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Craig Easdown

Sharjah, UAE

19th Mar 2024

Ireland Men lost their third and final T20I against Afghanistan on Monday night, with the hosts claiming the series 2-1 in the process.

After the Afghans posted 155-7 - the highest score of the series so far - Ireland battled hard but were bowled out for 98, ending a memorable and engaging tour on a down note, but a tour full of positives for a still young and evolving squad. In particular, fans will long remember the day Ireland Men claimed an historic first victory in Test cricket – and despite losing both white-ball series, the Irish side had some great moments with bat and ball, and had fought their way into potential match-winning positions on several occasions.

But today was not to be for the Men in Green. Paul Stirling's side remained unchanged from their loss the night before and were put into the field first, for the second game in succession.

As has been his want in the UAE over the past month, Mark Adair picked up an early scalp before Gareth Delany and Curtis Campher also chipped in with a wicket apiece, reducing Afghanistan to 63-3 after 10 overs.

Ireland's bowlers were impressive once again, with all six options used by Stirling claiming an Afghanistan wicket. Meanwhile, Ibrahim Zadran was the man who held his side's batting together with a new career best in T20I cricket of 72 from 51 deliveries - a total which helped the hosts to 155-7 from their 20 overs.

Andrew Balbirnie took nine from the first over, but the prodigious swing of Naveen-ul-Haq did for both Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker in the second. Fazalhaq Farooqi then bowled Stirling to reduce Ireland to 15-3 and up against it in their pursuit of victory.

Their task got greater when in-form Harry Tector fell for 17 and, at 46-5 at the midway point of their run chase, the game was all-but over. A 36-run partnership between Campher and Delany threatened to get their team back into the game, but the task proved too great.

While Afghanistan's spinners had led the way in the previous games, their seamers did the damage in game three. Azmatullah Omarzai played the starring role with 4-9 from his four overs and Naveen collected 3-10.

Afghanistan 155-7 (20 overs; I Zadran 72*; C Campher 1-23, J Little 1-27)
Ireland 98 (17.2 overs; C Campher 28; A Omarzai 4-9, N ul-Haq 3-10)


Ireland ended the tour with a sad finale, but from all accounts there were more positives than negatives overall. Test wins are special, especially as Ireland are fighting for establish white ball credibility, although perhaps the red ball is their forte these days. At the end of the day, Afghanistan had the edge on Ireland but not by much!
Thanks to Craig Easdown for all the reports.

Craig Easdown

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

17th Mar 2024

Ireland Men fell to a narrow 10-run defeat at the hands of Afghanistan on Sunday, levelling the three match T20I series at 1-1 and setting up a decider in Monday's final match of the tour.

Having won the opening T20I two days previously, Ireland knew a win in the second game would clinch the series in their favour.

But, chasing 153 for victory, they were undone by the brilliance of opposing captain Rashid Khan, whose 4-14 with the ball ripped through Ireland's middle-order on route to victory. Some exceptional late hitting from Gareth Delany (39) kept Irish hopes alive but they eventually came up 10 runs short of their target.

While Afghanistan remained unchanged from the first T20I, Ireland welcomed George Dockrell back into the team, replacing Neil Rock after recovering from illness. The game was a landmark occasion for Andrew Balbirnie, who made his 100th T20I appearance - becoming just the fourth Ireland Men’s cricketer to do so.

Having been put in the field by Khan at the toss, Paul Stirling's side made a blistering start thanks to new ball pair Mark Adair (3-27) and Josh Little (2-20). They each struck twice in the first four overs of the match, leaving their hosts reeling at 14-4.

Sediqullah Atal and Mohammad Nabi recovered with a 79-run partnership for the fifth-wicket, which was eventually broken by sharp fielding off his own bowling by Curtis Campher who raced into the outfield and returned a bullet throw to Lorcan Tucker which found Atal short of his ground.

Barry McCarthy's two wickets in the final over took him to 50 in T20Is, Afghanistan setting Ireland with a target of 153 to seal the series.

The experienced duo of Stirling and Balbirnie made a strong start to the run chase before the former departed for 24 in the final over of the powerplay and the score 49-1.

Balbirnie eventually made 45 from 44 balls in an innings that included two fours and two sixes but wickets fell around the Leinster Lightning batter. Khan then took centre stage with the ball, rushing through Ireland's batters and removing dangermen Lorcan Tucker and Harry Tector with successive deliveries.

Teenage tweaker Nangeyalia Kharote's (2-23) excellent form also continued as Ireland failed to find an answer to Afghanistan's spinners until Delany's knock of 39 from only 18 deliveries. His innings contained three fours and four sixes as Ireland hit 40 from the final three overs, but it wasn't enough to claim victory.

The third and final match of the T20I series takes place at the same venue tomorrow.

