Cricket isn’t the most popular sport in Ireland; it’s not even in the top 10, actually. America’s pastime is way more popular here than the English game. But with that being said, Cricket has a small but steady following here. In fact, Ireland’s national team is ranked 20th in the world, and its domestic league (Inter-Provincial Championship) draws about 2,000 people per game at its peak. That doesn’t sound like much until you realize there are only about 30 teams playing in it, and Australia vs. Ireland is always a big match.
Cricket is also one of Ireland’s oldest sports – it was introduced to the country by the British during their rule – and over the past few years, it has seen a revival of sorts. New domestic leagues have sprouted up all over Ireland, new stadiums have been built, and now Cricket has even made its way to Australia for an extended tour.
- It is undoubtedly one of the most popular sports in the world.
- It’s played in more than 100 countries.
- It’s been played in Ireland since the 1800s.
- It’s played in a stadium (as opposed to outdoors).
- It doesn’t use a ball.
- You don’t have to be a pro to enjoy a game since it doesn’t require athleticism.
- It’s a game that demands a lot of skill from everyone involved and is one of the most strategic sports out there.
- If you go to a game and don’t “get it,” nothing will happen. You’ll just go home confused.
- Cricket, despite having been played in Ireland for more than 200 years, remains a very niche sport.
- It’s a sport that is easy to understand but incredibly hard to master.
- It’s been called “a test of a nation’s character.”
Why An Extended Tour of Australia?
Cricket isn’t exactly the type of sport that sees regular, high-profile tours. But the last time Ireland visited Australia (It failed to qualify for World Cup 2015), they did so with an eye toward the future. The Cricket World Cup is held every four years. Ireland lost to West Indies, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Nepal to finish third in their group. The team has been working towards 2021 ever since. To do so, they have been playing in high-level tournaments, like the World Cup and now the ICC Intercontinental Cup.
The Intercontinental Cup is a tournament involving the 10th-best team in the world (Canada), the 10th-best team in the ICC (Ireland), and India, who have been granted automatic entry into the tournament. Ireland’s participation in the tournament is part of an effort to get as many games under their belt before the next. Irish players view the tournament as an opportunity not just to win games but to gain valuable experience they can carry over to the 2021 World Cup.
What’s the Deal With Cricket In Ireland Anyway?
This is a sport that has been played in Ireland since the late 18th century but has never really caught fire here. Cricket has always been a minority sport in Ireland. Because of this, the Irish Cricket Union (ICU), the governing body for the sport in the country, has always had to look for outside help. In the past, this has come in the form of donations from companies like Aer Lingus and Guinness and from the English Cricket Board (ECB).
The Irish have managed to maintain a steady presence in the international cricket scene but have never truly been able to take off. Cricket has always been a sport played in the summer months in Ireland, but the Irish climate isn’t exactly conducive to outdoor sports. Thanks to this, Ireland has usually ended up playing in indoor cricket leagues in places like England, Australia, or the West Indies. But now, thanks to modern technology, Ireland has its own indoor league.
Reasons You Should Care About Ireland’s Tour of Australia
The Irish will be playing against some of the best cricketers in the world. The team will be in good company. Cricket is a sport that is easy to understand but incredibly hard to master. Cricket has been called a test of a nation’s character.
Reasons You Might Not Care (but you should)
Cricket is a game that demands a lot of skill from everyone involved. One of Ireland’s biggest cricketing rivals, Pakistan, is ranked 7th in the world. And India, the number one team in the world, is one of Ireland’s best friends.
Cricket is a sport that has been played in Ireland for more than 200 years but has never truly taken off in the country. The sport has nonetheless maintained a steady presence on the international scene but has never truly been able to take off. Now, thanks to modern technology, Cricket has its own indoor league in Ireland.