GEORGE Dockrell says that while it was not plain sailing in the end, Ireland’s cricketers’ qualification for the 2015 World Cup is another big step en route to earning potential test status in the coming years.
The 20-year-old Leinster cricket club member played his part in a see-saw encounter in Amstelveen against the Netherlands in which Dutch batsman Michael Rippon ultimately struck 10 off the last two balls to claim an incredible tie.
That result, though, confirmed Ireland would reach the World Cup – their third in succession- and another title at Associate level title, their tenth in a remarkable six years of domination among their peers.
Speaking to GazetteSport about the result, Dockrell said that both sides had their chances to win the fixture on an epic finale.
“We hadn’t planned to qualify in that fashion but we have qualified which was our aim so that job is done and we’re pretty happy,” he said.
“To be honest, we probably should have seen the game out in the final over but with 15 or 20 overs to go, we didn’t really think we had a chance of winning either. But we put in some pretty good bowling towards the end that kept us right in the game and I thought we had it.”
It furthers Ireland’s claims to be elevated to the elite of the world game and “test status” in the eyes of the International Cricket Council.
Dockrell says that while the target is for this to be confirmed by 2020, Irish cricket is putting in place the structures to compete at this level, notably with the introduction of an interprovincial series played over an extended format.
“Things are going in the right direction and we need to keep improving year on year. The players coming through are extremely talented, you can see the constant flow of good cricketers coming through and with the interpros set-up and Irish cricket growing, hopefully, we will reach that goal.
“As players, you can’t look too much into those kind of things. We know our role is to do as well as we can, put in as many good performances as possible. I think we have done that. Over the last few years, the big name scalps we’ve beaten and the high standard we are playing at the moment – all we can do is keep putting in those performances and hope it gets recognised.”
The next major date on the Irish agenda now is facing England at the brand new stadium in north County Dublin in early September, an event that is focusing his mind.
“I’m hugely excited to play out in Malahide. It will be the biggest crowd Irish cricket will have. Fingers crossed we get the weather and no doubt it will be another good day out for Irish cricket.”