ⓘ අයර්ලන්ත ජාතික ක්රිකට් කණ්ඩායම
The Ireland cricket team represents all of Ireland. They participate in Test, ODI and Twenty20 matches on an international level. They are the 11th Full Member of the International Cricket Council, having been awarded Test status, along with Afghanistan, on 22 June 2017.
Ireland played their first ODI in 2006 against England. Since then, they have gone on to play 117 ODIs, resulting in 51 victories, 57 defeats, 7 no results, and 3 ties. Contracts for players were introduced in 2009, marking the transition to becoming a professional team. Cricket Ireland is the sports governing body in Ireland.
Cricket was introduced to Ireland in the 19th century, and the first match played by an Ireland team was in 1855. Ireland toured Canada and the United States in the late 19th century, and occasionally hosted matches against touring sides. Rivalry with the Scotland national cricket team was established when the teams first played each other in 1888. Irelands maiden first-class match was played in 1902.
In 1993 the Irish Cricket Union, the predecessor to Cricket Ireland, was elected to the ICC as an Associate member. Associates are the next level of team below those that play Test cricket. Due to their successes in the Intercontinental Cup and at the World Cup, they were labelled the "leading Associate" and stated their intention to become a full member by 2020. This intention was realised in June 2017, when the ICC unanimously decided to award Ireland and Afghanistan full Test status, which will allow them to participate in test matches.
Ireland qualified for the Cricket World Cup for the first time in 2007, and has since played in the 2011 and 2015 tournaments. They also qualified for the 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014 World Twenty20 competitions. Ireland also play international cricket in the ICC Intercontinental Cup, which they have won four times since 2005, including the most recent competition in 2013.
Cricket was introduced to Ireland by the English in the towns of Kilkenny and Ballinasloe in the early 19th century. In the 1830s, the game began to spread; many of the clubs which were founded in the following 30 years are still in existence today. The first Irish national team played in 1855 against The Gentlemen of England in Dublin. In the 1850s, the Englishman Charles Lawrence was responsible for developing the game in Ireland through his coaching. In the 1850s and 1860s, Ireland was visited for the first time by touring professional teams. Irelands first match against Marylebone Cricket Club the M.C.C. was in 1858.
The game gained popularity until the early 1880s. The land war in the 1880s resulting from the Irish Land Commission and a ban on playing "foreign" games, in practice, British, by the Gaelic Athletic Association set back the spread of cricket. The ban was lifted in 1970, and before then anyone playing foreign games, such as cricket was banned from the Irish games such as hurling and Gaelic football. Irish teams toured Canada and the USA in 1879, 1888, 1892, and 1909. On top of this, Ireland defeated a touring South African side in 1904. Their first match with first-class status was played on 19 May 1902 against a London County side including W.G. Grace. The Irish, captained by Sir Tim OBrien, won convincingly by 238 runs.
After the 1902 tour of England, where four matches yielded one win, two draws and one loss, Ireland did not play first-class cricket again for five years. Although the team had lost to the South Africans in 1894 – Irelands first match against a Test-playing nation – Ireland defeated South Africa in 1904; it was the teams first victory against a Test side. In 1909, the first annual first-class match between Ireland and Scotland was held, and an annual match against the MCC was arranged from 1924 onwards.
The Irish played yearly first-class matches with the Scots, only interrupted by world wars, until 1999, but all their other cricket depended upon touring international sides finding it convenient to include a visit to Ireland in their schedules. However, Ireland sometimes surprised Test nations on these occasions, beating the West Indies by 60 runs in a three-day match in Dublin in 1928, for example; it was Irelands first match against the West Indies. In 1969, in a match played at Sion Mills in County Tyrone, the team defeated a West Indian side including Clive Lloyd and Clyde Walcott by nine wickets, after bowling them out for 25. This was the last time Ireland defeated a touring side until 2003, when they beat Zimbabwe by ten wickets.
