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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Kenneth Edward Desmond Carroll
  • Born 22 March 1983 Booterstown, Dublin
  • Educated Oatlands College
  • Occupation Postman, Cricket Coach, Cricket Development Officer
  • Debut 4 August 2006 v Netherlands at Stormont
  • Cap Number 656
  • Style Right hand batsman; slow left arm (Chinaman) bowler
  • Teams Railway Union

Kenny Carroll is a deservedly highly regarded all round sportsman. As a cricketer he is a fine upper order, generally opening, batsman, who, when "on song", displays all the shots. As a bowler he is a slow left arm wrist spinner, whose Chinaman has confounded perplexed opponents, though he is not nowadays seen so often at the bowling crease as he was in the past. He is, of course, also an excellent hockey player, having made his debut for Ireland in a friendly against Canada in 2011, thus following legendary names in both sports such as George McVeagh, Joey O'Meara - his hockey mentor at Park Avenue - and Jimmy Kirkwood in being capped at both sports. He also represented Oatlands College at both Gaelic Football and Hurling, also finding time to keep goal for Mount Merrion Youth FC. Well might Rupert Heather of News Four describe him in the Railway Union Annual for 2012 as, "committed, dedicated and driven."

Kenny's senior career with Railway began as a 13 year old in 1996 though he did not, of course, command a regular place in the side. However one was not long in coming. His undoubted talents were shown in junior ranks as he was chosen as the Club's 3rd XI Player of the Year in the following season moving upwards to win the 2nd XI award in 1998.

He was soon to become an essential part of the 1st XI making an immense contribution to the successes which the Park Avenue side had had in recent years. All told in Leinster Senior cricket he had, by the end of the 2014 season scored 5903 runs at 32.43 with 10 centuries and 30 fifties. In 2013 he became the fifth Railway player to pass 5000 runs, following Brendan O'Brien, Des Byrne, Joey O'Meara and Denzil Tipping to the target. He got there in 189 innings, only "Ginger" (181) taking fewer. Appropriately he passed the 5000 mark while compiling his highest senior score,140, against Leinster at Rathmines, during a first wicket partnership of 230 with Pat Collins (113). They also put on an unbroken 196 for the 2nd wicket against Phoenix at Park Avenue, Pat making 102, while Kenny was on 98 when victory came.

Another memorable season had come in 2010 when he hit three hundreds, the highest being a crucial 116 against North County in the Senior Cup Semi Final. Apart from his opening partner Tom Fisher who made 41, the next highest score off the bat was 18, though the invaluable Mr Extras contributed 22. Railway reached a useful 257, Kenny then rounded off his day's work by disposing of the dangerous Connor Armstrong, before North County were bowled out for 205. Another innings which may be noted here was part of a record score by Railway for a 50 over match. Against Munster Reds at The Mardyke in 2006, Kenny and John Anderson led off with a first wicket stand of 189, which was followed by some typical savagery from Kevin O'Brien. The visitors closed on 400/3, Kenny having made 107 and Anderson 139. Kenny's highest score for Railway in any class of cricket came in 2012 for the Seconds against Pembroke Thirds in the League. His 155* helped him to an average in all cricket that season of 65.29.

With the ball Kenny has taken 172 wickets at 19.37, including six 5 wicket hauls. His best bowling figures were achieved against The Hills at Park Avenue in 2002, when he tied up the Fingal batsmen with an analysis of 15-3-34-6, including the valuable scalps of Barry Archer and Declan Moore. His latest "5 for" - at the time of writing came in a fine all round performance in a "Local Derby" against Pembroke at Park Avenue in August 2014. Leading the side in the absence of both Kevin O'Brien and Collins, he brought himself on 5th change with the visitors one wicket down - seemingly heading for a big score. He removed opener Russell to make the score 112-2. He finished with 5-27, the innings closing on 182-8. He then led the chase reaching 89* to bring a well-deserved victory.

Kenny has also been often seen to great advantage in the Alan Murray T 20 Cup. For example a good all round display against Clontarf in 2012 saw the Park Avenue side to a four wicket win. He began by having bowling figures of 4-27 as Clontarf mustered 152. Then opening the batting he struck his way to 68 before being dismissed, providing the foundation of a 6 wicket victory. However his outstanding performance came in 2013, the year in which Railway were defeated in the Final by The Hills through losing more wickets in a tie. Earlier in the season, against neighbours YMCA at Park Avenue, he had hit a superb 101 from 49 balls with 12 fours and 6 sixes.

