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Ireland Team Stats

Ruling Body: Cricket Ireland
Captain : William Proterfield
Coach: John Bracewell
Granted ICC associate membership: 1993
Current international ranking: Official ICC rankings

ODIs T20s

P 98, W 44, L 45, T 3, NR 6

- P 45, W 21, L 19, T 0, NR 5
Recent highest ODI totals:
- 331/8 v Zimbabwe (2015)
- 329/7 v England (2011)
- 328/6 v Canada (2011)
Recent highest T20 totals:
- 225/7 v Afghanistan (2013)
- 189/4 v Netherlands (2014)
- 172/8 v Canada (2010)
Capped players: 46 Capped players: 34
Highest individual score: 177 (PR Stirling) Highest individual score: 79 (PR Stirling)
Most career runs: 2,423* (WTS Porterfield) Most career runs: 734* (WTS Porterfield)
Best bowling: 5/14 (DT Johnston) Best bowling: 4/11 (AR Cusack)
Most career wickets: 74* (KJ O'Brien) Most career wickets: 38* (GH Dockrell)
Highest team inns: 331/8 v Zimbabwe - 2015 Highest team inns: 225/7 v Afghanistan - 2013
Highest run chase achieved: 329/7 v England - 2012 Highest run chase achieved:  164/7 v zimbabwe - 2014
Average RpO: 4.79 Average RpO: 6.98
Top run-scorers Top run-scorers
2423 - WTS Porterfield
- KJ O'Brien
1903 - NJ O'Brien
1887 - PR Stirling
1274 - GC Wilson
734 - WTS Porterfield
666 - PR Stirling
557 - GC Wilson
508 - KJ O'Brien
404 - EC Joyce
Top wicket-takers Top wicket-takers
74 - KJ O'Brien
66 - DT Johnston
63 - AR Cusack
56 - GH Dockrell
46 - JF Mooney
38 - GH Dockrell
37 - KJ O'Brien
35 - AR Cusack
32 - DT Johnston
21 - AC Botha
Partnership Records Partnership Records
1st - 177 - WTS Porterfield/PR Stirling
2nd - 153 - WTS Porterfield/EJG Morgan
3rd - 138 - EC Joyce/A Balbirnie
4th - 227 - WTS Porterfield/KJ O'Brien
5th - 181* - EJG Morgan/KJ O'Brien
6th - 162 - KJ O'Brien/AR Cusack
7th - 74 - AR White/KJ O'Brien
8th - 73 - EJG Morgan/WK McCallan
9th - 39 - JP Bray/D Langford-Smith
10th - 36 - JF Mooney/WB Rankin
1st - 109* - WTS Porterfield/PR Stirling
2nd - 55 - WTS Porterfield/NJ O'Brien
3rd - 80 - PR Stirling/GC Wilson
4th - 101 - AD Poynter/KJ O'Brien
5th - 55 - EC Joyce/GC Wilson
6th - 42* - SR Thompson/MC Sorensen
7th - 24* - TE Kane/GH Dockrell
8th - 27 - JF Mooney/AR White
                DT Johnston/JF Mooney
9th - 47* - GC Wilson/MC Sorensen
10th - 18* - WTS Porterfield/AR Cusack

Because of political difficulties, the Irish Cricket Union (ICU) was not elected to the International Cricket Council (ICC) until 1993, and qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 2007.

The Irish Cricket Union is the governing body of Irish cricket. The Irish cricket team is made up of both professional cricketers and those who earn their living outside the sport. Cricket Ireland, which succeeded the Irish Cricket Union as the sport's governing body in the country, introduced contracts for its players in 2009, and as of the 2011 Cricket World Cup 13 players have full-time contracts.

The first match played by an Irish team was in 1855. Since then, Ireland have gained a reputation for giant-killing. Ireland played their first One Day International (ODI) in 2006 against England. Since then, they have gone on to play 61 ODIs, resulting in 29 victories, 28 defeats, 3 no results, and 1 tie. Highlights in Ireland's cricketing history include beating a touring West Indies side in 1928, 1969, and again in 2004, progressing to the second round of the 2007 World Cup – in which they beat Pakistan and Bangladesh and tied with Zimbabwe – and beating England in the 2011 World Cup.