The Scots and the Irish were mostly competing with Sri Lanka for the title as the best non-Test nation at the time – indeed, Ireland drew with Sri Lanka in a rain-hit first-class match in 1979, Ireland scoring a total of 341 for 7 in two innings, while Sri Lanka made 288 for 6 in one innings. Ireland, along with Scotland and the Netherlands, has at times played in competitions for English county cricket sides, including the Benson & Hedges Cup and the Friends Provident Trophy previously the C&G Trophy. Since there is no nationality restriction in county cricket, non-Irish people were allowed to compete for Ireland in these matches. For example, Hansie Cronje of South Africa played for Ireland in 1997, as did New Zealander Jesse Ryder in 2007.
Ireland joined the ICC as an Associate member in 1993, a year before Scotland. This meant Ireland could play in the ICC Trophy for the first time in 1994, and they finished seventh in the tournament. Three years later they progressed to the semi-finals of the competition but lost the third place play-off with Scotland, thus missing a place at the 1999 cricket World Cup. Ireland finished eighth in the 2001 tournament. After this, Adrian Birrell was hired as coach.
With the introduction of the ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004, Ireland had a chance to play first-class on a regular basis. After failing to progress beyond the group stages in the 2004 competition, Ireland won their first Cup title in October 2005 with a six-wicket win over Kenya. The 2005 ICC Trophy, which was hosted in Ireland – the group stages in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the final stages in Dublin, Republic of Ireland – saw the Irish make the final, which they lost to Scotland. Though Ireland were runners-up, they had secured their place at the 2007 World Cup as well as an extra $500.000 over the next four years from the ICC to encourage development of Irish cricket. They also gained official ODI.
Irelands inaugural ODI was played in front of a full house of 7.500 spectators at Stormont, Belfast, on 13 June 2006 against England. It was the first time Ireland had played the full England side. Though Ireland lost by 38 runs, they were praised by Andrew Strauss, Englands stand-in captain.
August saw them participate in Division One of the European Championship, against Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and Scotland. The games against the Netherlands and Scotland had ODI status. In the tournament, and what was the teams second ODI, Ireland recorded their first ODI win, beating fellow Associates Scotland by 85 runs after man-of-the-match Eoin Morgan made 99. Although the match against the Netherlands was a no-result, Ireland won the European Championship title. Irelands second Intercontinental Cup title came in the 2006–2007 competition. They faced Canada in the final and won by an innings and 115 runs, the four-day match concluding within two days. This made Ireland the first team to successfully defend the Continental Cup.
For the 2006 season, the C&G Trophy was reorganised to include a round-robin stage instead of being entirely knock-out. Whereas Ireland had only one match guaranteed in the tournament before, they now had more fixtures against English county sides. Ireland recorded one win in their nine matches. Ireland participated in the competition until it was restructured again in 2009. In that time they played 25 matches and won two. The latter of those victories was against Worcestershire; in that match Ireland bowled Worcestershire out for 58, which was their lowest ever one-day total. It was the first time that Ireland had bowled out a county for less than 100. Ireland were invited to participate in the reformatted competition from 2010 onwards, but chose not to do so, and instead focused their limited financial resources on international cricket.
January 2007 saw the start of more than three months of almost constant cricket. First was a visit to Kenya, where they took part in Division One of the ICC World Cricket League. They finished fifth in the league after four narrow defeats, and Kenya won the league. Before the World Cup, the team participated in a high-performance camp in South Africa. Irelands performance in their inaugural World Cup in the 2007 Cricket World Cup took many pundits by surprise. In their first game, on 15 March, they tied with Zimbabwe, primarily thanks to Irelands first ever World Cup century by man-of-the-match Jeremy Bray and economical bowling in the final overs by Trent Johnston and Andre Botha. In their second match, played on Saint Patricks Day, they beat the fourth-ranked team in the world, Pakistan, by three wickets, thus knocking Pakistan out of the competition.
These two results were enough to advance Ireland to the Super 8 stage of the tournament.In their final group stage game, the West Indies beat them by eight wickets. In the Super 8 stage, they lost their four matches against England, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Sri Lanka, but recorded a 74-run victory against Test playing nation Bangladesh, the 9th ranked team in the world. The team received a heroes welcome in Dublin.
