With the recently concluded Champions Trophy, England ended a very good and commendable cricketing season. And to cap it all of, a victory in the upcoming Ashes series against their arch-rivals will surely help them cement their recent dominance in world cricket.
Speaking of Champions Trophy, this is perhaps the first time we got to witness a world cricket tournament without the presence of the minnows in almost 5-6 years. Whether the intention of the ICC was to have only top notch cricket being played or whether they could not fit in a qualifier and a couple of extra matches in the schedule, the minnows have always played a major role in world cricket.
From leaking runs in abundance to beating the bigwigs or losing by unimaginable margins to bringing a dash of colour into tournaments (read Kenya and Holland), the minnows have enthralled us all for sure.
Looking at the best among the minnows, we have Ireland, a side which can give even the best in the business a run for their money. I have always personally enjoyed watching Ireland play specifically for two reasons. The first one being Dave Langford Smith’s ‘Furret dance’ and the next one being Eoin Morgan’s classy batting. It is however ironic that the latter can’t be witnessed anymore in their colours because he has been ‘promoted’ up the order to play for England.
Just one player would hardly make a difference to a side you may say, but arguing from the same perspective, England without a Cook or a Trott are certainly a ‘different’ side, aren’t they? I wonder how England fail to realise that the colonial era is all but over. With a great stock of homegrown players, they still bank on whatever little talent that these minnows produce and cut all competition even before it actually evolves.
The Poms will certainly say that they exchanged Ed Joyce for the latter. Perhaps the only similarity is that both of them are southpaws. When you compare their performances over the years, you will know how England made a lot more from this deal than Ireland ever will.
There were also talks during recent tournaments that England are also looking to land the 6ft 7 Irish fast bowler Boyd Rankin. Rankin has been spearheading the Irish attack with the old war horse Trent Johnston for quite some time now and his departure certainly would be a big blow for them.
Adding to their ‘to-do’ or ‘to-poach’ list of players are also Ireland’s top performers in recent times, Kevin O’Brien and George Dockrell. Both of whom were instrumental in their win against the mighty English in the 2011 World Cup. With Dockrell well established at Somerset, you know what’s coming.
England have already been the butt of a lot of jokes mocking the South African connection in their locker room. With hardly a handful of pure Englishmen in their team, England are putting their erstwhile colonial dominance and current multiculturalism to good use for potential talent.
It’s about time countries like Ireland stop acting as manufacturers to the bigger cricketing nations. The ICC has to look into these aspects rather than debate about DRS for the next decade.
As for England, they need to find more Athertons, Goughs and Flintoffs rather then the Patels, Pietersens and Morgans. When a country celebrates the win of a Scot like its own (Murray) , you know what they’re hinting at.