Ireland take part in the ICC Trophy, the European Cricket Championship (which they have won three times and hold the title of European champions), and the ICC Intercontinental Cup, which they have won consecutively three times since 2005. Until 2009, the team also competed in the Friends Provident Trophy against English counties. Ireland is an Associate member of the ICC; Associates are the next level of team below those that play Test cricket. Due to their successes in the Intercontinental Cup and at the World Cup, they have been labelled the "leading Associate".

Ireland is currently one of the teams in Division 1 of Associate Members of International Cricket Council who has One Day International and T20 International status. After the tremendous success at International stage, Cricket Ireland has applied for Full Membership from the International Cricket Council.

Ireland have won the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2008 and 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier and qualified for 2009 and 2010 World Twenty20 tournaments, and the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Being a full member will allow Ireland to become a permanent One Day International playing nation and eventually grant them Test status.

Early history

Cricket was introduced to Ireland by the English in the towns of Kilkenny and Ballinasloe in the early 19th century. In the 1830s, the game began to spread; many of the clubs which were founded in the following 30 years are still in existence today. The first Irish national team played in 1855 against The Gentlemen of England in Dublin. In the 1850s, the Englishman Charles Lawrence was responsible for developing the game in Ireland through his coaching. In the 1850s and 1860s, Ireland was visited for the first time by touring professional teams. Ireland's first match against Marylebone Cricket Club (the M.C.C.) was in 1858.

The game increased in popularity until the early 1880s. The land war in the 1880s resulting from the Irish Land Commission and a ban on playing "foreign" games by the Gaelic Athletic Association set back the spread of cricket. The ban was not lifted until 1970. Anyone playing foreign games such as cricket would be banned from the extremely popular Irish games such as hurling and Gaelic football.[8] Irish teams toured Canada and the USA in 1879, 1888, 1892, and 1909. On top of this, Ireland defeated a touring South African side in 1904. Their first match with first-class status was played on 19 May 1902 against a London County side including W.G. Grace. The Irish, captained by Sir Tim O'Brien, won convincingly by 238 runs.

Before 1993

After the 1902 tour of England, where four matches yielded one win, two draws and one loss, the Irish did not play first-class cricket again for five years. Although the Irish had lost to the South Africans in 1894 – Ireland's first match against a Test-playing nation – Ireland defeated South Africa in 1904; it was the team's first victory against a Test side. In 1909, the first annual first-class match between Ireland and Scotland was held. An annual match against the M.C.C. was arranged and held from 1924 onwards.

The Irish played yearly first-class matches with the Scots, only interrupted by world wars, up until 1999, but all their other cricket depended upon touring international sides finding it convenient to include a visit to Ireland in their schedules. However, Ireland sometimes surprised Test nations on these occasions, winning by 60 runs in a three-day match in Dublin over the West Indies in 1928, for example; it was Ireland's first match against the West Indies. In 1969, in a match played at Sion Mills in County Tyrone, the team defeated a West Indian side including Clive Lloyd and Clyde Walcott by nine wickets, after bowling them out for 25. This was the last time Ireland defeated a touring side until 2003, when they beat Zimbabwe by ten wickets.

The Scots and the Irish were mostly competing with Sri Lanka for the title as the best non-Test nation at the time – indeed, Ireland drew with Sri Lanka in a rain-hit first-class match in 1979, Ireland scoring a total of 341 for 7 in two innings, while Sri Lanka made 288 for 6 in one innings. Ireland joined the ICC as an Associate member in 1993, a year before Scotland.

ICC Trophy

As a member of the ICC in 1994, Ireland were allowed to compete in the ICC Trophy for the first time. They won three of their seven games to finish seventh in the tournament. Three years later in Malaysia, they progressed to the semi-finals after a good showing in the group stage, but lost by seven runs to Kenya. They went on to lose the third place play-off with Scotland, thus missing a place at the 1999 cricket World Cup. The 2001 tournament in Canada showed the batting skills of Ed Joyce, who ended up with 359 runs at an average of 71.80 in eight innings with a highest score of 87. Joyce, who had been signed by Middlesex two years earlier, could not save the team from a number of defeats, however. They lost to the USA by six wickets in the first match in Canada, and also lost to Denmark by 12 runs. In the end, the Irish lost five matches, finishing eighth in the tournament.