Afghanistan v Ireland, 1st T20I, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates -- 17 March 2024
Afghanistan 152-9 (20 overs; M Nabi 59, S Atal 35; M Adair 3-27, J Little 2-20, B McCarty 2-33)
Ireland 142-8 (10 overs; A Balbirnie 45, G Delany 39, P Stirling 24; R Khan 4-14, N Kharote 2-23)
Afghanistan won by 10 runs


All to play for on Monday. Let's do it Ireland!

Craig Easdown


16th Mar 2024

Ireland bounce back

Ireland Men stormed to a 38-run victory over Afghanistan in Sharjah on Friday thanks to superb performances from Harry Tector and Ben White.

Tector's fifth T20I half-century propelled Ireland to 149-6 batting first, the 24-year-old helping his side bulldoze 58 runs from the final five overs and give his bowlers a strong total to defend.

They did so in style, with White excelling on his first outing since the end of last summer. His four overs resulted in figures of 4-20, the Munster Reds leg-spinner ripping through the Afghan middle-order to stun the crowd and ensure Ireland went 1-0 up in the three match T20I series.

Returning from injury, White wasn't the only new face in the Irish ranks in terms of this tour; Josh Little also returned to the bowling attack alongside all-rounder Gareth Delany and left-hand batter Neil Rock (who came in after George Dockrell withdrew with illness).

The hosts, meanwhile, welcomed captain Rashid Khan into the fold for the first time since the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, following which he had back surgery. Khan's first point of business was to win the toss and put Ireland into bat.
Andrew Balbirnie (22) and skipper Paul Stirling (25) made a bright start, but Afghanistan's spinners soon came to the fore.

Following Balbirnie's dismissal, Lorcan Tucker became the first of two scalps for 19-year-old Nangeyalia Kharote either side of Khan removing Stirling and Curtis Campher with successive deliveries. He almost had a hat-trick when he ripped one past Rock, who fell to Kharote the following over.

Up stepped Tector to continue his fine form, taking Ireland to 149-6 from their 20 overs. Tector's innings came from just 34 deliveries and included seven fours and two sixes, with the Leinster Lightning batter plundering 18 from the final four deliveries of the innings.

That not only set Afghanistan a challenging looking 150 for victory, it shifted the match's momentum.

Ireland's total looked even more troubling for the hosts when Mark Adair removed the dangerous Rahmanullah Gurbaz with the very first ball of the innings. Things got even better for Ireland the following over, Little striking twice in two deliveries to account for first Sediqullah Atal and then Azmatullah Omarzai to leave Afghanistan reeling at 6-3 after only two overs.

Ireland kept chipping away, with White and Barry McCarthy getting in on the act to further reduce Afghanistan to 50-5 inside nine overs. White became the third player of the match to be denied a hat-trick, dismissing Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai and Kharote with back-to-back balls and then got rid of Mohammad Nabi.

Little also returned to claim a third to see the back of Khan, firmly marking the point of no return for Afghanistan. McCarthy cleaned things up by taking the final wicket, bowling Afghanistan out for 111 with eight balls to spare.

Ireland had lost the ODI campaign 2-0, which came hot on the heels of their historic first Test win that kicked off the tour a fortnight ago. They are now just one win away from clinching victory in the T20I series.

The second T20I takes place at the same venue on Sunday before Monday's third and final match.

Afghanistan v Ireland, 1st T20I, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates -- 15 March 2024
Ireland 149-6 (20 overs; H Tector 56*, P Stirling 25, A Balbirnie 22; R Khan 3-19, N Kharote 2-16)
Afghanistan 111 (18.4 overs; M Ishaq 32, M Nabi 25; B White 4-20, J Little 3-18, B McCarthy 2-14)


Ireland have more comebacks than Frank Sinatra!
Well done!

Craig Easdown

Sharjah, UAE

12th Mar 2024

Ireland Men fell to a 117-run defeat at the hands of Afghanistan this evening - a result that saw the hosts clinch a 2-0 ODI series victory in Sharjah.

The spin duo of experienced Mohammad Nabi (5-17) and 19-year-old debutant Nangeyalia Kharote (4-30) were the eventual stars with the ball for the hosts, who successfully defended their 237-run target by bowling Ireland all-out for 119 in 35 overs. Nabi had earlier made a crucial 48 with the bat before going on to claim the best figures of his international career.

Having narrowly lost the first ODI, and seen the second washed out, Ireland was looking to level the series in its third and final match before three T20Is begin later in the week.

Paul Stirling called correctly at the toss once again, opting to bowl first and naming one change to his side from the opening fixture, Barry McCarthy replacing Craig Young.

It was McCarthy who struck the first blow, removing opener Ibrahim Zadran (22) to end a 62-run partnership with Rahmanullah Gurbaz (51). That sparked a flurry of wickets, Afghanistan swiftly falling from 62-0 to 96-4.

A fifth-wicket recovery ensued, however, as the wise-heads of Afghan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (69) and Nabi shared a 97-run stand until the latter picked out Harry Tector at long-on off the bowling of Theo van Woerkom.

