24 February 2008

Irish Cricket News I

Ireland missed out on a place at the 2009 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup when they lost to South Africa in the semi-finals of the qualifying competition. Despite Cecelia Joyce's unbeaten 43, the Irish were all out for 107, and the hosts scored their runs in 27.4 overs to win by seven wickets.

South Africa will now meet Pakistan in the final, but both will also play in the tournament proper next year. Pakistan beat the Netherlands by 98 runs in the second semi-final after bowling them out for just 68.

"Everybody is absolutely gutted," said Ireland Women's Captain Heather Whelan (photo). "We trained so hard, and for so long, in order to try to go to the World Cup in Australia, but it's not going to be. But we'll be here again in four years, looking for a place in the World Cup and we expect to make it next time."

Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies automatically qualified for the World Cup, which will be played in New South Wales in March 2009.

Ireland's men took part in their 2007 World Cup in the West Indies and achieved unexpected success, beating Pakistan and drawing against Zimbabwe. This performance has given Cricket in Ireland a great boost, which now also inspires the Irish women's XI.


Alexander "Sunny" Bergen said...

Glad you are covering Irish Cricket as well now. It is in need of any support and media exposure it can get.

I feel sorry for Ireland's ladies, as they fought really hard to get to the World Cup. But it took the men a long time as well. However, when they were part of it, they surprised and astonished everyone.

Ireland has many good cricketers, and I hope the game will become a lot more popular on the Emerald Island.


I am very fond of Cricket myself and did play it when I was younger. When I lived in South Africa and India I had even the chance to experience the whole exuberance of the game, and it has stayed with me as a lifelong interest.

Even though Cricket is currently a minority sport in Ireland, it used to be extremely popular before the rise of the GAA, which is against Cricket on the basis that it is "an English game".
But the great performance the Irish XI gave during the World Cup in the West Indies has put Cricket on the mental map of many Irish people. If they continue to play well and get enough support, this will continue and hopefully Cricket's popularity will rise steadily in Ireland.

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