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Innocent Bystander
30 Dec 09 13:56
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Date Joined: 10 Jan 03
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Thought this might be amusing, sure we will get the odd reply!

India

Reached the summit despite only playing 2 series all year. Deserve their current #1 standing, but how they approach tests as mace holders the key. Need the likes of Zaheer, Kumar and Hardlycan to show they can lead an attack. Replacing the legendary batsmen also a challenge

South Africa

Again, lack of tests have harmed them. Their bowling suddenly looking paper thin with Ntini and Harris struggling. Duminy seems to be struggling (2nd season syndrome?) and as ever their fortunes tend to revolve around their skipper

Sri Lanka

I fear for their bowling. Murali retired, rotated seamers in without success and Mendis looking a busted flush. Herath their star performer of the year (and he couldnt get wickets for Surrey!). Matthews looks a promising all rounder in the making. Middle order batting very strong as ever, but could do with 2 openers so Dilshan can return to a lower middle order berth imo

Australia

Last years bullies have been this years bullied, till they got back to the green bouncy grass of home. Being dragged along by Pontings cussedness, but he has looked gun shy in the last series and his average over the last 18 months going disturbingly south. Looking to rebuild, and doing well not to go for the panic route on changes - but next Winters Ashes will define their road ahead

England

Started the year in turmoil, yet turned it round quite surprisingly. The English way of no panic changes has paid dividends. Young bowlers coming through well but short of back up in key positions leave them vulnerable to injuries.. Steady hands on the tiller proved valuable this year, will never be extravagant but more steel than usually given credit for

Pakistan

The new roaming nomads of cricket, the fall out from Lahore will dog them for years ahead - turmoil in their country will make test cricket at home unlikely for years ahead. Exciting pace department and the next big thing in Umar Akmal is handicapped by fielding more akin to Fred Carnos Circus, and batting which looks threadbare with out the super YK. Will cause surprises

New Zealand

Do they really want to play Test Cricket? Bond gone, O'Brien gone, Oram gone - all for the lure of the T20 riches. Batting reliant on Taylor, McSlogga and Dan the Spin, need Jesse to stay of the sauce for long enough to be able to hit straight. Pace bowling cupboard now bare, and Tuffey and Martin will surely break down having to shoulder the load. Southee needs to train on

West Indies

Promising form being shown, when they can be bothered to show up. Kemar Roach turned the worlds best batsman into a blubbering jelly, and the promise shown by the likes of Barath and Darren Bravo is promising for the future. But will they be distracted by the dollar / ruppee / pound?

Bangladesh

Are they still playing tests? No one really wants to play them (India still to offer them a series in India) and when they do they send 2nd string sides.

2010

So what have we got ahead? After the current series India v SA play a 2 game series (an afterthought now that India realise they aint that good at T20 so they may as well support something they are good at). Pakistan come to England to take on the Aussies again and England. Windies take on Zimmies and Saffers at home which leads us into next Winters Ashes. Other series may get added if sides can be bothered to put down their cheque books for long enough

LONG LIVE TESTS!!! (and if someone wants to do something similar for odi's and T20s - be my guest ;) )

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Replies: 18
By:
STEPTOES YARD
When: 30 Dec 09 14:06
Do India ever play away ?
By:
Yuvraj Singh
When: 30 Dec 09 14:09
haven't india got two tests away against bangladesh coming up?
By:
STEPTOES YARD
When: 30 Dec 09 14:11
Think the standard between almost all the sides is slimmer than ever

Sri Lanka look to be slipping backwards with the ball and can see them having tougher times ahead.

Would say India,England,SA and Oz are all capable of beating each other and very difficult to split imo

West Indies look at their most competitve for 10 years and think they will start winning series soon.

Pakistan still have bags of potential and good young players coming through but it wont help having to play every series away from home.

New Zealand will have same old problems sadly. Same pool of 18 players trying to compete.
By:
timmy2988
When: 30 Dec 09 14:32
Could have given us test status a couple of years ago. Unfortunately our better players have retired and Morgan is English now. Joyce still cant play for another 2 years because of England..... :(

Still would be great to see. Would take it far more seriously than the Bangers....
By:
stephaniebot
When: 30 Dec 09 16:39
Agree Timmy, but Joyce (as things stand) is actually available to us in April 2011 which is only just over 15 months away. And have heard ICC are prepared to look favourably for him to be available in time to prepare with us for WC 2011.
Morgan is a different kettle of fish, but if we got test status, and given he's unlikely to make the England test team, I guess we could ask...?

Kyle's retirement is a big blow, and TJ and Andre to name but 2 cant go on forever. But youngsters look a promising bunch, will know more on that next month with U19 WC
By:
positively4thsteet
When: 30 Dec 09 16:50
Just out of curiosity where does the Irish talent pool come from?
Is it club cricketers playin in Ireland? Do a lot of them play county cricket, but originally from Ireland, or are a lot of them from overseas? Genuine question.

