ontario Selected 127 (B Hale 30, A.J.O'Riordan 5-40) Ireland 120-9 (J Harrison 43; A.J.O'Riordan 25; A.Linehan 3-12) Match Drawn.
Fifth Match Wednesday, September 12 as Toronto Cricket Club. Ireland 191 (I Anderson 68, DR Pigot 21 M Johnston 4-45, P Pisani 3-34) Toronto Cricket Club 122-8 (G Duckworth 21, V. Taylor 20, M Halliday 3-49)
Thursday was a free day and some of the party visited Niagra Falls. On Friday, September 14 the three day match against A Canadian XI began. This team was not quite full strength for which reason it was dubbed "A Canadian XI". It had been arranged that none of the Canadian players had played in the two one-day matches.
With two hours remaining on the second day Ireland led by 216 runs on first innings. The follow-on was not enforced and the Canadians easily drew the match. The historical highlight of the match was Ivan Anderson's innings of 198 not out. It was the highest score ever made for Ireland beating Sir T.C.O'Brien's 167 against Oxford University at Oxford in 1902. Anderson batted for 281 minutes, gave no chance and hit 25 fours. Ireland's team was selected on the morning of the match. Harte and Halliday were left out. Dineen and Torrens (pulled groin muscle) were injured, the latter of whom would certainly have been selected. The Canadian team was selected from Eastern Canada and contained players from West Indies, Pakistan, Ceylon and two native Canadians in Gould and Iggulden.
The first day was sunny with a little breeze. The matting on grass was true and not too fast. The Canadians won the toss and put Ireland in. Braithwaite and Hinds bowled well in the first hour and were very unlucky. Only 15 runs were scored. O'Brien was out in the fourth over caught at leg slip off a careless glance. 4-1-4. Harrison came in and had a charmed life. Off Braithwaite he was missed by the wicket-keeper who spoiled first slips chance of taking an easy catch and was also dropped by Hines at short square leg. Off Hines he was caught at leg slip and was walking when given "not out"! All this happened while going from 0 to 2. Hinrichsen was tried as was De Souza, a bent finger spinner. At drinks, after 90 minutes, the score was 45. Immediately afterwards Pigot was bowled middle stump by Carter pushing out at the ball. 45-2-15. Anderson snicked his first ball for four over the wicket-keeper's shoulder - one of his very few false strokes. Kuru, an offspinner, was given three overs. After two hours, 35 overs, the score was 67-2, and at lunch (135 minutes) 81-2, Harrison 35, Anderson 22.
After lunch Harrison had another life off Braithwaite. The wicket-keeper running back failed to hold a skier. There was then a break while a TV camera came on the field for pictures! At 100 Harrison tried a short single to Carter at mid-on and was run out when the throw hit the stumps. His valuable, but lucky, 40 had occupied 158 minutes. O'Riordan was dropped at leg slip when six glancing the unfortunate Braithwaite. At 129 O'Riordan (14) was caught by Braithwaite at leg slip while glancing Carter. Anderson now stepped up the pace and the field began to retreat. He reached 53 out of 133 in 94 minutes. The stand with Lewis put on 33 in 30 minutes. Of these Anderson made 24. Carter and Braithwaite bowled for 80 minutes after lunch. At 162 Lewis lunged at Carter and was caught behind. Nine runs later Linehan misdrove De Souza to extra cover. 171-6, Anderson 83.
With Duffy, Clark gave himself a couple of overs - the eighth bowler to be used. At tea, after 272 minutes, the score was 202-6, Anderson 96, Duffy 10. After tea Hinrichsen shared a new ball with Braithwaite and Anderson went to his century with a snick off Braithwaite past the vacant third slip position. He was 103 out of 209 in 176 minutes, the second 50 coming in 82 minutes. His stand of 45 with Duffy ended when Duffy was caught behind off Hinrichsen for 12. Now Colhoun came in to keep an end up for Anderson. The pace increased. 50 were put on in 37 minutes after tea, Anderson making 40 of those. At 271 Anderson reached 150, his third 50 coming in only 47 minutes. He and Colhoun added 79 in 70 minutes. Colhoun made 16 of these. At 295 he hit Gould onto his boot and was caught at mid-off. At 6:03 PM, with a ball for four, Anderson brought up 300 and surpassed Sir T.C.O'Brien's 167, a record score for Ireland. In 20 minutes Anderson and Goodwin added 39 for the ninth wicket. Then Goodwin overbalanced and was stumped for eight. At this point Anderson was 195. He refused singles with Elder and scored three more runs. He could not get the strike for the last over of the day bowled by Carter. Off the third ball Elder was LBW. The matting wicket suited Anderson. His footwork, speed, strokeplay, timing and running were all remarkable. He gave no chance whatever, in itself a remarkable performance. He came in at 45-2 and batted in all 281 minutes. Of the the last 166 runs, Anderson scored 123. The lucky Harrison, with 40, was next highest score. No one else made more than 16 in the score of 337. This was scored in the 6 1/2 hour day and Canada bowled 131 overs. Canada used eight bowlers. They were good at the start but wilted towards the end as did the fielding. Carter, with 4-89, was the best bowler.