He has also been Railway's stand out player in the Irish Senior Cup, having made 32 appearances and aggregating 1079 runs at 39.14 besides taking 23 wickets at 21.65. His sole century in the competition came in the Second Round against Bready at Park Avenue in 2006. He led an onslaught on the North Westerner's bowling making 105, helping his side to a formidable 300. The visitors were never in the hunt, being all out for 55. He has had several near misses at three figures also. Perhaps the most notable was in the semi final away to Fox Lodge in his memorable 2010.-He stormed his way to 92 from 97 balls with 10 fours and 1 six as he and Tom Fisher (123) put on 189 for the first wicket as Railway totalled 316-6, going on to win by 123 runs.

No review of his contribution to Railway cricket would be complete without a reference to his captaincy. In 2006, leading from the front with three hundreds - foreshadowing his repeat performance in 2010, he led the side to four senior trophies, which included the Irish Senior Cup.

On the international scene, Kenny represented Ireland at both U 17 and U 19 Level as well as playing for both Ireland A and U 23 sides. While his bowling was little used by the latter two teams, he played several useful innings including two half centuries. For Ireland A in a one day match against MCC at Malahide in July 2006, he batted at No 5, but came in at the fall of the second wicket, skipper Jason Molins having earlier retired hurt. Kenny made exactly 50 before being caught off Bajan Paceman Ruel Braithwaite, who was later to play for Durham and Hampshire as well as appearing in a List A match for the West Indies against England Lions in 2007. However Ireland lost a low scoring match by one wicket. Kenny's best score for the A side came against the Netherlands in the European A Championships in 2008. At Amstelveen the tournament hosts batted first but were restricted to 192-9 from their 50 overs. Kenny, opening with John Hall, soon showed that this was nowhere near enough. He was undefeated at the end as Ireland won by 9 wickets, having made 81 from 129 balls with 5 fours and 1 six. He put on 119* for the second wicket with David Kennedy, his stand with Hall having realised 75.

For Ireland he scored 191 runs 11 matches at 17.36 with a highest score of 90 which came against MCC at Lord's in August 2006. Against a strong MCC side which included three Test players as well as two Irish internationals, Ireland won the toss and batted. Kenny opening with William Porterfield. Having failed in his first two matches for Ireland he began cautiously not scoring until his 19th ball, but then cut loose, with 3 fours in 4 balls. He reached 90 from 109 balls with 11 four before being run out after backing up too far. He and Porterfield, who went on to three figures, had put on 173 for the first wicket. Ireland totalled 341, MCC subsiding to a 97 runs defeat, ensured by Kenny's fine running catch off Kyle McCallan to dispose of the belligerent, if ample, figure of Mike Gatting who had also made 90, including 13 fours and 1 six.

In the winter of 2006 -07, Kenny was part of the ICC training camp in South Africa as were Kevin O'Brien, John Mooney and Porterfield. Several 50 over matches were played against tough opposition, Kenny having a number of useful innings, with a top score of 68 against Gauteng, which came from 111 balls with 4 fours and 1 six. Mooney was leading the ICC side which won by 15 runs. Also in South Africa that season Ireland played some warm up matches prior to the World Cricket League matches in Kenya. These were not cap games which was a pity for Kenny who made a fine 100 retired against Eastern Province, sharing in a big first wicket stand with Jeremy Bray (89). Kenny was a member of Ireland's Word Cup squad in those memorable Caribbean days in the Spring of 2007 but played in only one of the matches, when Ireland were defeated by Sri Lanka. His dedication and enthusiasm were highly praised by both captain and coach.

Kenny Carroll may not have fulfilled all the expectations of him on the international stage. However there can be no question how important his contribution to Railway Union cricket in particular and Leinster in general has been. Further his work as a coach, development officer and manager of the Leinster Development XI suggests that when the time comes for him to retire from active participation in the game, Kenneth Edward Desmond Carroll's experience, work ethic, and boundless enthusiasm will be far from lost to Irish cricket.