Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Ireland chief selector Alan Lewis has admitted that it was “a wee bit irritating” to see Eoin Morgan leave the country in order to play for England.
Lewis, who captained Ireland in the 1994 International Cricket Council (ICC) Trophy, is also disappointed that pace bowler Boyd Rankin decided to follow in Morgan’s footsteps.
“I look at the England set up and over the last 10 years, three people from this little island where cricket is the fourth or fifth sport are playing for a country whose national sport is cricket,” Lewis said on the Slog Sweep podcast. “It is a wee bit irritating to think where we could be if Eoin and Boyd were available; obviously we’ve got Ed back now.
“I wouldn’t want to deprive Eoin Morgan the opportunity with the ability he has, I’d want to play at the top level, and in honesty every Irish supporter would wish him well, it’s a great story, but it’s a great frustration. To get our players back, that’s part of the next step.”
Lewis also revealed that there were plans to try and convince Rankin to start playing for Ireland once again.
“We looked at it but certain doors got closed,” he said. “We watched Boyd’s form but with possibly Ireland sniffing around again, the England Lions were going to come watching and that’s exactly what happened.
“One thing we’ve got to look for is an element of loyalty and we’ve got to gamble a little bit and that can backfire because you want every player to do well but you want Ireland to do well.”
Lewis also conceded that Ireland considered including batsman Nick Larkin in the country’s World Cup squad even though he was born in Australia.
“With his credentials batting in Australian conditions and having an Irish passport, obviously he was on our radar,” Lewis said.
Similarly, pace bowler Tim Murtagh, who was born in Lambeth, has been a key member of Ireland’s national side for many years now. But, he was ruled out of the World Cup with a fractured foot.
“Tim Murtagh has an ability to swing the ball, I would have looked at him like a Damien Fleming, bowling at about 120kphs,” Lewis said. “Unfortunately he’s now out but Max Sorensen is back and reports are he’s performing well.”
Lewis finished off by saying that Ireland have to play every match in the World Cup with the mentality that it could be their last.
“Every game is just a massive pressure game – it’s a measure of where we are, and articulating where we want to go to,” Lewis said. “I just hope we can fulfill our promise and continue on our growth plans.”