The second day was clear and hot. Ireland's success continued and, by 4 PM, Canada were all out for 121. Goodwin bowled the first over. His second ball was short but the dangerous Nascimento dollied it into Elder's hands at square leg. O'Riordan bowled five overs and gave way to Elder. 23 came in an hour. At that point Iggulden lifted his foot fractionally and was stumped off Goodwin. 23-2-9. At 31 Hines was caught at the wicket cutting at one that lifted from Goodwin. At 39 two wickets fell. Carter was caught low at first slip by O'Riordan off Goodwin. Clarke, the opening bat, had been in 104 minutes 20 when he snicked Elder to Lewis at first slip. Goodwin came off after 115 minutes. He had bowled wonderfully well to take 4-13 in 16 overs. After two hours the score was 43-5. Duffy replaced Elder but it was the wrong end for him. Just before lunch Harrison dropped Hinrichsen off O'Riordan at leg slip. Hinrichsen was 4 and he went on to make 21. Just after lunch, at 50, Harrison dropped Gouveia low to his right at square leg off Duffy. Taylor came on for Duffy at 58 and, at once, Gouveia was caught left-handed by O'Riordan at short square leg. 58-6-9.
De Souza, at number eight, looked the best batsman. He and Hinrichsen added 20. Then Duffy came on at the Pavilion end and bowled Hinrichsen with his first ball. 78-7-21. De Souza and Braithwaite added 14 in 18 minutes. Then Braithwaite was caught at wide mid-on off Duffy for a good 12, including a six off Duffy. De Souza batted along quietly with Gould. He got behind the ball and played some nice shots. They added 27 in 31 minutes when De Souza was caught at slip off Duffy for 31. Kuru came last. He had broken a finger fielding. At 121 Gould played on to Goodwin. The latter emerged with 5-30 in 24.4 overs. Duffy, the ever reliable, took 3-36 in 16 overs. O'Riordan, in catching Carter, had taken his 50th catch for Ireland - a record.
At this point, 4 PM, tea was taken and the teams were presented to the youthful Jeremy Craig, the acting Irish Ambassador in Canada. The follow-on was not enforced. Elder was hurt and unable to bowl while O'Riordan and Goodwin were tired. But with two hours left to play Duffy and Anderson could have bowled a good deal. Even if Canada were 124 two at the close Ireland would still be very well-placed. Not alone did Ireland bat again but they did so without purpose. Pigot and O'Brien dawdled to 49 in 85 minutes. Then Pigot was caught at 30. A few minutes later the umpires, encouraged by the batsman, deemed the light unfit for play. The score was 53-1, O'Brien 15, Harrison 4. The lead was now 279 with six and half hours to go. That evening a banquet was held in the Toronto pavilion.
Next day, 53 more were added in 46 minutes and Ireland declared at 106-1. Canada had 334 minutes to scored 323 runs. Of this they had no chance but they did very well to draw. They lost only four wickets and the non-enforcement of the follow-on rebounded on the Irish. Gouveia opened with Hines and O'Riordan bowled the former on 8 with the total at 11. Elder tried to bowl but had to retire after two overs. By lunch the score was 33-1 after 75 minutes. At 35 Hines hit a ball to Anderson's left at cover. Nascimento called a run but a quick throw ran him out. Then Hines and Iggulden had a long partnership adding 58 in 85 minutes. At 74 Duffy dropped Iggulden at square leg off Anderson. Then O'Riordan came on with slow bowling. Hines lost patience and lofted the ball to the mid-wicket boundary were O'Brien had been moved in the same over. 93-3-44. One run later Iggulden was stumped for the second time in the match off Goodwin. He chased a wide one after making a good 34. Carter and Hinrichsen were now together and in fact no further wicket fell. By tea the score was 124-4. In the afternoon session Duffy again did not bowl from his favoured end.
After tea 55 minutes and 20 overs remained. At 5:15 PM the new ball was due but was not taken. At 145 Harte, dropped Carter at slip off Anderson. 10 minutes later, in the fourth over of the last 20, Anderson missed a catch and bowled off Carter and, next ball, Colhoun dropped an easy catch at the wicket. He had, however, kept wicket very well. After eight overs of the 20 the match was given up. A dismal end but full marks to Canada.