Adair (3-51) and McCarty (2-42) delivered well-executed spells at the death to limit Afghanistan to 236-9 from their 50 overs.

Andrew Balbirnie fell early in the reply, but Stirling (50) and Curtis Campher (43) soon steadied the ship. Stirling had registered his highest score as captain in ODIs reaching a run-a-ball half-century - an innings that included four boundaries and two sixes. However, he was caught at long-off three balls later off the bowling of Nabi.

That ended a 73-run partnership for the second wicket which took Ireland to 77-2 halfway through the 18th over and with 160 runs required for victory. At that stage Ireland were still firmly in the contest, until Nabi and Kharote took a grip on proceedings.

Nabi accounted for both Tector and Lorcan Tucker in swift succession, five days after the pair made 138 and 85, respectively, at the same venue.

Kharote had Campher caught behind soon after, went on to bowl George Dockrell and then trap Adair leg-before-wicket in a superb spell of bowling that left Ireland stunned.

Nabi completed a maiden five-wicket haul in international cricket with a beauty that cleaned-up Andy McBrine and the series was wrapped up when McCarthy suffered the same fate at the hands of Kharote.

The two teams now play three T20Is at the same venue, starting Friday, 15 March.

Afghanistan v Ireland, 2nd ODI, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates -- 12 March 2024
Afghanistan 236-9 (50 overs; H Shahidi 69, R Gurbaz 51, M Nabi 48; M Adair 3-51, B McCarthy 2-42)
Ireland 119-10 (35 overs; P Stirling 50, C Campher 43; M Nabi 5-17, N Kharote 4-30)
Afghanistan won by 35 runs


Good half-century Paul, but...

Craig Easdown


8th Mar 2024

Tector heroics not enough as Ireland fall short in 1st ODI

A stunning century from Harry Tector wasn't quite enough to seal victory for Ireland Men in the first ODI of three against their Afghan counterparts in Sharjah on Thursday.

Tector's 138 from 147 deliveries contained nine fours and three sixes but, despite his heroics, the 24-year-old couldn't get Ireland over the line as they eventually came up 35-runs short of their hosts.

Chasing 311 runs for victory, it appeared Ireland would be a considerable way off their target after losing the top three batters early - first Paul Stirling caught behind for 5, then Andrew Balbirnie bowled for 4, followed by Curtis Campher also bowled, leaving the tourists wobbling at 34-3.

Enter Tector, who led the fightback with a 173-run stand for the fourth-wicket alongside Leinster Lightning teammate Lorcan Tucker. Tucker was the perfect foil but eventually fell for 85 from 76 deliveries shortly before his partner moved to three figures. The Ireland wicket-keeper hit eight fours and two sixes, marking his 50th ODI appearance with a new highest score of his own in this format.

Despite the departure of his club and country companion, Tector kept up the fight - battling both the Afghan attack and the onset of cramp as the game stretched late into the night. He scored all around the wicket before falling in the final over, having taken his side so close to what would have been a famous win.

Earlier, Ireland had made just two changes from the team that created history by winning the one-off Test between these two teams in Abu Dhabi six days ago, as George Dockrell and Graham Hume replaced Barry McCarthy and PJ Moor.

Captain Stirling won the toss and elected to field first in the Sharjah sun. It proved to be tough work in the heat, though, as Afghanistan openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran racked up 150 for the first wicket.

While the pair played the conditions perfectly, Ireland's bowlers remained disciplined throughout and Northern Knights spinner Theo van Woerkom eventually made the breakthrough, ripping one past Zadran (60) to bowl the right-hander with the final ball of the 31st-over.

Van Woerkom (3-55) was the pick of the Ireland bowlers and registered career-best international figures after bookending his 10th and final over by removing both Azmatullah Omarzai (19) and, crucially, the century-making Gurbaz (121).

The North West Warriors duo of Craig Young and Hume went on to strike further blows for Ireland but late hitting courtesy of Mohammad Nabi (40) and Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (50*) saw their side to 310-5 from their 50 overs.

Ultimately, it proved too many for the Irish.

The two sides return to the same venue on Saturday in the 2nd ODI, starting at 11.30am (Ireland time).

Afghanistan 310-5 (50 overs; R Gurbaz 121, I Zadran 60, H Shahidi 50*; T van Woerkom 3-55)
Ireland 275-8 (50 overs; H Tector 138, L Tucker 85; F Farooqi 4-51)
Afghanistan won by 35 runs


You can't win everyone. The Afghans are tough in limited over.
Brilliant Tector and Tucker!

Craig Easdown


3rd Mar 2024

Ireland Wolves set for Nepal tour

Ireland Wolves will travel later this month for an eight-match white ball tour – playing both the Nepal Men’s senior team and Nepal A in Kathmandu.

