Worst thing that’s happened in Ireland cricket was they got Test status: Simon Doull

Former New Zealand pacer-turned-commentator Simon Doull reckons that getting Test status is the worst thing to have happened to Ireland cricket. As per Doull, Ireland cricket was at its peak when their players were featuring in county cricket on a regular basis.

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Ireland and Afghanistan were granted Test status by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2017. Since gaining Test status, the Irish side has featured in seven red-ball matches, losing all of them.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Doull opined that Ireland were granted Test status prematurely and that the decision has actually been detrimental to their growth as a cricketing nation. He said, “I’m probably going to lose a few fans, but the worst thing that’s happened in Ireland cricket was they got Test status.”

Elaborating on his somewhat controversial statement that is bound to stir up a debate, the former right-arm pacer added, "It’s going to sound silly because you want to test yourselves against the best. Playing Test cricket is still the ultimate for some players; it won’t be the ultimate in the future in 15-20 years.

"But Ireland cricket was at its best when their players were playing county cricket. And when they were at their best, they had most of their players playing a very high standard of cricket in the UK,” he continued.

According to the former Kiwi pacer, the present Ireland team does not have the expertise to win matches on a consistent basis. Speaking about the difference between the past side and now, he explained, "Then they could transfer that to an Ireland team that could play with passion and there were plenty of players in and around that side that had a lot of experience and had been through situations where they knew how to win. That’s not what Ireland have got at the moment.”

Of the seven Tests that Ireland have played so far, one each has been against Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, while too each have been against England and Sri Lanka. In 2019 at Lord’s, they famously bowled out England for 85, but still ended up losing the Test by 143 runs. Their last Test was also against England at Lord’s in June this year. They were hammered by 10 wickets as Ben Duckett scored 182 and Ollie Pope 205.

--By A Cricket Correspondent