Photo Credit: Zimbabwe Cricket
Despite being only the third week of January, Irish international Josh Little has already had a big 2023. After finishing 2022 with the barrier-breaking news he was heading to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year, Little has started the year in southern Africa – first with the SA20 franchise cricket tournament, then joining up with the Ireland Men’s squad in Zimbabwe for a three-match One-Day International series against the home side.
As the presence and opportunities offered by franchise cricket tournaments grow, one of the leading Irish players making a name on the circuit is the 23-year old Dubliner Little.
The left-arm seamer was first picked up by the Pretoria Capitals in the new SA20 tournament, training and playing under the franchise team’s head coach – and former Ireland Men’s Head Coach – Graham Ford.
Then, in late 2022, he became the first active Ireland Men’s cricketer to be drafted into the IPL by the 2022 champions, Gujarat Titans.
While Little has now joined up with his Ireland Men teammates in Zimbabwe, he spoke earlier this week to The Green Ball Show – the Irish cricket podcast – in a wide-ranging interview. He discussed playing for Ireland, what being drafted into the IPL means to him, what a typical day in franchise cricket is like, his cricket inspirations growing up in Dublin and much more.
Excerpts from the interview
Speaking about getting picked up for the IPL, Little said:
“With these competition auctions you never really know until it’s done, I had heard rumours from my agent that there were teams interested. The IPL is something I’d wanted to do for a while, to be the one to pave the way for Irish cricket and show that it is possible to go to these competitions and sort of open the door for young lads coming through. I wanted to show them that I’m just a normal guy from Dublin and I’m able to do it, so there’s no reason why they can’t. It was a pretty special day to get picked and one I’ll remember forever.”
While Little finished 2022 on a high, a period which included taking a T20 World Cup hat-trick, he wasn’t always in a good place with his game:
“It was funny because during the first part of the year I was feeling absolutely terrible. I was in a pretty bad place. I played three ODI’s against New Zealand and didn’t even know where the ball was going. I was absolutely nowhere. And then all of sudden it just changed, and things started going my way. I guess it goes to show that if you just stick to your guns and stick to your processes, it’ll eventually come good. You just need to keep putting your head down, put the hard work in and it’ll come good eventually.”
And what has been his best memory of the last few months’ cricket?
“That’s pretty easy – beating England in the World Cup in Melbourne. That was a very, very special day, I’ll never forget having family there and other people’s families and friends. Although it was raining, and there weren’t that many people there, it was a very special day to beat the team who went on and won the whole competition. We showed them that we are actually a good side, and we’ll be beating good teams more consistently. When you beat teams like that, and you put performances in like that, fans can’t help but want to want to watch and support the team. So, we just need to keep going the way we’re going.”
The full interview
Listen to the full interview with Josh Little on The Green Ball Show here.