The tour will be led by Neil Rock, who has previously captained the Wolves.
The Ireland Wolves squad is:
Neil Rock (c), Ross Adair, Cade Carmichael, Gareth Delany, Stephen Doheny, Matthew Foster, Fionn Hand, Gavin Hoey, Matthew Humphreys, Tom Mayes, Liam McCarthy, James McCollum, PJ Moor, Morgan Topping, Ben White
The coaching staff will be:
Head coach: Ryan Eagleson
Assistant coaches: Pete Johnston and Chris Brown

The fixture schedule is:
24 March: Nepal Men v Ireland Wolves (1st T20)
25 March: Nepal Men v Ireland Wolves (2nd T20)
28 March: Nepal A v Ireland Wolves (1st T20)
29 March: Nepal A v Ireland Wolves (2nd T20)
31 March: Nepal A v Ireland Wolves (3rd T20)
3 April: Nepal A v Ireland Wolves (1st ODM)
5 April: Nepal A v Ireland Wolves (2nd ODM)
7 April: Nepal A v Ireland Wolves (3rd ODM)

The bulk of the squad will depart Dublin on 20 March, with a number of players who are currently part of the Ireland Men’s squad playing in the UAE flying directly from Dubai.

Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“We’re delighted to have the Ireland Wolves back in action, and welcome the support of the Cricket Association of Nepal at hosting this first-ever tour of Nepal by an Irish representative team.
“The Wolves programme is the stepping stone to the senior international squad for many, and it is core to our talent pathway system. We look forward to not only playing some good cricket, but experiencing the famous energy and enthusiasm of the local fans.”

Craig Easdown

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

1st Mar 2024

Historic first-ever Test win for Ireland Men

A captain's knock from Andrew Balbirnie ensured a momentous first win in men’s Test cricket for Ireland Men's team in Abu Dhabi on Friday, beating Afghanistan by six-wickets at the Tolerance Oval.

With his side set a tricky 111 for victory in their second innings, Balbirnie held his nerve with an unbeaten 58 to masterfully see his side over the line.

Ireland's bowlers had made success possible earlier in the day by running through Afghanistan's batters, perfectly teeing up Balbirnie's heroics deep into the final session of day three.

With Afghanistan resuming on 134-3, and 26-runs ahead of Ireland, the tourists knew they required early wickets as they went in search of a maiden Test win in their history.

Mark Adair ensured they did just that, continuing his superb Test match by removing Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (55) in the fifth over of the day. It was just the start Ireland wanted at the beginning of day three, and debutant Barry McCarthy continued the excellent opening with the dismissal of Nasir Jamal (2).

Ireland were rampant at this stage and by the time Craig Young had accounted for first Karim Janat (13) and then key man Rahmanullah Gurbaz (55), Balbirnie's side were well positioned to secure an historic win.

By lunch Afghanistan were 182-7 and held a lead of 74, which they managed to eke over three figures thanks to the later resistance from Zia-ur-Rehman (13) and Naveed Zadran (25). A crucial first Test wicket for Theo van Woerkom (1-43) managed to break the stubborn eighth-wicket partnership, though, before McCarthy (3-48) and Young (3-24) wrapped up the innings.

With Afghanistan 218 all-out, Ireland then set about chasing down their target of 111. Their chase, however, got off to a rocky start, with opener PJ Moor and Curtis Campher both bowled by Naveed Zadran in successive deliveries at the end of just the second over.

Harry Tector then fell in the fifth over, leaving Ireland in trouble at 13-3 when Paul Stirling joined his skipper at the crease. Balbirnie had already successfully overturned a decision on review earlier in his innings and was able to steer Ireland to Tea without any further losses.

That changed when Stirling (14), given a reprieve by DRS the ball before, was heading back to the pavilion with the final delivery of the third over after Tea. That left Ireland 39-4 and still requiring 72 for victory.

While nerves remained frayed in the final session, there would be no further alarm thanks to the partnership of Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker (27*). They made an unbroken 72 for the fifth Irish wicket, with Balbirnie bringing the scores level before Tucker hit the winning runs, much to the delight of the Ireland team.


Afghanistan v Ireland, 1st Test, Day 3, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -- 1 March 2024
Afghanistan 1st innings 155 all-out (54.5 overs; I Zadran 54; M Adair 5-39, C Campher 2-13, C Young 2-31, B McCarthy 1-28)
Ireland 1st innings 263 all-out (83.4 overs; P Stirling 52, C Campher 49, L Tucker 46; Z ur-Rahman 5-64, N Zadran 3-59)
Afghanistan 2nd innings 218 all-out (75.4 overs; H Shahidi 55, R Gurbaz 46; C Young 3-24, B McCarthy 3-48, M Adair 3-56)
Ireland 2nd innings 111-4 (83.4 overs; A Balbirnie 58*, L Tucker 27*; N Zadran 2-31)


Terrific result!
Well done Andrew and everyone in the squad.

