The news that India are coming this summer is great for the sport. There seems to be some confusion though whether it is for one or two matches.

The Cricket Ireland Board meeting last week had talked of two matches, at Malahide on Sunday June 26th and Tuesday June 28th.

However, earlier this morning BBC Sport were reporting that only one match would take place ahead of the Indian tour of England in July.

With the costs of assembling pop-up stadiums, it would be a huge expense for just one game, so my guess is if it is just one game then the match may very well take place in England.

New Zealand travel to Dublin in July, with Malahide also scheduled to host the Black Caps on July 10th, 12th and 15th in the World Cup Super League, with T20 matches at Stormont.

There is still no word on confirmation of Bangladesh’s tour in May, which makes it unlikely to proceed, while we still await news of Ireland’s tour to Zimbabwe – that must also be in the doubtful category.

Afghanistan are due to tour in August, with the matches scheduled for Dublin and Belfast again.

While there will be no men’s international games coming to the great North West, Ireland Women will be appearing, with some of the games against Pakistan and Australia to be held at Bready.

It seems crazy that it is March next week and still no interprovincial schedule. Given that there are no first-class Championship matches to fit in, it’s madness.

Especially when it is holding back the domestic schedule too.

Time to get the fingers out.


It’s one of the most famous clips in tv history. Andre Previn with Morecambe and Wise, when the conductor berates Eric for playing all the wrong notes.

“I am playing all the right notes. But not necessarily in the right order. I’ll give you that sunshine.”

That was the way with the Irish T20 side this past year or so. They had more or less the right personnel, but not necessarily batting in the right positions.

The emergence of Andy McBrine – hiding in plain sight – has been one of the success stories of the competition. We always knew what the Donemana all-rounder was capable of and thanks to a little faith and confidence is showing just what he is capable of.

It was very much a case of job done for Ireland who were always favourites to get one of the two places in Australia.

But let us not get too carried away. Bahrain and Germany aren’t exactly powerhouses, while an ageing Oman side without their best player weren’t the most challenging of opponents.

Still, you can only beat what is front of you and Ireland were clinical in the big moments after losing the opening game against UAE.

I am reminded of Andy Balbirnie’s tweet a few years ago after qualifying for the 2020 T20 event.

“Great that we have qualified for another qualifier..”

The fact that we will have to do it all again in Australia to make the real main event isn’t lost on anyone.


One lesson I’ve learned over the years is cheap is dear. There’s certainly nothing wrong with good value but buy quality where and when you can. You won’t go wrong.

In 2007 Andriy Voronin was signed by Liverpool on a four-year deal. It’s fair to say the move wasn’t a success.

After one particularly inept display, one fan on the Kop asked another.

“How much did we pay for this guy?”
“We got on a free transfer,” came the reply.
“We paid too much!”

That’s how I felt trying to follow the Ireland versus Oman semi-final this week. The ICC stream was virtually unwatchable as it kept breaking down.

The fact that it’s a free service seems to make ICC think they have no obligation to fans for the quality of the stream. It’s frankly disgraceful.


Ireland Wolves are off to Namibia next month for an eight-match tour. It’s the usual mix of players starting off their career and those looking to push on and establish themselves.

The one glaring omission for me is the complete absence of any of the Ireland Under 19 squad which played in the recent World Cup.

It seems a missed opportunity to blood a few of the youngsters in the senior environment, and take a closer look at those who will be expected to kick on.

There aren’t too many of them involved in the interprovincial squads so the danger, as always is that they disappear into the ether.

On the Under 19 squad, it’s hard to know what to make of it. There’s no doubt they did their best and equalled their highest placing – 10th at the tournament.

There was an excellent win over Zimbabwe, and they improved as the tournament progressed. However, they were helped by New Zealand’s withdrawal and the manner in which they were crushed by UAE in the Plate final is concerning.

We won’t condemn them out of hand. I certainly wouldn’t want to be judged on my photography or writing as a teenager. Hopefully the tournament will be a catalyst for the youngsters to develop into fine cricketers and men.