All about the Ireland Cricket Team

The Ireland cricket team, also known as the Men in Green, represents both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. They are governed by Cricket Ireland and became the 11th Full Member of the ICC on the 22nd June 2017.

In this article, we will give you all the information that you need to know about Ireland's cricket history, the colours of their kits, who their quality players are, how they have performed at global tournaments and against other teams, before finishing up with a bit about how they are currently playing.

A Brief Look at Ireland Cricket History

ireland cricket team ireland cricket team

The English, as they did in many other countries, introduced cricket to the Irish in the 19th century. During the 1830s, the love of the game began to spread throughout the land and many of the clubs that were formed in the next three decades still exist to this day. In 1855, the first Ireland national team was formed, and they played against an English side in Dublin. Their first match against a professional team took place in 1858 when they took on the Marylebone Cricket Club. The game continued to increase in popularity right up until the 1880s. Then the land war started and playing foreign games was banned until 1970.

Cricket was still played by some Irish people though and 1888, 1892, and 1909 saw an Ireland team tour the US and Canada. In 1904, the Ireland team were victorious over a South Africa team. They played their inaugural first-class match in 1902 against a London County team that included W.G. Grace. The Irish, who were captained by Tim O’Brien, won by 238 runs. They drew two of the other matches and lost one. After this tour, they did not play first-class cricket for another five years.

In 1909, Ireland played their first first-class match against the Scots. This would go on to become a yearly event all the way up until 1999. When the two World Wars were going on, these matches were obviously not played. This was the only cricket they were guaranteed to get other teams would only play Ireland if they could squeeze them into their schedule. The West Indies managed to squeeze them in during the 1928-29 season, but probably wish they didn’t now as Ireland went on to win the match by 60 runs. The two teams played again in 1969 and Ireland won again, this time by 9 wickets. They wouldn’t beat a touring side again until 2003 when they destroyed Zimbabwe by 10 wickets.

Ireland became an associate in 1993, meaning that they could participate in the ICC Trophy the following year. They went on to finish in seventh place. In the next edition, they made it to the semi-finals, but lost to Scotland, meaning they failed to qualify for the 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup. They were runners-up in the 2005 edition, but this was enough to see them qualify for the 2007 World Cup. They were also granted official ODI status. Ireland played their first ODI against the England cricket team in Belfast on the 13th June 2006. They put in a very good account of themselves and only lost the match by 38 runs. The following year, they took part in the World Cup and were better than many people thought they would be. They tied their first game against Zimbabwe and then beat Pakistan by 3 wickets in their second game. This knocked Pakistan out of the tournament. Ireland advanced to the Super 8 stage and lost most of their matches, but they did beat Bangladesh by 74 runs. Overall, it was a very successful World Cup for the Men in Green.

In 2008, Ireland qualified for the 2009 ICC Twenty20 World Cup. In their opening game of the tournament, they beat Bangladesh by 4 wickets and managed to progress to the second round of the tournament. Here they had to play Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand and they lost all three. Ireland qualified for the 2011 Cricket World Cup but didn’t manage to pass through the first round. However, they did manage to beat England by 3 wickets, making the highest record run chase in World Cup history. They also managed to qualify for the 2015 World Cup. They beat the West Indies in their first game by 4 wickets. They then went on to beat the United Arab Emirates, but didn’t make it through to the knockout stages.

On the 22nd June, 2017, Ireland became Full Members of the ICC, making them the eleventh team eligible to play test cricket. They played their first test match against Pakistan in 2018 and lost by 5 wickets. They then played Afghanistan in India in 2019 and lost by 7 wickets. They then played their third test match at Lord’s, where they lost to England by 143 runs. This might sound like it was an easy win for England, but they were actually bowled out for 85 in their first innings. Chris Woakes picked up 6 wickets for 17 runs in Ireland’s second innings to bowl them out for a mere 38. The head coach of Ireland at the moment is Graham Ford, while Andrew Balbirnie is the captain of their ODI and T20 side.

What Colours Do the Irish Cricket Team Wear?

Different kits are worn depending on what format a team happens to be playing. We will now give a brief description of the kits that Ireland wear when they are playing test cricket and when they are playing limited-overs cricket.

Test Cricket

When playing test cricket, the Irish players wear the same cricket whites that all test teams must wear. If the weather is cold, then you might see them wearing a white sweater with a green V-neck. The Cricket Ireland logo is on the right of the shirt, with their sponsor on the left. When fielding, they wear a white sunhat or a navy cap with the Cricket Ireland logo in the centre. Their helmets are also blue with the Cricket Ireland logo in the middle.