Craig Easdown

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

29th Feb 2024

The one-off Test between Afghanistan Men and Ireland Men remained finely poised at the end of day two, with the hosts squeezing out a 26-run second innings lead, with seven wickets in hand.

Resuming day two on 100-4 and just 55-runs behind Afghanistan's first innings total earlier in the day, Ireland lost Harry Tector in the fifth over of the morning trapped in front. Fellow overnight batter Paul Stirling and Lorcan Tucker soon settled things down, though, expertly combining to take Ireland beyond their hosts.

The pair contributed an 80-run stand for the sixth-wicket, even as the pitch started to take increasing turn from the Afghan spinners. Ultimately, it was spin that eventually brought an end to Stirling's excellent knock. In the final over before lunch, Stirling swotted Zahir Khan to the boundary for his seventh four of the innings, moving to 52 from 89 deliveries in the process. But, just two balls later, Khan got one to dip and turn, the off-spinner beating Stirling between bat and pad to bowl the 33-year-old right-hander.

Tucker remained unbeaten on 32 at the end of the morning session, and Ireland took a promising 31-run advantage into the break thanks to what was a new highest sixth-wicket stand for the country in Tests.

Tucker eventually fell for 46 after the break but valuable contributions from Andy McBrine (38) and Mark Adair (15) helped Ireland to a total of 263, which carved out a first innings lead of 108 by the time they were bowled out at Tea. Zia-ur-Rehman was the pick of the Afghan bowlers, closing out the innings with figures of 5-64.

The hero on day one with his 5-39, Adair continued his fine form in the Test by dismissing both Ibrahim Zadran (12) and Rahmat Shah (9) inside the first nine overs of Afghanistan's innings to give Ireland another perfect start with the ball.

In response, Noor Ali Zadran (32) and Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi provided a crucial partnership for the third-wicket. The pair had put on 55, and looked to be cruising to the close, until Test debutant Barry McCarthy managed to get one to lift and take Zadran's edge, presenting Adair with an easy catch at gully.

Despite Ireland's best efforts they were unable to make any further inroads late in the day. Instead, Hashmatullah (53*) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (23*) took Afghanistan to 134-3 at the close, boasting a lead of 26 going into day three.


Afghanistan 1st innings 155 (54.5 overs; I Zadran 54; M Adair 5-39, C Campher 2-13, C Young 2-31)
Ireland 1st innings 263 (83.4 overs; P Stirling 52, C Campher 49, L Tucker 46; Z ur-Rahman 5-64)
Afghanistan 2nd innings 134-3 (37 overs; H Shahidi 53*; M Adair 2-23, B McCarthy 1-25)


Keep it going Ireland.

Craig Easdown

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates

28th Feb 2024

Ireland Men produced a superb first day's play in the one-off Test against Afghanistan Men as they bowled their hosts out for 155 by Tea, however a brace of late wickets gave the Afghans hope going into Day Two.

Mark Adair was the star with the ball, returning career-best figures of 5-39 and becoming the third player in Ireland Men's Test history to claim five-wickets in an innings.

By the close, Ireland had made 100-4 with the bat themselves, ending day one with just a 55-run deficit to Afghanistan, and with six first-innings wickets in hand.

At the start of play, Ireland - who handed debuts to Barry McCarthy, Theo van Woerkom and Craig Young - were put in the field by Afghanistan at the toss, but any concerns over skipper Andrew Balbirnie calling the coin toss wrong were soon put to bed. It took just 6.3 overs for Ireland to make a breakthrough with the new ball, Adair removing Noor Ali Zadran for just seven. He then struck for a second time three balls later, bowling Rahmat Shah for a duck.

The Northern Knights bowling all-rounder had the ball moving both ways and maintained a patient line just outside off stump – showing all his skills in red-ball cricket what he routinely displays in white-ball formats.

Afghanistan rallied with a 55-run stand between captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (20) and opening batter Ibrahim Zadran (53) but McCarthy removed Shahidi before lunch to claim his first Test scalp, ensuring Ireland were firmly on top at the break with their hosts reduced to 86-3.

Ireland pressed on in the afternoon session, with Adair soon dismissing Rahmanullah Gurbaz (5) before Young removed Nasir Jamal (0) and Zadran in quick succession. Despite being on debut, Young has had an international career stretching back 10 years and this experience showed as he delivered the nagging length that he is renowned for. His ability to hit a consistent line and length worried the Afghan batters and no doubt contributed to wickets at both ends.

When Adair snared his fourth, Zia-ur-Rehman (6) caught by Balbirnie, Curtis Campher was introduced to the bowling crease and quickly took the wickets of Naveen Zadran (12) and Nijat Masood (0).

Adair fittingly wrapped up the innings, and his five-for, by bowling Zahir Khan for the fourth duck of the innings as Ireland bowled-out Afghanistan for 155 in only 54.5 overs.