After the World Cup, former West Indies cricketer Phil Simmons took over the role of coach from Birrell. India were scheduled to play South Africa in a series of One Day Internationals in Ireland in June 2007. Ireland also played one-off matches at Stormont against the two teams. Missing several players from their World Cup squad, Ireland lost both games. Ireland hosted a quadrangular tournament in Dublin and Belfast in July involving the West Indies, the Netherlands, and Scotland. Ireland and the West Indies both won their games against Scotland and the Netherlands with their direct encounter ending in no result due to rain. The West Indies won the tournament because of a bonus point won against the Netherlands. Trent Johnston stepped down as captain and was replaced by William Porterfield in March 2008.
The 2007–08 ICC Intercontinental Cup began in June, with Ireland playing their first match in August. In November 2008, the teams campaign ended. After finishing second in the round-robin stage of the competition, Ireland faced Namibia in the final. Ireland won by nine wickets, securing their third consecutive Intercontinental Cup title. In March 2008 Ireland toured Bangladesh, playing three ODIs against the hosts and losing all of them. In July, Ireland played a tri-series against New Zealand and Scotland in Aberdeen but lost both matches.
Reigning champions Ireland hosted the European Cricket Championship Division One in late July and they won their third European title, winning every match, including the decisive encounter against Scotland by seven wickets. In early August, Ireland hosted five other Associate nations at the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Belfast; this was Irelands Twenty20 International debut. Ireland would have faced the Netherlands in the final, however the match was rained off and the teams shared the trophy. By getting to the final of the tournament, Ireland qualified for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England in June 2009. Later in August, Ireland were due to play three ODIs at home against Kenya. Ireland won the first game, the second game could not be finished due to rain and the last match was completely washed out. In October, the team visited Kenya for a tri-series of ODIs with the hosts and Zimbabwe. Only two of Irelands four games in the round-robin stage could be played, the others were rained off. Ireland lost their first match to Zimbabwe, but won their second against Kenya, though they failed to qualify for the final.
In the run-up to the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, Ireland were deprived of batsman Eoin Morgan, similarly to Ed Joyce several years earlier, who was selected to play for England, making him ineligible to play for Ireland again. Ireland played their first Twenty20 International against a full ICC member side on 8 June 2009 and in their opening match of the tournament defeated Bangladesh by four wickets and knocked them out of the tournament. Ireland progressed to the second stage of the competition. They were grouped with New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and lost all three of their matches. In 2009, Ireland played nine ODIs, winning the seven they played against Associate nations, losing their only match against a Test team England, and one match was abandoned.
Ireland played 17 One Day Internationals in 2010, winning 11 including a victory over Bangladesh and losing six. Ireland were knocked out of the 2010 ICC World Twenty20, hosted by South Africa in April and May, after being beaten by the West Indies and a washed out match against England.
The 2011 Cricket World Cup was held between February and March and hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. Though Ireland did not progress beyond the first round they secured a historic victory against England. Ireland beat England by 3 wickets with Kevin OBrien hitting the fastest century in World Cup history, managing the feat in just 50 balls. In passing Englands total of 327 for victory, Ireland broke the record for the highest successful run chase in the World Cup.
Shortly after the tournament ended, the ICC announced that the World Cups in 2015 and 2019 would contain ten teams; the Associate countries, who were most likely to miss out in a tournament with fewer teams strongly objected, and, led by Ireland, urged the ICC to reconsider. In June the decision was reversed. After the World Cup Ireland played Pakistan, England, and Scotland in ODIs but lost each match. A further ODI against Sri Lanka was rained off. In all, Ireland played 12 ODIs in 2011, winning four.
Ireland qualified for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, and were promoted to the ICC ODI Championship, leaving the World Cricket League, but not the ICC Intercontinental Cup. In their first match of the World Cup, Ireland defeated the West Indies by 4 wickets, chasing down 304 runs with 25 balls to spare.
In their second match they beat the United Arab Emirates by two wickets with four balls to spare; the target was 279. Out of only five successful World Cup chases of 300 runs or more, Ireland have provided three.
In July 2016, Ireland played in its first five-match ODI series against Afghanistan which ended 2-2 with the first ODI being washed out. In September, Ireland toured South Africa for a one match ODI series against Australia and the hosts but lost both games. At the ICCs board meeting in October, Ireland was awarded first-class status for its domestic competition, the Inter-Provincial Championship. In May 2017, Ireland travelled to England to play a two-match ODI series for the first time, though they ended up losing both games.