Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Cricket Ireland: Preview – Ireland Men’s return to Test cricket

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Photo Credit: Bangladesh Cricket Board

Excitement is growing amongst Irish cricket fans with a 1,348-day wait soon to be over as Ireland Men enter the Test cricket arena once more as they take on Bangladesh in Dhaka on Tuesday. Play is scheduled to begin at 10am (local time) or 5am (Ireland time).

When Cricket Ireland was granted International Cricket Council (ICC) Full Membership status in July 2017, Ireland Men were given the right to play Test matches – with its inaugural Test Match played in May 2018 in Dublin. Over the next year Ireland Men played two further Test matches, but the pandemic and subsequent financial challenges then put a temporary halt on plans for Test cricket until now.

Ireland Men are set to play four Test matches in the next three months, with the first on Tuesday in Dhaka.

TUCKER INTERVIEW

Lorcan Tucker, Ireland Men’s first-choice wicketkeeper in white-ball formats and in line to make his Test debut this week, was speaking after training today:

“I’ve been involved in two Test squads already, and they’re always special days – I think for anyone possibly making their debut this week it will be pretty special occasion. I don’t think Test cricket was on my radar at all growing up watching Ireland playing cricket, but it’s obviously something I think about now, so it will be great if I am given that debut cap.

“Test cricket, for me, it’s the history that makes it special. It’s the format that’s been played for well over 100 years. Players are often measured by how well they perform in Test cricket, and that’s still the way it is. I know modern [white ball] cricket has come in and it’s exciting, but Test cricket still has that magic that all the white-ball cricket in the world can’t wash away.”

Having had a tough tour of Bangladesh so far in the ODI and T20I series’, Tucker points to the character shown by the squad in the final T20I as a measure of the squad’s resilience:

“Yeah, we knew this was going to be a tough tour – you only had to see what happened to England a few weeks ago. Bangladesh are a confident and in-form team in white ball cricket, especially at home, but I think the last game was impressive with the character we showed. We spoke about how we wanted to show resilience in the face of adversity and a seriously in-form team, and we did that. Our T20 cricket is something we’ve been proud of recently, as a team we’ve worked hard to create that buzz and atmosphere about us, and I think it was great to show that character about us in that win.”

And how are preparations going ahead of the Test?

“I think it would be naïve to suggest all our preparations have been on red-ball cricket. We’ve come straight out of a T20I series, and a lot of white ball cricket before that. I suppose as a squad we’re looking at our strengths in ODI and T20I cricket to see where that can serve us well in these upcoming Test matches. I think we’re all remaining open minded and trusting that scoring runs and taking wickets are still the basic aims of the game.

“From a wicketkeeping point of view it will be all about concentration – there will be some long days in the heat ahead. It’s really great to have Wils [Gary Wilson] here on the coaching staff – his experience in multi-day cricket has helped guide me in overcoming this by keeping it simple, staying relaxed and focussed.”

TEST MATCH DETAILS


  • Match dates: 4-8 April 2023
  • Start times: 10am daily (local time) or 5am (Ireland time)
  • Venue: Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka
  • Broadcastwww.clubber.ie in Ireland / UK (see more details)
  • LivescoringCricket Ireland Match Centre

IRELAND MEN’S SQUAD

Andrew Balbirnie (Capt), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Murray Commins, George Dockrell, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Matthew Humphreys, Tom Mayes, Andrew McBrine, James McCollum, PJ Moor, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White.

RECORDS

Ireland Men have played three Test matches to date:

  • Ireland Men v Pakistan Men, 14-18 May 2018, Malahide – Pakistan won by five wickets
  • Afghanistan Men v Ireland Men, 15-18 March 2019, Dehradun – Afghanistan won by seven wickets
  • England Men v Ireland Men, 24-26 July 2019, Lord’s – England won by 143 runs


Only five players in the squad have played Test cricket to date:

Statistics - Ireland Men - Tests


Bangladesh Men – Test overview

  • First Test played: November 2000 v India
  • Tests played: 136 (W 16, D 18, L 102)
  • Most recent Test: Lost to India by three wickets (December 2022)

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