Ireland innings started poorly - losing captain Balbirnie (2) and fellow opener PJ Moor (12), but Campher (49) and Harry Tector (32*) put on 60 for the third wicket to calm any nerves in the Irish dressing-room. Despite losing Campher and nightwatcher van Woerkom (1) late on, Ireland will start day two in a relatively strong position.

Afghanistan Men v Ireland Men, 1st Test, Day 1, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -- 28 February 2024
Afghanistan 155 (54.5 overs; I Zadran 54; M Adair 5-39, C Campher 2-13, C Young 2-31)
Ireland 100-4 (31 overs; C Campher 49, H Tector 32*)

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland


17th Feb 2024

Harry Tector and Orla Prendergast take Player of the Year accolades at Irish Cricket Awards

Harry Tector and Orla Prendergast were the big winners at the 12th Business Plus Irish Cricket Awards on Friday night in Dublin, as they were respectively named Men’s and Women’s International Player of the Year for 2023.
Tector, 24, had an outstanding year, playing all three formats and achieving an ICC Ranking of 7th in the world for ODIs (the highest such ranking ever for an Ireland Men’s cricketer. He is currently playing franchise cricket in the Bangladesh Premier League. See player profile.
His performance highlights in 2023 include:
Test cricket: 4 matches; 336 runs at 42.00; 4 half-centuries; highest score 85
ODI cricket: 20 matches; 711 runs at 50.78; 2 centuries and 4 half-centuries; highest score 140
T20I cricket: 16 matches; 335 runs at 27.91; 1 half-century; highest score 54*
Prendergast, 21, had a breakout year after consistently showing promise since her debut in 2019. She was named 12th in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Team of the Tournament in 2023 after numerous eye-catching performances – and it wasn’t just her all-round skills that made her stand out, but a renewed confidence and positivity. Orla earned her first franchise cricket opportunity in 2023 when she played in the Caribbean Premier League. See player profile.
Her performance highlights in 2023 include:
ODI cricket (batting): 8 matches; 248 runs at 35.42; 2 half-centuries; highest score 71
ODI cricket (bowling): 2 wickets; best bowling 1-24
T20I cricket (batting): 12 matches; 196 runs at 17.81; 1 half-century; highest score 61
T20I cricket (bowling): 5 wickets at 38.80; best bowling 2-22
Each winner received an engraved award designed to the iconic Irish brand, Waterford Crystal – an organisation that is proudly extending its generational links with cricket.
Presentations were also made on the night to recent international retirees, Mary Waldron, Shauna Kavanagh and Rachel Delaney, all who had long distinguished careers in the Irish jersey.
The evening also saw a special acknowledgement of Amy Hunter who was presented her medallion for being named the ‘ICC Women’s Player of the Month’ recently.
Full Award winners list
Kitman Labs Emerging Talent Award – Men: Chris de Freitas (Balbriggan)
Beauchamps Emerging Talent Award – Women: Freya Sargent (Clontarf)
Macron Volunteer of the Year: Dermot Ward (Ardmore)
Certa Smash It/It’s Wicket! Activator of the Year: Maria Van der Munckhof (Limerick)
SportsHub Coach of the Year: Robert Delaney (Mullingar)
Lord’s Taverners Groundskeeping Team of the Year: Matt Reed (Cork County)
Butlers Club Player of the Year – Men: Morgan Topping (Waringstown)
Butlers Club Player of the Year – Women: Mollie Devine (Fox Lodge)
Gibney’s Outstanding Contribution and Service to Irish Cricket – in honour of John Wright: Alan Lewis (see story)
Waterford Club Cricket Official of the Year – in honour of Paul Reynolds: David Caldwell (North West Cricket Union)
Arachas Club of the Year: Waringstown Cricket Club
HBV Studios Inter-Provincial Series Player of the Year: Neil Rock
Evoke Super Series Player of the Year: Amy Hunter
Business Plus International Men’s Player of the Year: Harry Tector
Certa International Women’s Player of the Year: Orla Prendergast

In addition, the Cricket Writers of Ireland inducted three former players into the Hall of Fame:
Inductee 1 (posthumas): Lucius Gwynn
Citation: Lucius may have only received 11 caps for Ireland between 1892 and 1902, but he was widely regarded as the finest Irish batter of the 19th century. He scored 499 runs for Ireland, and his average of 39 on rough pitches, which was still the best average as late as the 1980s. He played in Ireland’s inaugural first-class matches striking five fifties against strong professional sides Surrey, South Africa and London County. Furthermore, Lucius won a rugby triple crown before he died aged 29 of tuberculosis..
Inductee 2: Saibh Young
Citation: Saibh earned 36 caps from 1991-2000. In her Test debut v Pakistan she had remarkable first innings figures of 10-9-1-0. She played at two World Cups and bowled Ireland to notable victories over Pakistan and England, even taking a hat-trick v England on her last appearance. She took 32 international wickets at 28.62, with a best of 4 for 24.
Inductee 3: Kyle McCallan
Citation: Kyle earned 227 caps for Ireland between 1996-2009, taking 256 wickets and scoring 3,616 runs, including a century in his third innings. That was one of two centuries he hit on top of 11 half-centuries. A member of legendary 2007 World Cup team, Kyle batted everywhere from 1 to 11 for Ireland and had stellar club career with Cliftonville and Waringstown.


