"It's politics not merit"
Former Ireland captain Jason Molins believes it is “politics” that is keeping him out of the Ireland teams that have been selected this year.
The latest disappointment for the former international captain was his omission from the Ireland A squad for this weekend’s games against Denmark and the three-day game against MCC at Malahide starting on July 31.
“It is not being picked on merit,” claims Molins. “There must be some form of politics. I continue to be in good form in the Middlesex League - I scored 64 last weekend - but there is not even any communication, no explanation. Maybe if was picked and scored runs I would give them (the selectors) more headaches.”
Although Ireland beat both the Netherlands and Scotland in the European Championships last week, only Eoin Morgan and Niall O’Brien, both county professionals, reached 50 in any innings. Molins maintains it is the policy of picking “bits and pieces” cricketers that is denying him a comeback.
“If a team can use eight bowlers in a match (as Ireland did in both quadrangular games) there must be a room for another specialist bat,” said Molins. “But they are continuing to pick Thinus Fourie, Andrew White, Alex Cusack and Kevin O’Brien hoping they will come off in one discipline or the other, although I recognise Kevin is one to persevere with. He has the ability to be up there with the Andre Bothas and Trent Johnston as genuine all-rounders, match-winners.
“William Porterfield was a match-winner in the World League but he is not going to score a fast hundred. Jeremy (Bray) is different. He can tear bowling attacks apart and Ireland are missing him.”
Molins has been in touch with his former opening partner “a couple of times” during the season but has no solution to his troubles.
“They are well chronicled, although the main one seems to be the travelling and he seems to want to spend more time with his young family after a hectic few months,” he said.
So what is the difference between Bray and Molins, who would have to travel from London to play and practice with Ireland? His answer is succinct but revealing.
“I’m Irish!” I will always want to play for Ireland and until I stop playing club cricket I am not going to rule myself out. I’m still keen to play, I will certainly still be around in 2009 (for the World Cup Qualifying tournament) and although work will ultimately dictate, at the moment I still think I would be good enough in 2011 (for the World Cup finals).
“I will be only 36 - many batsmen are still at the top then - and although I would have to work hard on my fitness I am not going to give up. I am still available for selection and feel I can make a big contribution,” Molins adds defiantly.
Molins is obviously not on the reserve list either. North Down’s Ryan Haire yesterday pulled out of the squad and has been replaced by David Rankin of Bready.