The 2005 ICC Trophy, which was hosted in Ireland – the group stages in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the final stages in Dublin, Republic of Ireland – saw the Irish improve drastically. Ed Joyce's four years in county cricket, where he earlier in 2005 became the first batsman to hit 1,000 runs, gave him the experience to lift the Irish to big totals (he averaged 106 in four innings for Ireland), and even when he left for County Championship games with Middlesex, they managed to win, defeating Canada by four-wickets thanks to Peter Gillespie, who hit a career highest score in the ICC Trophy with 64 not out – his first fifty – to anchor their chase to 239. Earlier, South African-born Andre Botha had taken 4/47 runs. In the final against Scotland, as they conceded a total of 324/9 after electing to bowl first. The return of Joyce did not help; even though he made 81 the Irish still lost the match by 47 runs. Joyce later that year qualified to play for England, leaving the Irish cricket team. He is still hailed as one of the best players ever produced by Ireland. Although Ireland lost in the final, they had secured their place at the 2007 World Cup as well as an extra $500,000 over the next four years from the ICC to encourage development of Irish cricket.

Intercontinental Cup

With the introduction of the ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004, Ireland received a chance to play first-class on a regular basis. The competition was split into four divisions, with the top team from each division progressing to a knock-out stage. Whilst they beat the Netherlands, Ireland lost their group match against Scotland in 2004 and failed to progress beyond the group stage. Ireland won their first Cup title in October 2005 with a six wicket win over Kenya. An unbeaten century by Niall O'Brien, half centuries from Eoin Morgan, Andre Botha, and Jeremy Bray, along with four wickets each for Andrew White and Kyle McCallan were the principal contributions. For its third edition, the tournament was revamped. The number of participating teams was reduced from 16 to 8 and was divided into two groups in stead of four. This was done to ensure that the best Associate sides got the chance to play more first-class cricket and develop. In May 2007, Ireland played in the final of the ICC Intercontinental Cup against Canada. Ireland, led by Trent Johnston, emerged convincing winners by an innings and 115 runs at Grace Road, the four-day match concluding within two days. This made Ireland the first team to successfully defend the Continental Cup, confirming its current status as the most successful non-Test playing nation.

English county competition

Ireland, along with Scotland and the Netherlands, has at times played in competitions for English county cricket sides, including the Benson & Hedges Cup and the Friends Provident Trophy (previously the C&G Trophy). Since there is no nationality restriction in county cricket, non-Irish players have competed for Ireland in these matches. For example Hansie Cronje of South Africa competed for Ireland in the 1997 Benson & Hedges Cup, and more recently New Zealander Jesse Ryder played for Ireland in 2007. In 2004, Ireland beat Surrey by five wickets in the C&G Trophy.

For the 2006 season, the C&G Trophy was reorganised to include a round-robin stage instead of being entirely knock-out. Whereas Ireland had only one match guaranteed in the tournament before, they now had more fixtures against English county sides. For the 2006 tournament, they were bolstered by the signings of Saqlain Mushtaq and Shahid Afridi, the two overseas players they were allowed when competing in English domestic competitions. Ireland recorded one win in their nine matches. Their victory was over Gloucestershire on 30 April by 47 runs.

The C&G Trophy changed its name to Friends Provident Trophy for the 2007 season. In 2007, Ireland played in the Friends Provident Trophy against nine English county sides. Of those nine matches, they lost six and the remaining three matches were abandoned due to rain. They finished bottom in the South Conference of the trophy.

For the 2008 season, the round-robin section of the trophy was changed from two divisions to three; Ireland were in the newly formed Midlands Division. In 2008, Ireland played eight games in the Midlands Division, winning one match with one no result and six losses. They finished fifth in the division which had five teams. Ireland's four wicket victory over Warwickshire on 16 May was Ireland's first win in the competition against a county side for two years. Captain William Porterfield anchored the innings with 69 runs.

