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Date: 20/3/2019
Author: burners

The Afghanistan side has two of the best spin bowlers in the world, we have never had a player as good as either. They also have Nabi who is as good as any player who has ever played for Ireland. They have a player pool 5 times bigger than ours and are the only sport in their country. This brings in far greater sponsorship revenue which goes much further than it would in Ireland. In addition, Cricket Afghanistan receives subsidies from Sweden and the UK. The results of these many factors are an incredibly competitive team which beat India last time out.

The T20 showing was poor, but Ireland have no shame in the longer formats.
Date: 20/3/2019
Author: Albert Ward
R.E Peter A

I am clearly referring to the test, so of course we need more from Stirling, he is our best batsman. Not rocket science is it?
Date: 19/3/2019
Author: Conor
Hi Anton, thank you for your reply on George Dockrell. You make good points which were much appreciated as Irish Cricket isnít debated on ĎOff The Ballí like other sports so Iím finding this forum to be a great source of info.

Itís definitely hard to know. I noticed him put on a lot of weight (from the gym) at one stage. Impossible to know if they were linked but this did seem to coincide with his diminishing effectiveness as a spinner. He looked like he added 2 stone quite quickly at the time. I know several sportsman who put on muscle too quickly and the body was never quite the same again. I could be talking absolute rubbish about George as perhaps the gym time was in response to an injury that is the true factor behind his turn dropping. Although the improved consistency we have seen over the past couple of years has also seemed to coincide with him coming back to a mid-range between his original teenage weight and the upper limit he went to.

No doubt though that he has lost some of the talent that seemed to come so easily when he was a teen. The fact that he didnít feel sorry for himself about this and instead put his head down and worked as hard as he has done on accuracy, batting and fielding is brilliant, fair play to the man and definitely my favorite Irish cricketer.
Date: 19/3/2019
Author: Conor
Hi John, you are of course right that the quality of performance has diminished but where we may differ in opinion is that I donít think we can be surprised or disappointed about that.

We had a golden batch of players that defied logic in terms of how they all came at once. Below are 8 players that were born within 8 years of each other.
Ed Joyce (47 First Class hundreds)
Eoin Morgan (good enough to captain England)
Gary Wilson (good enough to captain Surrey)
Niall OíBrien (9000 FC runs and 15 hundreds)
Kevin OíBrien (for most of his career averaged more with the bat then he did with the ball in ODIís)
William Porterfield (11 ODI hundreds)
Tim Murtagh (761 First Class wickets)
Boyd Rankin (described by Trescothick once as the scariest bowler in County Cricket)

I would wager that a good cricket historian who was tasked with compiling a list of greatest ever Irish Cricketers would have all of the above feature somewhere. We of course didnít have all available to us throughout (boy that would have been some Irish team if we did) but it was a golden age and a fluke that we canít expect to happen again.

I wrote a comment earlier this week that I donít think we can compare ourselves against Afghanistan as itís a case of apples vs. orangesÖ I also donít think itís fair to compare the current team against our once in a lifetime golden one that achieved unparalleled levels of success from 2007 to 2013. Yes we should of course have higher standards for the current batch versus those pre 2007 because of the platform provided by our 2007-2013 teamís success but surely we canít be surprised that there has been a dip.
Date: 19/3/2019
Author: Peter A.
To one of the comments below that said we need to see more fromm stirling. Seriously? He carried us almost single handed in the ODIS and T20s and was out to an umpiring howler in one of the Test innings when heíd selflessly reined himself in. We should just be really grateful to have him.
Date: 19/3/2019
Author: Tony Moran
Difficult to understand why Munster have not been fully incorporated into the inter-pros this year, there are plenty of high-quality players available at this level in other unions to choose from if needed
It's also impossible to see how the national team can compete successfully at the international level with only three teams to choose from

Another pain in the backside is the standard quota system at the international level with small variations, of selecting six players from north of the border and five from the south this should be kicked into the long grass immediately
The result of this political correctness means the best eleven players will never play together, this situation is further compounded by constantly selecting aging and out of form players in preference to talented younger players

I think we will continue to drift along for a few more seasons but will eventually get things right, that's my hope!

Date: 19/3/2019
Author: Heinze
Adam McDaid training with NWW? How and Why? Where does he fit in? What is the qualifying criteria? Not a go at Adam but many others would benefit more i believe.

