Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Mighty Irish!

In the biggest upset since Kenya beat the West Indies in the 1995 World Cup, Ireland defied poor umpiring decisions and having to bat in near twilight to beat Pakistan by 3 wickets.

My grandfather, who was born in Cardigan to an Irish father and Welsh mother but lived his adult life in England, once complained that the "England" Cricket team should be called the "Britain" cricket team, as players born in Wales (Robert Croft), Scotland (Gavin Hamilton) and Northern Ireland (Martin McCague) were all eligible to play for the side.

My grandfather passed away before Ireland played in their first World Cup, but he would no doubt have highlighted the glaring anomaly. How can a player, such as Ed Joyce, be eligble to play for "England" after representing Ireland? Why should the "England" team be allowed to cherry pick the most promising Scottish and Irish players?

If cricket in Ireland is to progress, following their memorable St Patrick's Day victory, then this matter needs to be resolved. The "England" team should be renamed "England and Wales" to the exclusion of Irish and Scottish players.