RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Do They Play Cricket in Ireland? The 25-year journey to a Test match at Lord's
Do They Play Cricket in Ireland? The 25-year journey to a Test match at Lord's
by David Townsend

First published by Pitch Publishing, in 2021
an imprint of Hardie Grant Publishing,

A2 Yeoman Gate, Yeoman Way,
Worthing, Sussex BN13 3QZ


Pages: 349

Price: Sterling Pounds 16.99

ISBN: 978 1 78531 840 5

David Townsend went to his first Test match at the age of six, became a freelance cricket writer two decades later and was Middlesex reporter for the telephone information service Cricketcall. During a 15-year career sub-editing sport at The Times, Daily Express and Observer, he was also Mike Gatting's ghost writer. David began covering Ireland in 1994 and still writes for the Irish Independent while commentating on county cricket for the BBC.

This excellent book promises to chart the huge strides made by the Irish over the last quarter of the century, the shocks they have meted out in the game's shorter formats and their promising start to life as a Test nation.

Do They Play Cricket in Ireland? is the inside story of a rollercoaster ride that took the Boys in Green from rank amateurs to playing Test matches, and dismissing England for 85.

The 23.4 overs faced by them while scoring 85 at Lord's in July 2019 are England's shortest Test innings ever at home. Ireland's Tim Murtagh had conceded just 13 runs while capturing five wickets. Only once had a bowler conceded more runs while producing a five-wicket haul against England - West Indian Jerome Taylor - five for 11 at Kingston in February 2009.

Every stage of the journey is charted by a writer who was at the heart of the action: introducing Ed Joyce to Middlesex and proposing the tactics that helped Ireland win their first global tournament.

The book covers Ireland's stunning victory over Pakistan in the 2006-07 World Cup. The Pakistan batsmen were so uncomfortable that none could manage more than Kamran Akmal's 27. It was the tenth instance when extras (29) top-scored in a completed innings (132) in World Cup matches.

Ireland remains the only team to successfully chase 300-plus totals on three occasions in the World Cup - 329 for seven vs England at Bengaluru on March 2; 307 for four vs Netherlands at Kolkata on March 11 - both in 2011 and 307 for six vs West Indies at Nelson on February 16, 2015.

As friend and confidant to many of the players and coaches who took Ireland to the top table of world cricket, David Townsend is uniquely placed to tell this remarkable story. Written in diary format, in a chatty, humorous style, the book is also part travelogue as it follows the team through more than 20 countries and across five continents.

The book published by Pitch Publishing is a quality production. Binding, paper, splendid print - indeed, the whole presentation - are of a very high order.