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Ger Siggin's Blog

Sunday Tribune journalist Ger has written a number of books on Irish international cricket and is a well-respected authority on the Irish game.

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20 September

Sunday September 19, 2010

William Porterfield’s 2010 summer ended shortly after 5pm on Thursday, but his 2010-11 winter began just 18 hours later when he climbed on board a flight to Johannesburg. It was the first leg of his trip to link up with his Irish teammates in Harare for a series of games against Zimbabwe.
“I’m just sitting here in the dressing room at Bristol having a few beers”, he told Inside Edge. “We didn’t win today but it was a good season. I’m very happy with the way it went.” The Ireland captain topped the Gloucestershire batting averages - scoring two big hundreds - despite playing less than half the games.

Porterfield is still undecided whether his future lies in Bristol, with more than a quarter of the counties keen to secure his signature. “They have offered me a new contract but at the moment I just want to concentrate on the cricket. In October I’ll decide what’s best for me and my game. I don’t want to jump into anything.”

But whether he chooses Gloucestershire, Sussex, Surrey, Nottinghamshire or Warwickshire, the county he signs for won’t see an awful lot of him until next April. Porterfield is off to India before Christmas for a short Ireland tour, with more warm-ups in February before the ICC World Cup in Asia.

He gets back into action tomorrow against Zimbabwe. “The tour is massive, as we could go ninth in the world rankings if we win all three ODIs.”

THE 2010 Leinster season ended with Cowenesque gaiety last Sunday as the morning-after hit the men of Merrion and Railway. Amid slightly farcical scenes and reversed batting orders, the Irish Senior Cup finalists rounded off their campaigns while nursing hangovers.

The celebrations were well deserved, with Merrion claiming their first All Ireland trophy, and Railway their first Leinster cup for 43 years. Team of the season were North County, however, who defied all predictions to romp home in the Senior League and LHW Twenty20 while missing out at the semi-final stage in the cup and quarter-finals of the ‘Bob Kerr’.

There was one refix yesterday between County and the Hills, although it had little or no bearing on the league or individual trophy tables. Leading batsman is Tipu Gull (Rush) who averaged 104 despite never scoring more than 88! The highly promising Eddie Richardson (NC) tops the bowling with 35 scalps at 12.29, while Dara Armstrong picked up the Hopkins Cup yet again. Kenny Carroll topped off a great season with 24 wickets and 680 runs to win the all-rounders prize.

INSIDE Edge hears the chances of Malahide hosting the England one-day international are receding by the day. While the new square was laid this time last year, the next phase of the development work needs the approval of the sports minister, but the plan is still sitting on Mary Hanafin’s desk.

The CricketIreland proposal has been with the department for more than six weeks but officials are still dragging their feet with the plan. With the ECB agreeing to a late August fixture in 2011, the bureaucratic delays may mean the game will now return north of the border.

THE Sixth Annual Conference of Sports History Ireland takes place next Saturday at the Mater Dei Institute of Education on Clonliffe Road, Dublin.

The conference will heavily feature cricket this year, with three papers on the game occupying Session 3b from 11.40am-1pm.

Pat Bracken, who spoke at the British Society of Sports History last weekend, will talk about ‘Cricket and Society in Rural Ireland: Co Tipperary, a case study, 1849-1914’. Conor Curran of De Montfort University, Leicester, will speak about ‘The Development of Cricket in County Donegal, 1865-1900’, while Dubliner Sean Reid, now at the University of Huddersfield, has a paper entitled ‘The Place of Irish Cricket in the Nineteenth Century British Empire of Cricket’. More details from

PAUL Davey’s excellent documentary on Ireland’s 2007 World Cup campaign, Breaking Boundaries, will be shown on New Zealand television tonight. It will screen on TV3 at 10.55pm.

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