Niall O’Brien: Ireland did not meet standards

Niall O’Brien 17:21 15/03/2016
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O'Brien reflects on his experiences with Ireland in India.

We set off with high hopes and aspirations as we always do for any world event.

And rightly so.

We have a wonderful record for a cricketing country the size of ours. But for some reason or another it went rapidly down hill for both the team and myself in India.

I had a poor competition and my performances fell well below the standards where I pride myself and as a team we did not play to our usual high standards.

The Oman game – when we handed them their famous victory through dropped catches, misfields, wide deliveries and no balls  – stayed in our system it seems for far longer than it should have.

I personally felt guilt and there must have been a resonating feeling within ourselves that we had made a major faux pas in that fixture. In saying that, our preparation for the competition had been really good so we cannot blame that on our build-up.

Dharamsala is a nice little place and the people were wonderful to us but, and I mean no offence when I say this, I would prefer never to go back there again as there will be too many ghosts and bad memories there for me to return.

I am not entirely convinced about the way our matches were scheduled as we managed to play just 60 overs of our scheduled 120, with our fixture against Bangladesh washed out after just eight overs and then we had a six-over bash against the Dutch!!!

I’m not making any excuses as the best team in the group finished top but unfortunately for us over the five days the worst team finished bottom and that is difficult to take for an Irishman.

The Netherlands played well in the hit and giggle contest, setting us a 60-run target on a average wicket before bowling with excellent skill and discipline to restrict us after an early onslaught with the bat from Paul Stirling.

We lost two wickets in two balls on two separate occasions and never really threatened as Holland’s bowling out-thought myself and others at the back-end of our innings.

So it’s time to reflect and have a little break from cricket for me. I will be back with my county side in a couple of weeks and I’m very excited at what Leicestershire have in store for the upcoming season, especially with new recruits Paul Horton, Neil Dexter and Mark Pettini adding quality and strength to our squad as we look to go on a journey together in search of success for the Foxes .


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