In 2009, Ireland inflicted Worcestershire's lowest ever one-day total (58 all out) in a 94-run Friends Provident Trophy group A win at New Road. Peter Connell did the most damage in taking 5–19. It was the first time that Ireland had bowled out a county for less than a hundred. This was Ireland only win in the group & they finished 5th & last with 4.0 pts. After the 2009 competition the English Cricket Board reorganised it, changing the format from 50 to 40 overs. Although Ireland were invited to participate the team declined, preferring to focus their limited financial resources on international cricket.

One Day Internationals before 2007

As a result of their second place in the 2005 ICC Trophy, Ireland qualified for the 2007 World Cup and gained official ODI. Ireland's inaugural ODI was played in Belfast at the Civil Service Cricket Club, Stormont, on 13 June 2006 against England. It was the first time Ireland had played the full England side. Tickets sold well for the game, with a full house of 7,500 attendees. Marcus Trescothick scored a century as England, scoring 301/7 from their 50 overs, beat Ireland who made 263/9 from their allotment, including 52 from Andre Botha, the highest score of the Irish innings. Andrew Strauss, England's stand-in captain for the match, said "I thought [Ireland] played really well, and put us under pressure... Full credit to Ireland though who played really well, and showed what they're capable of".

August saw them participate in Division One of the European Championship, against Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and Scotland. The games against the Netherlands and Scotland had ODI status. In the tournament, and what was the team's second ODI, Ireland recorded their first ODI win, beating fellow Associates Scotland by 85 runs after man-of-the-match Eoin Morgan made 99. Although the match against the Netherlands was a no-result, Ireland won the European Championship title.

One Day Internationals status (2007– present)

2007 World Cup

In August 2006, the Irish Cricket Union named their squad for the 2007 World Cup. January 2007 saw the start of more than three months of almost constant cricket. First was a visit to Kenya, where they took part in Division One of the ICC World Cricket League. They finished fifth in the league after four narrow defeats and Kenya won the league. Prior to the World Cup, the team participated in a high-performance camp in South Africa. The team was managed by Roy Torrens. In the final 13-a-side warm-up matches before the World Cup, Ireland lost to South Africa by 34 runs; and beat Canada by seven wickets. Ireland's performance in their inaugural World Cup in the 2007 tournament took many pundits by surprise. Their first game was on 15 March when they tied with Zimbabwe, primarily thanks to Ireland's first ever World Cup century by man-of-the-match Jeremy Bray and economical bowling in the final overs by Trent Johnston and Andre Botha. From having required 15 runs from the last six overs with four wickets in hand, Zimbabwe were dismissed for 221 off the last ball of the innings with the scores level. In their second match, played on Saint Patrick's Day, they beat the fourth-ranked team in the world, Pakistan, by three wickets, thus knocking Pakistan out of the competition. These two results were sufficient to advance Ireland to the Super 8 stage of the tournament. Their final group stage game was against the West Indies, where they lost by eight wickets.

In the Super 8 stage, they lost their first four matches against England, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, but then recorded a 74-run victory against the 9th ranked team in the world and Test playing nation Bangladesh. As this was their second win against a full ICC member, Ireland gained promotion by way of recognition in the ICC's official one-day rankings. The list consisted of the ten full members, Kenya, and Ireland. Ireland suffered defeat in their final match of the tournament. The team received a heroes welcome on 24 April 2007 in Dublin. A documentary, Breaking Boundaries directed by Paul Davey recounting the story of the World Cup campaign was released in 2008.

After the World Cup (2007–2008)

