Photo Credit: Bangladesh Cricket Board
After making his Test debut against Bangladesh last week, Dublin-born spinner Ben White is looking forward to hopefully creating a few more special days for Irish cricket during the two Test matches against Sri Lanka over the coming fortnight.
White, 24, made his international debut in a T20I against South Africa in 2021 at Stormont. He’s played in 13 T20 Internationals taking 12 wickets along the way at an average of 29.16. He made his Test cricket debut in the recent one-off Test match against Bangladesh in Mirpur. In that game he took three wickets, including the wickets of the hugely experienced duo of Litton Das and Tamim Iqbal.
White has come through the ranks for Ireland, featuring at the 2016 ICC Men’s Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh, and Ireland Wolves in 2021 before making his Senior debut in 2021.
Having made his multi-day debut in the that aforementioned Test against Bangladesh White said that while he was thrilled to be selected for the game, now it’s about trusting the work you’ve put in to get there.
Ben was speaking ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka, starting this Sunday, 16 April.
How did it feel to make your Test debut last week against Bangladesh:
“It was obviously a very special few days making my Test debut against Bangladesh last week. I guess it was a bit of an unknown for me as I hadn’t played any multi-day cricket before my debut.
“I was pretty excited to get out there and play, as you work so hard to be in contention to play and when you actually do get the nod it’s just about trusting the work you’ve put in to get there, so I would say there was actually more excitement than nerves.
“I guess the heat always plays a major factor in the sub-continent so that would’ve been the main challenge I would say.”
As a young boy growing up, did you ever think you’d become a Test cricketer:
“I feel like it’s every cricketers dream to play at the very highest level possible, so absolutely. If you had told a young me that I would play Test cricket, or any level of cricket for my country I would have bitten your hand off, so I guess it’s just a very proud and pretty cool feeling actually doing it now. Fingers crossed there’s plenty more to come.”
Did you work on anything specific over the winter, along with the coaches to improve your game:
“I’ve been working pretty hard with Ritz (Nathan Hauritz) over the winter about the mental/tactical side of bowling, so I think that’s definitely improved my skill set and it’s just been really good to pick his brain about certain things within spin bowling. I’m really enjoying working with him.”
You took the wickets of Litton Das, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, and Tamim Iqbal. Some very experienced batters in that group. What was the over-riding emotion after taking the first wicket of Litton Das:
“Ah yes, look it was an amazing feeling. There was definitely a bit of relief, and luck in there also, But it’s a very nice feeling to be able to say that I’ve taken one Test wicket, never mind three, so yeah it’s pretty cool; but hopefully it’s just the start and there is plenty more to be taken.”
When the Test match was over, what was the feeling in the camp:
“I think everyone was very proud of the whole squads efforts over the week. Coming from cold wet and windy Ireland to be able to put it up to Bangladesh like we did on their home patch was a very good effort, especially having seven debutants and next to no red ball cricket under our belts. I think we can be pretty proud of our efforts and hopefully we can take our learnings into the next two games against Sri Lanka.”
It’s on to Sri Lanka now for a two-Test series. You guys must be keen to get going again:
“Yes, we’re all very much looking forward to the next two weeks or so and hoping to potentially create a few more special days for Irish cricket in the process.”
Ireland Men’s squad for Sri Lanka Test Match series
Andrew Balbirnie (Capt), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Murray Commins, George Dockrell, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Matthew Humphreys, Tom Mayes, Andrew McBrine, James McCollum, Paul Stirling*, PJ Moor, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White.
* Paul Stirling only available for the second Test
Sri Lanka Test tour schedule
• 16-20 April: Sri Lanka Men v Ireland Men – 1st Test Match (Galle; starts 10am local time)
• 24-28 April: Sri Lanka Men v Ireland Men – 2nd Test Match (Galle; starts 10am local time)