McCollum’s lack of first-class cricket highlights Lord’s challenge for Ireland | Andy Bull

Dearth of longer-format matches in visitors’ playing schedule means they are being set up to fail on the Test match stage

High summer came just a couple of hours late to Lord’s. It arrived round about lunchtime, when the sun came out from behind the clouds that had blanketed the ground earlier in the day. It was huddle-up and clutch-your-cuppa weather in the morning, and a thankless time for batting. By lunch, though, the place was en fête. A cream-coated Dixieland jazz band was parping brass in the Harris Garden, and that side of the ground was alive with panama hats, cravats and candy-cane coloured blazers and caps. The Test season had started at last.

By then, Ireland’s batting was as good as broken. They had taken a beating in the first hour of the day, 15 for one, 19 for two, 19 for three, a hair’s breadth from 19 for four when Stuart Broad almost had Paul Stirling first ball. Ireland’s opener James McCollum just about pulled his team through it. He had 29 off 93 balls at the break, a tidy little innings in which he rode out a couple of torrid passages when he was beaten inside, outside, and every which way by Matthew Potts, who worked the ball both up and down the slope.

Continue reading...

The Spin | Ireland’s Lorcan Tucker: ‘We’re learning Test cricket on the job’

Ireland play England at Lord’s and their keeper-batter is in fine form as they look for the first Test win in their history

This has already been a big year for Irish Test cricket: having qualified to compete in the format by becoming full members of the ICC in June 2017 they played five Tests in the following five-and-a-half years, but at Lord’s this week they will play their fourth since the start of April. Their game against Bangladesh that month started fully 1,348 days after the end of their previous Test, also at Lord’s (in that time England played 49 Tests, India 36 and Australia 33).

Before this year no Irishman had scored a Test century since Kevin O’Brien in 2018, but then Lorcan Tucker broke the run in Mirpur – where Andy McBrine also posted the country’s best bowling figures of six for 118 – and both Curtis Campher and Paul Stirling followed him in Sri Lanka a few weeks later. They are yet to win a game, but they are looking more at home.

Continue reading...

Josh Tongue to make England Test debut against Ireland at Lord’s

  • Worcs seamer picked over Mark Wood and Chris Woakes
  • ‘It’s an amazing feeling, a dream come true,' says Tongue

Josh Tongue has been parachuted into the England team for the first Test of the summer against Ireland starting on Thursday, with the Worcestershire seamer set to make his debut after edging Mark Wood and Chris Woakes out of the side.

England’s head coach, Brendon McCullum, described Tongue as “a big strong lad” who “bowls quite fast and has some real skills” after watching him in action during the team’s first training session of the summer on Monday. After their second, McCullum broke the news to Tongue that he would play against Ireland.

Continue reading...

Late squad change for Lord’s Test

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today confirmed Matthew Foster has been called up to the Ireland Men’s Test squad after Conor Olphert was forced to withdraw ahead of the squad’s departure for the Test Match against England Men from 1-4 June 2023.