After the World Cup, former West Indies cricketer Phil Simmons took over the role of coach from Adrian Birrell. India were scheduled to play South Africa in a series of One Day Internationals in Ireland in June 2007. Ireland also played one-off matches at Stormont against the two teams. Missing several players from their World Cup squad, Ireland lost both games. Ireland hosted a quadrangular tournament in Dublin and Belfast from 10 to 15 July involving the West Indies, the Netherlands, and Scotland. Ireland and the West Indies both won two games with their direct encounter being a no result due to rain. The West Indies were declared tournament winners because of a bonus point won against the Netherlands. Ireland played three ODIs against Test nations (two losses and a no result), and five ODIs in total, winning the two matches against fellow Associates Scotland and the Netherlands. A triangular ODI series in Scotland as well as the European Twenty20 Championship had to be cancelled due to conflicting dates with the quadrangular series. The 2007–08 ICC Intercontinental Cup began in June, with Ireland playing their first match in August. In November 2008, the team's campaign drew to a conclusion. After having finished second in the round-robin stage of the competition, Ireland faced Namibia in the final. Ireland won by nine wickets under the captaincy of William Porterfield, securing their third consecutive Intercontinental Cup title. In March 2008 Ireland toured Bangladesh, playing three ODIs against the hosts and losing all of them. In July, Ireland played a tri-series against New Zealand and Scotland in Aberdeen and lost both matches.

Reigning champions Ireland hosted the European Cricket Championship (Division One) in late July and they won their third European title, winning every game, including the decisive encounter against Scotland by seven wickets. They were captained by William Porterfield. In early August, Ireland hosted five other Associate nations at the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Belfast. During the tournament, Ireland made their Twenty20 International debut. Playing against Scotland, they won a low scoring match by four wickets. After beating Bermuda in their second and final match of the group stages, Ireland progressed to the knock-out round of the tournament. Ireland defeated Kenya in the semi-finals to secure a place in the final against the Netherlands. The final was rained off and the teams shared the trophy. Andre Botha was named the Man of the Tournament. By getting to the final of the tournament, Ireland qualified for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England in June 2009. Later in August, Ireland played three ODIs at home against Kenya. Ireland won the first game, the second game could not be finished due to rain and the last match was completely washed out. In October, the team visited Kenya for a tri-series of ODIs with the hosts and Zimbabwe. Only two of Ireland's four games in the round-robin stage could be played, the others were rained off. Ireland suffered defeat in their first match to Zimbabwe, but won their second against Kenya. Ireland failed to qualify for the final because of their run-rate, which was lower than that of both Kenya and Zimbabwe. In January 2009, Ireland dropped to 11th in the ODI rankings after Zimbabwe due to victories against Kenya.

2009 and 2010 World Twenty20s

In the run up to the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, Ireland were deprived of batsman Eoin Morgan, similarly to Ed Joyce several years earlier, who was selected to play for England, making him ineligible to play for Ireland again. Ireland played their first Twenty20 International against a full ICC member side on 8 June 2009. In their opening match of the tournament, Ireland defeated Bangladesh by four wickets and knocked them out of the tournament with Kevin and Niall O'Brien making quick runs to put Ireland back on track after their run chase wavered. It was their first victory against a full ICC Member and only their fourth Twenty20 International match. Ireland progressed to the second stage of the competition. They were grouped with New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and lost all three of their matches. In 2009, Ireland played nine ODIs, winning the seven they played against Associate nations, losing their only match against a Test team (England), and one match was abandoned.

Ireland played 17 one day internationals in 2010, winning 11 and losing 6 including beating Bangladesh and losing against number 1 ranked side Australia and other teams with Test status West Indies, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe. Ireland were knocked out of the 2010 ICC World Twenty20, hosted by South Africa in April and May, after being beaten by the West Indies they took on England. After 20 overs England finished on 120–8, however Ireland only managed 14–1 when the game was rained off after 3.3 overs resulting in England progressing to the super eight stage by net run rate and then to be champions.

2011 World Cup onwards

The 2011 World Cup was held between February and March and hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. Though Ireland did not progress beyond the first round they secured a historic victory against England. Ireland beat England by 3 wickets on 2 March 2011 at the World Cup with Kevin O'Brien hitting the fastest World Cup century off only 50 balls. It was the highest successful run chase (329 in 49.1 overs) in World Cup history. Taoiseach-in-waiting Enda Kenny congratulated the team saying "Their supreme effort will lift the spirits of every single Irish person, no matter where they are in the world."

Shortly after the tournament ended, the ICC announced that the World Cups in 2015 and 2019 would contain ten teams; the Associate countries, who were most likely to miss out in a tournament with fewer teams strongly objected and, led by Ireland, urged the ICC to reconsider and in June the decision was reversed. After the World Cup Ireland played Pakistan, England, and Scotland in ODIs but lost each match. A further ODI against Sri Lanka was rained off. In all, Ireland played 12 ODIs in 2011, winning four.

