Saturday, February 4, 2023

Cricket Ireland: Chatting with Ross Adair on eve of departure for tour of Zimbabwe

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Newly called-up Ireland international Ross Adair was speaking on the eve of the squad’s departure for Zimbabwe – he spoke about his selection, career to date…and why he chose his shirt number!

Adair, 28, is the brother of current Irish international, Mark Adair – if selected to play, it will make the pair the first set of brothers to play for Ireland in an international since Niall and Kevin O’Brien against Afghanistan in 2018. Ross plays his club cricket with CIYMS in Belfast. We spoke to Ross after a training session at North County Cricket Club.

Q. How do you feel on the eve of your first senior tour?

“It was great to get the call from Andrew White [Selector], and to be on the verge of hopefully getting an international cap is exciting. I made the switch of focus from rugby to cricket after feeling I had finished my life in rugby and wanted to try something different. I’ve been playing cricket since I was 11, so I thought I’d give it a crack and see how far I could get.”

Q. Were you always a top-order batter?

“I wasn’t actually. At Irish under-13s level I opened the bowling and batted at 10. As I got older, began to put on a bit of weight and couldn’t bowl as quick, I started bowling left-arm offies and concentrate more on my batting. Now I bat up top.”

Q. Who has impacted or improved your game in recent years?

“I’ve had Eagy [Ryan Eagleson] coaching me since I was a young man, and Jonty [Simon Johnston] the Knights head coach has been magnificent over the last three years. Ian Butler [Knights’ Assistant Coach] has been great for me mentally – those guys a key part of the reason I’m here now.”

Q. Was there a match or a moment where you realised that could make a go of cricket?

“Not really a singular moment where I thought I could make this a profession or play for Ireland – I just wanted to keep enjoying it. It sounds like a cliché but that’s the truth. I love my cricket and just want to push as hard as I can at it. With my batting I just like to keep things simple – if the ball is there in my scoring area, then I just try to hit the ball as hard as I can.”

Q. Did you and Mark grow up playing cricket around the family home?

“Yeah, we played mainly in the hallway in our house – it was the perfect length for a cricket strip. I used to call it the corridor of uncertainty, because if you walked into the hallway you could never be certain if you’d be hit by a tennis ball. There are a couple of pictures in the hallway with broken glass, which mum has only recently found out about.”

Q. How are your parents feeling?

“Mum and dad are absolutely chuffed, but I feel bad for them. Instead of having one son to be nervous about, now they have two. I’ve been on that side watching Mark play, and know how nerve-wracking it is – I can only imagine what they’ll go through with two sons playing, but also the happiness too.”

Q. What shirt number will you wear at international level?

“My shirt number is 15 – it’s an ode to my rugby playing career and where I spent most of my time playing.”

The Ireland Men’s squad depart from Dublin on Saturday, with the first match against Zimbabwe on Thursday 12 January.

IRELAND MEN’S ZIMBABWE TOUR

The Ireland Men’s T20I squad
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Tyrone Kane, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, Ben White.

The Ireland Men’s ODI squad
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Graham Hume, Tyrone Kane, Josh Little, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker.

The Zimbabwe tour will feature three T20 Internationals, followed by three one-day internationals. All matches will be played at Harare Sports Club. The fixture details are

T20I series
  • 12 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 1st T20I (Harare Sports Club; start 1pm local time)
  • 14 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 2nd T20I (Harare Sports Club; start 1pm local time)
  • 15 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 3rd T20I (Harare Sports Club; start 1pm local time)

ODI Series
  • 18 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 1st ODI (Harare Sports Club; start 9.15am local time)
  • 21 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 2nd ODI (Harare Sports Club; start 9.15am local time)
  • 23 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 3rd ODI (Harare Sports Club; start 9.15am local time)


Broadcast details will be advised by Zimbabwe Cricket shortly.

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