Craig Young move - Cant think its any other reason than money, man is hitting his peak and will only last a year or so. Strange how he classes the green better than an international ground that he played on all last year.

What is the issue with Peat Salmon? Anyone share any light on this?
Date: 19/3/2019
Author: John Cahill

" A 7 wicket away loss to Afghanistan is nothing to be ashamed about. A 2-2 ODI draw away against that team is a triumph."

Wow,your bar for what is successful must have been set that low by a limbo dancer.

The quality of Irish cricket has diminished considerably in the last decade and considering how much more money there is now available for Cricket Ireland this should be a cause for concern and not a celebration of a drawn series and a big loss against fellow minnows.

Try telling an Aussie or a Saffa that a 7 wicket loss is nothing to be ashamed about.Settling for second best is a loser's mentality.
Date: 19/3/2019
Author: Anton

Itís a real head scratcher at times isnít it? I too remember when there were worries that he might be good enough to go the Joyce,Morgan route and commit to England.

The spin he imparts has definitely decreased. If you look at our home games or the games he played in Zimbabwe, he was basically getting next to no turn at all. He wasnít ever a massive turner but he certainly got more out of a pitch than this.

Given the conditions he got a little more turn in this recently concluded tour but compared to someone like Nabi it was really not all that much. His accuracy is still decent but lacks that occasional big turning ball to put doubt in the batsmanís mind.

Iím not entirely 100% on this next one but I recall 2011/12 Dockrell getting considerably more dip in the air than he does now.

Itís a real fall from the promising young cricketer who won his countyís best young player award. His batting has of course vastly improved and he remains an accurate bowler but unless he reinvents his bowling somehow we might see him permanently lose his main spin bowling spot in home conditions and eventually have him competing for the batting allrounderís spot with Simi or even Tector/Getkate
Date: 18/3/2019
Author: Ryano
David Delany and Josh Little have to play in May v England.

Young, Chase, Rankin are all now playing village and should not be considered.

Simi finally off the radar.
Date: 18/3/2019
Author: burners

A 7 wicket away loss to Afghanistan is nothing to be ashamed about. A 2-2 ODI draw away against that team is a triumph.

So, you'll be wanting to jog on and wind someone else up.
Date: 18/3/2019
Author: Paul
See Craig Young says that the Green is a favourite place to bowl,Not saying much of Bready's International Ground.So he only gets 30 wickets in the North West last year,so in a better league in the Ncu i can see him getting 15 wickets,value for money?

Date: 18/3/2019
Author: george
craig young to north down strange to leave league champions to go to a poor team very good for north down must be getting paid a nice sum to move but he should not be allowed to play for the warriors the union you play in should be the interpro team you get picked for and does he think he is getting his ireland place back many above him in pecking order and probably even mark adair above him which is hard to believe
Date: 18/3/2019
Author: Albert Ward
An achievement in itself to take the test into the 4th day after the collapse on the first morning. Disappointing for Porterfield, Thompson and Poynter who had 2 failures each with the bat. Needed more of a contribution from Stirling as well- our best player. Porterfield is suffering from not playing county cricket and surely his Ireland career is winding down.

Fantastic contributions with the bat from Dockrell and Murtagh to take the bad look off it. I really worry for Ireland in their next 10-15 tests, it could be very embarrassing.
Date: 18/3/2019
Author: Victor Johnston
A few tweaks needed here and there though on reflection, I'd say, overall an enjoyable and productive tour for team Ireland.

The test match was a real learning curve for our players, a bit naive perhaps in the first innings as I thought we hurried the batting too much, we were probably still in limited over mode when realistically, we should have been in a mindset to bat for at least two full days or more which would have left them at best with only a drawn result possible, yet the paltry total we eventually got with no small thanks to the tail wagging bigtime, ultimately cost us the match!

Very encouraging to see young McCollum in there at No 4 and I thought he equipped himself admirably, looks a very exciting prospect and I hope the skipper, coach and selectors continue in the same vein and blood the other talented youngsters we have who I suspect are waiting in the wings, itching to get out and play, gotta capitalise on that enthusiasm!

So with that said, I'm more optimistic for the season ahead than I was before this current tour, On their own turf, Afghanistan would give any full member nation a stern test, and I believe on home soil with the right balance in our team, we're well capable of achieving success......

Bring on England!!!