Ireland qualified for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, and were promoted to the ICC ODI Championship, leaving the World Cricket League, but not the ICC Intercontinental Cup. In their first match of the World Cup, Ireland defeated the West Indies by 4 wickets, chasing down 304 runs with 25 balls to spare. In their second match they beat the United Arab Emirates by two wicket with four balls to spare; the target was 279. Out of only five successful World Cup chases of 300 runs or more, Ireland have provided three of them.

Governing body

The Irish Cricket Union (ICU) – the governing body of Irish cricket – was officially founded in 1923, although its predecessor had been active since 1890.
Flag of the Irish team

In common with a number of other Ireland sporting governing bodies, the Union was formed to represent cricket throughout the island of Ireland, rather than just the Republic of Ireland and in common with its counterparts for rugby union and field hockey, the Union therefore does not use the Irish tricolor, but instead employs its own flag, which is used by such bodies as the International Cricket Council to represent the team. In 2007, it announced major changes to bring it in-line with the main cricket governing bodies. After the World Cup, Irish cricket experienced a dip in success with poor results in the 2007 Friends Provident Trophy as many players were unavailable. The Irish cricket team was – and still is – an amateur side and most of the players had full-time jobs with commitments conflicting with cricket. After the World Cup there were delays in paying the players which resulted in them ignoring the press in protest to their treatment after an Intercontinental Cup match against Kenya.

Warren Deutrom, the chief executive of the ICU, has stated that it wants to "seek actively to place Irish players into top-level cricket, by developing relationships with [especially] county cricket which will incorporate appropriate player release for Irish international duty, and feeder systems for developing Irish cricketestrongspan style=rs". The reorganised ICU sought closer links with the English county teams, encourage the development of age group cricke/tbodystrongt, and to introduce a professional element into the Irish game. They also want to take the Ireland cricket team on winter tours more often.

In an attempt to prevent the game losing players to counties or other commitments such as jobs, it was suggested that central contracts should be introduced. They were introduced in June 2009, with the first three going to Trent Johnston and Alex Cusack. The number of full-time contracts was expanded to six in January 2010 with support for a further nine players; the contracts were split into three categories. In January 2012 the number of contracts was increased to 23, and coach Phil Simmons highlighted the process of becoming professional as an important factor in the team's success.

Deutrom has commented that it is difficult for Ireland to become a Test team as Ireland have not received guidance on how it can be achieved. In June 2009, shortly before the start of the 2009 ICC Twenty20 World Cup in which Ireland defeated Bangladesh to progress to the second round of the tournament, he said "Ireland has proved itself head and shoulders above the rest of the associate nations. Yet we are bumping up against a glass ceiling".

Aiming for Test status

In January 2012 Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom made the bold declaration that Ireland will be playing Test cricket by 2020. Their desire to reach Test status is in part to stem the tide of Irish players using residency rules to switch to playing for England in order to play at full international Test match level. Warren Deutrom outlined the ambition as he unveiled the new strategic plan for Irish cricket to 2015. The plan sets out a series of stretching goals including increasing the number of participants in the game to 50,000, setting a target of reaching 8th in the World rankings, establish a domestic first-class cricket structure and reinforcing cricket as the 4th major team sport in Ireland.

Deutrom had already sent a letter to the ICC in 2009 stating his board's intention to apply for Full Membership – a potential pathway to Test cricket – and to seek clarification on the process. Former Australian bowler Jason Gillespie said that if Ireland got Test status it "Would be huge news in world cricket, and it would be a massive positive story for the world game".

Following Ireland's victory over the West Indies in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, former fast bowler Michael Holding said that the International Cricket Council should grant Ireland Test status immediately saying "they need to be recognised now". The International Cricket Council confirmed in 2015 that Ireland will be granted Test status in 2019 should they win the 2015–17 ICC Intercontinental Cup and beat the 10th ranked test nation in a four-match test series in 2018.

As at October 8, 2015