Congrats everyone.

Cricket Ireland


15th Feb 2024

Alan Lewis to be honoured for Outstanding Contribution and Service to Irish Cricket at Irish Cricket Awards

A man of many hats - international cricketer, Board Member, selector, administrator, commentator and international Rugby referee - Alan Lewis will be honoured with the Outstanding Contribution and Service to Irish Cricket award at the 12th Business Plus Irish Cricket Awards on Friday night.

The annual Business Plus Irish Cricket Awards recognises and celebrates the best of Irish cricket, from grassroots all the way up to international. One of the headline awards is the Gibney’s Outstanding Contribution and Service to Irish Cricket, in honour of John Wright.

The Award recognises individuals who are held in the highest regard within the Irish cricket community, having made a significant long-term contribution to sustaining and growing the reputation of cricket, growing participation and/or advocating for improvements in facilities and opportunities for players.

Past recipients of this prestigious award have included former Cricket Ireland Presidents Dr Murray Power, Roy Torrens, Joe Doherty and Paul Reynolds.


Alan Lewis has made a massive contribution to Irish cricket over his lifetime, as a player, administrator, club official, sponsor, and Board member.

He represented Ireland at all underage and adult categories - including earning 121 caps for Ireland (between 1984 and 1997), captaining the National Men’s team on 35 occasions.

Alan made his senior international debut against the West Indies in Rathmines, Dublin, and went on to score 3,579 runs at an average of 28.63, with a top score of 136* against Wales in July 1990, one of four centuries he scored for Ireland.

He also took 51 wickets, with best bowling figures of 4-21 against Scotland in July 1993.

Alan served a full term on the Board of Cricket Ireland as an Independent Director – and played a key role in shaping the transition to where the sport is to-day as part of his Board role.

Alan served a full term as the last volunteer Chair of the National Selectors, dedicating countless hours of his time to oversee the growth and development of the Men’s National squad.

He has also provided decades of sponsorship support to cricket via his family business, including long-term sponsorship for the Leinster Senior Cup and Leinster Premier League. He currently serves as a Director on the Cricket Leinster Board responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of cricket in Leinster, with a particular focus on the club game/grassroots cricket.

Alan has been a key driving force behind the YMCA Cricket Club which has prioritised the development of youth cricketers and has provided countless provincial and international players under his guidance, direction, and oversight (both male and female). The YMCA youth structure is regarded as a best practice example and Alan has led this project as overall Club Patron.

Alan is also a highly respected cricket commentator and analyst for many broadcasts including BBC, Sky Sports, and Cricket Ireland livestreams.

Born in Cork in 1964, and educated in St Andrews College in Dublin, Alan also played Rugby Union. However, after injury halted his playing career he turned to refereeing and established himself as one of the best referees in world rugby. He would go on to referee at the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups in Australia and France.


Well deserved!

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Harare, Zimbabwe

17th Dec 2023

Andrew Balbirnie surpassed 3,000 One Day International runs as Ireland Men secured a 2-0 series win, and their first ODI series win in Zimbabwe, with a seven-wicket win in a rain-affected game at the Harare Sports Club.

Balbirnie brought up his 3,000 career ODI run with a single off Blessing Muzarabani, joining Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, and. William Porterfield, as the only Irish Men’s batters to score over 3,000 ODI runs.

The Pembroke man scored his sixteenth One-Day International half-century, in an unbeaten 82*, as Ireland finished off their year in fine style, by adding the ODI series to their recent T20I series success.

There was one change in the Ireland team, as Josh Little, who picked up a slight niggle after his exploits in Friday’s game, was replaced by left-arm spinner Theo van Woerkom.

Zimbabwe brought Takudzwanashe Kaitano, Innocent Kaia, and Luke Jongwe back into their side, in place of Ryan Burl, due to concussion protocols, the injured Richard Ngarava, and Milton Shumba.

Ireland’s seam attack set the table for the batters, as Curtis Campher (4-37) and Graham Hume (4-34) took career best ODI bowling figures, while Mark Adair was equally effective with (0-22) from his eight-over spell.

Having been set a DLS adjusted target of 201 from 40-overs, due to a two-hour rain delay, Ireland soon lost Stirling (8), after he fell to the towering Muzarabani in the third over, after nicking the ball behind.

Coming in at number three, Campher settled quickly, taking his shots on, as the pair scored a 50-run partnership in just 56 balls.

