A new Irish anthem will be aired at Sabina, thanks to former Hills cricketer Martin Byrne. The contest organised by the Fingal Independent had a huge entry but Byrne emerged from the final five with ‘C’mon Ireland’.

Songsheets and CDs of the tunes will be distributed to fans heading to the Caribbean. The winning song begins:

“You can talk about Italia and Euro ‘88.
With the oval ball in Croke Park the future’s looking great.

Now we’re on a new adventure and things are on the up.

We are going to Jamaica for the cricket world cup.

C’mon Ireland c’mon Ireland.

We’re going to bring the world cup back and win or lose we’re going to have the craic.”

My own favourite chant is the old advert for bread adopted for Adi’s Army.

Altogether now: “Johnston, Mooneys and O’Briens. . .”

Ed Joyce won’t be the only member of his clan ‘on duty’ in the Caribbean. Brother Damian, himself a long-time 1st XI player at Merrion, will be there to assist any Irish people in need of help on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs. He will be based in the British High Commission in Kingston.

The Jamaicans have realised that the biggest group of visiting fans - more than 1,500 - will come from the smallest cricketing nation. There are several events to entertain the fans, the biggest of which is the JamPatrick’s Day IrishFest in Ocho Rios. A ‘celtic band’ and Irish dancers will be among the delights in the Sunset Grande hotel from 6pm to 2am. “We are encouraging everybody to come out and experience everything that is Irish”, said hotel MD Ian Kerr, “we will have Irish stew, corn beef, cabbage and Guinness”. Not all in the same glass, presumably.

Signs that there’s a new wind blowing for Irish cricket: TG4 giveS cricket a run tonight when the ‘An Tua Nua’ programme focuses on the Irish team and the lead up to their departure to the West Indies. Starts at 7pm.

Signs that there’s still a long way to go: Its now 26 years since RTE showed live cricket. Maybe cricket fans don’t pay their licence fees?

Phil Simmons has been training with the Irish team ahead of taking over as coach after the world cup.

Perhaps they discussed a UCB Bowl game in South Africa from January 1997 when Simmons was dismissed c Prince b Birrell for 25, one of Adi’s 8-134, the best bowling of his career for Eastern Province.

Days to the World Cup: 4 Ireland have recorded four wins in all against the teams we will meet in Jamaica. The hosts were beaten in 1928, 1969 and 2004, while Zimbabwe were trounced by 10 wickets in 2003. Ireland have yet to beat Pakistan, but here’s hoping!

Comments are closed.