ODI and T20 Cricket

When they are playing limited-overs cricket, they wear a green shirt with some white and navy-blue accents. The Cricket Ireland logo can be found on the right breast, with the sponsor's logo stuck on the left side. When fielding, they were dark blue baseball caps or a sunhat. When they are playing in ICC tournaments, the sponsor's logo is moved to one of the sleeves, and "IRELAND" is written in the middle of the shirt.

Who Are Their Best Cricket Players?

Ireland is a small country, but they have managed to produce some talented cricket players down the years. We will now take a look at three of them who currently play for the national side.

Tim Murtagh

Murtagh made his debut for Ireland in 2012 and he has gone on to become an important player for them in all formats of the game. In 58 ODI matches, he has taken 74 wickets an average of 30.94. This has included 1 5-wicket haul. In 14 T20 matches, he has picked up 13 wickets at an average of 24.92. Ireland have only played three test matches to date, but he has played in all three. He picked up 13 wickets at an average of 16.38. In the test match against England, he picked up five wickets for just 13 runs in England’s first innings. Although it all ended up being for a losing cause.

Paul Stirling

Stirling is considered by many to be one of the best batsmen to represent Ireland. He recently became the first Irishman to score more than 4,000 runs in ODIs. In the 134 ODIs that he has played, he has scored 4,982 runs (12 centuries and 26 half-centuries) at an average of 38.92. In the 90 T20 matches that he has played, he has scored 2,525 runs at an average of 31.17. He has played in Ireland’s first three test matches, but he is yet to make a decent score. He has scored 104 runs at an average of 17.33. However, he is only 31, so he has quite a few years ahead of him to improve on his test stats. We are sure that he will!

Kevin O’Brien

O’Brien is an aggressive all-rounder that has had a very good career with the Irish national team. He will always be remembered for the 50-ball century that he scored against England at the 2011 World Cup. He is also the first Irishman to represent his country more than 300 times. In the 153 ODI matches that he has played, he has scored 3,619 runs (2 centuries and 18 half-centuries) at an average of 29.42. He has also picked up 114 wickets at an average of 32.68. In the 104 T20 matches that he has played, he has scored 1822 runs (high score of 124) at an average of 20.94. He has also picked up 58 wickets at an average of 19.55. In the three test matches that he has played, he has scored 258 runs (1 century and 1 half-century) at an average of 51.60. He is yet to pick up his first test wicket.

How Have the Men in Green Played at World Tournaments

The tables below will make it easy for you to see how the Men in Green have performed at the different international tournaments that they have taken part in.

ICC Cricket World Cup

Year Round Position
2007 Super 8 8/16
2011 Group Stage 11/14
2015 Group Stage 9/14

*They were not eligible for the 1975, 1979, 1983, 1987, or 1992 tournaments. They failed to qualify for the 1996, 1999, 2003, and 2019 editions.

ICC T20 World Cup

Year Round Position
2009 Super 8 8/12
2010 Group Stage 9/12
2012 Group Stage 9/12
2014 Group Stage 13/16
2016 Group Stage 15/16

*They did not manage to qualify for the inaugural World Twenty20 tournament in 2007.

How Have Cricket Ireland Got on Against Opposing Teams?

Test Performances

To date, Ireland has only played three test matches (and have lost all three), so there is not really much point in inserting a table here at this moment in time. When they become a more established test team, we will add a table.

ODI Performances

OpponentMatches PlayedWonLostTiedNo ResultWin %
New Zealand4040000.00
South Africa8160014.28
Sri Lanka4040000.00
West Indies12110019.09

* These stats are correct from the 5th November 2021.

T20 Performances

OpponentMatches PlayedWonLosttiedNo ResultWin %
New Zealand1010000.00
South Africa3030000.00
Sri Lanka1010000.00
West Indies7230240.00

* These stats are correct from the 5th November 2021.

Have the Irish Cricket Team Been Playing Well Lately?

They started off the year with a four-match ODI series against the UAE, and the series was drawn 1-1. They then took on Afghanistan in three ODI matches and lost each one and then they lost a three-match ODI series 2-1 to the Netherlands. After this, they took on South Africa in an ODI series and got a respectable 1-1 draw. However, they were beaten 3-0 in the T20 series that followed.

After this, they took on Zimbabwe in five T20 matches and won the series 3-2, while the subsequent three-match ODI series was tied 1-1. They took part in the first stage of the T20 2021 World Cup, but they did not make it out of the group stage. They have no scheduled matches for the end of the year.