Didn't steve waugh play for you once?
By:
timmy2988
When: 30 Dec 09 17:18
Well in 2007 a good few people were having a laugh at the amount of Aussies in our side (which is slightly ironic as there hasn't been an all English 11 since the 90's) but if you look at our best players over the last few years; Joyce, Niall O Brien, McCallan, Rankin, Porterfield and Morgan, they're all proper Irish and were all signed by English counties while still young except for McCallan. Paul Stirling has just been signed by Middlesex as well and he's the real deal and should do very well. Kev O Brien played a few 20-20 games for Notts last summer but didnt get on too well. Suffering a lack of confidence I think as he's a handy player.

We're the best of the associate teams and have been for a few years. Holland are decent but we always beat them.
By:
stephaniebot
When: 30 Dec 09 21:28
Timmy, it was foreigners as a whole, not Aussies. Andre Botha was born in S.A, but has been over here many years, Regan West is originally from New Zealand, TJ is genuine Aussie though, as of course was Jeremy Bray.
Poynter is going to be Middlesex's back up keeper at least at the start of next year, and believe both both Gloucester and Warwicks have one youngster in their youth squads already. Vagueley remember a count up last season, and it was something like 14 or 15 irsh born players on various county books at all levels.

I suspect the only reason Kyle never played county cricket was because of his teaching work, one of the main reasons he retired from the international scene
By:
stephaniebot
When: 30 Dec 09 21:32
Cant find any record of Steve Waugh playing for us from Wiki to be honest.

But 2 current test players who played in Ireland early in their career were Kamran Akmal and...AB De Villiers! Now if only we could have got him to stay with us! ;)
By:
timmy2988
When: 30 Dec 09 22:23
Great stuff stephaniebot.

We had Afridi for a couple of FP games as well. :)

Jesse Ryder came over to play for us but cant remember him getting a game. Think he was acting like a d1ck and f*cked off back home.
By:
TopTier
When: 30 Dec 09 23:29
Spot on roundup IB, unfortunately the motivation and other aspects might determine the position of the test playing sides in 2010. It is not as if the common goal of test playing sides and those that administrate it is prioritised on fulfilling their test match potential.
By:
ianh
When: 31 Dec 09 00:36
Jesse Ryder was signed up to a play a couple of games for Ireland while he was playing club cricket for New Brighton in the Liverpool Competition. One of these games was against Middlesex on a Sunday but he got so utterly pished on the Saturday night he missed his flight over as he never woke up.
By:
positively4thsteet
When: 31 Dec 09 05:57
So how do these irish guys playing county criket start offf? Do they start off playing club cricket in ireland when they are younger?
By:
stephaniebot
When: 31 Dec 09 06:42
Club cricket, Age level cricket are how they get started. Dont know how long its been the case, but youth cricket in Ireland in the popular areas for cricket is quite big.
Ladies, and girls cricket is developing as well, though less relevant here of course.

Think 2007 woke a lot of people up to cricket in Ireland though
By:
positively4thsteet
When: 31 Dec 09 06:59
I was surprised in 2007 I have to admit. Am genuinely surprised you can compete with a relatively small population, and I had thought that cricket was a real minority sport over there.

Good luck to them either way.
By:
stephaniebot
When: 31 Dec 09 18:18
Non test report, but anyway...

Ireland

Yet again we turned over 1 test playing country in the T20 WC, albeit only Bangladesh, but we gave Sri Lanka one almighty scare as well.
William Porterfield scored bundles of runs, and deservedly got Associate player of the year award from the ICC. Niall O'Brien also allegedly attracted certain eyes from the IPL, but whether that comes to anything, I have my doubts.
Bowling wise, Boyd Rankin continued to show immense promise, and Regan West took lots of wickets (now sadly out injured for a while). Trent Johnston just continued to flow with both bat and ball, especially ball against England in the ODI. Ironically the only thing that stopped us beating England was an Irish born substitute fielder!

Have now applied for full member status, now just have to wait and see if we're let in...wont hold my breath! But I think our full side is as good as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, and not that far behind WI (especially weakened side) and quite possibly NZ as well.
By:
bohemond
When: 31 Dec 09 19:01
steve waugh did play for ireland iirc in the old natwest comp as an overseas player for an emerging nation.

ireland r a decent side who rather like new zealand tend to make the most of what they have and I agree with the poster who says they would be a better test side than bangladesh tho that is not a ringing endorsement.

I would be pro them becoming a test nation with a limited schedule tho being the emrald isle - i have to say home tests would be subject to dodgy weather - dont let anyone tell u otherwise it pishes down there a lot :0
By:
Deadly Earnest
When: 31 Dec 09 20:29
I don't get why Bangladesh are written off so easily. Sure, they are not up to the top 8 test playing nations at the moment, but given they lost quite a bit of depth to the ICL and they keep coming up with players who look capable of being future stars they deserve to be perservered with.

Everybody knows Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan look the goods, but there are loads of others on the right side of 25 who could yet prove very good international players. They have decent spin options and they are starting to uncover competitive looking pacemen. Batting is always the toughest thing to learn for young teams but they have a group of players who appear to have the talent required to be good if given sufficient time and experience.

Zimbabwe also appear to be on the right track now, if Ireland were admitted we could have the makings of a decent 2nd tier of test playing nations:

Zimbabwe
Bangladesh
Ireland
(maybe an ICC xi made up of everyone not from one of the test nations?)
Pakistan
India
England

That would make a workable 2nd tier imo. :)
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