Despite looking extremely comfortable in the middle, Campher (40) eventually fell to Brandon Mavuda, with Wellington Masakadza diving to claim a catch at mid-wicket, with Ireland 82-2. Campher’s 70-run second wicket stand with Balbirnie the best of the innings.

The departure of Campher saw the runs dry up, as scoring became difficult off the bowling of Sikandar Raza, Mavuta and Blessing Muzarabani.

However, Balbirnie and Harry Tector survived the onslaught, and combined for 63 runs, before Tector (33) skying a delivery from Luke Jongwe to Raza.

Balbirnie anchored Ireland’s innings extremely well and brought up his fifty off 76 balls.

With Ireland still requiring 59 off the last ten overs Balbirnie stepped on the gas. And he, along with Lorcan Tucker, combined to score 59 runs as Ireland won with thirteen balls to spare.

Earlier in the day, Ireland captain Stirling won the toss and put Zimbabwe in the bat.

Following wet overnight conditions, it didn’t take Graham Hume long to make an impact with the new ball. He removed opener Tinashe Kamunhukamwe in the second over, with an outside edge that was taken by Balbirnie at second slip.

On a slow pitch, with lots of early movement, Ireland’s bowling attack restricted the flow of runs for Zimbabwe.

Some excellent fielding, and a dart like throw from Tector at backward point ended the Joylord Gumbie/Takudzwanashe Kaitano 43-run partnership. Tector running to his left, and from the ground, he had a direct hit on the stumps as Kaitano was run out for 13.

Just before the rain came Campher trapped Kiai (5) lbw, with Zimbabwe 78-3.

Despite a two-hour delay, and with the game reduced to 40 overs, Zimbabwe came out of the blocks after the resumption, with Raza finding his range quickly, including blasting a maximum off van Woerkom towards deep mid-wicket.

Gumbie and Raza combined for a 69-run fourth wicket partnership, before a slower delivery from Campher saw Raza hit straight to Dockrell on the leg-side boundary. Campher followed up with his third wicket of the game, bowling Madande for a duck.

Dockell grabbed two more boundary catches, that of Jongwe and Mavuta, with Zimbabwe 157-7.

After a thoroughly entertaining innings Gumbie (72) was run out by a combination of Andy McBrine and Craig Young, before a late burst from Wellington Masakadze (24) saw Zimbabwe post a total of 197.


Zimbabwe v Ireland, 3rd One Day International, Harare Sports Club, Harare, Zimbabwe, 17 December 2023

Zimbabwe 197 (40 overs; J Gumbie 72, S Raza 37; G Hume 4-34)
Ireland 204-3 (37.5 overs; A Balbirnie 82*, C Campher 40; B Mavuta 1-19)

Ireland won by 7 wickets (DLS Method)


Excellent. Question-are Zimbabwe playing at full strength?

Clarence Hiles


15th Dec 2023

Breaking news...
JP McManus will give 1million Euro to each of the 32 GAA Boards in Ireland. The distribution will be given to the clubs. It was a huge donation. He made his money as a bookmaker!
JP is well known as a philanthropist and extremely generous to good causes.


I wish he was interested in cricket!

Clarence Hiles


14th Dec 2023

Zimbabwe v Ireland-3rd ODI
Zimbabwe 121for 6
Match abandoned-thunderstorm


Pity as Ireland were well placed.



16th Oct 2023


The ICC is thrilled at the confirmation that cricket will be part of sports programme of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028 (LA28). Cricket’s inclusion was formally ratified by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today at the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, following LA28’s recommendation last week.

The addition of cricket in the Olympics, for the first time since 1900, concludes a two-year process, in which the ICC worked extensively to develop an exciting proposal that supports the Olympic values and LA28’s mission to create an unparalleled experience for athletes, fans, partners and the local community.

The Olympic Games is estimated to have an audience of more than 3 billion viewers across TV and digital platforms, representing a unique opportunity for cricket to engage new audiences and further boost the sport’s reach across the world, opening the door to a new generation of cricket enthusiasts.

Reflecting on the news, ICC Chairman Greg Barclay commented, "We are thrilled that cricket’s inclusion in the LA28 Olympic Games has been confirmed by the IOC Session today. To have the opportunity to showcase our great sport at the LA28 Games and hopefully many Olympic Games to come will be great for players and fans alike.

“I’d like to thank the International Olympic Committee and LA28 for their support and for their trust in our organization’s ability to deliver a world-class event and countless new Olympic fans from all over the world. The fact that the IOC confirmation of our selection occurred here in Mumbai, during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, is truly icing on the cake. The innings has just begun, and we can't wait to see where this incredible journey leads.”

Mithali Raj, former India captain and leading female run scorer of all time said: “It is so exciting that cricket is now an Olympic sport and will make its return at LA28. Players will get the chance to compete for an Olympic gold medal and be part of the games which will be so special. It’s also a chance for more fans around the world to enjoy our fantastic sport.”


Very exciting news!