During this summer I’ve been shooting a personal project ‘Irish cricket’ which has often been dismissed over the years as a colonial sport in Ireland. Overshadowed by the more popular Hurling, Gaelic football, Association football (often known as Soccer so as not confuse with Gaelic football) and Rugby. Cricket was never my sport but visually it was what attracted me to this ongoing project. The helmet, the pads, bat and ball, stumps/bail and of course the stylish ‘Cricket whites’. I have been compelled to create ‘set up’ team portraits as well as individual ones. With the help and co operation of Merrion and St Columbas in Dublin and numerous visiting teams.
The Theatrical Cavaliers Cricket club
Merrion CCThe Theatrical Cavaliers CC at St Columba’s Cricket Ground.
Fascinated by the behind the scenes at the matches in and around the pavilion, I shot documentary style images of the cricketers especially the batsmen, (I will be shooting women’s cricket next season) who are waiting in turn to perform. Also the scorers, friends and family watching. Pets included. I didn’t want to shoot as a sports photographer with the usual action shots which have been done so well. The history is interesting which I’ll feature in the next post. With the increased presence of multiculturalism, the impact of South Asian communities has enriched Irish cricket and has contributed to a revival of the sport. Its rarely been seen on Irish television nor would you see a village green match or hear the equivalent of John Arlott (BBC tv/radio) or the wonderful GAA RTÉ commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh. Cricket in Ireland is organised on an all-Ireland basis. Following the team’s success in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the sport’s popularity increased. The country was, until 2017, an associate member of the International Cricket Council and played in tournaments like the World Cricket League and ICC Intercontinental Cup, which are qualifying rounds for associate teams for the Cricket World Cup and ICC World Twenty20. Ireland qualified for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, the 2011 Cricket World Cup and 2010 ICC World Twenty20. In the 2011 World Cup, they beat England in the group matches. This major upset caused a wave of nationalistic pride resulting in the newspaper headline ‘England toasted by Johnston, Mooney and O’Brien’ which references these cricketers with their namesake, the name of a well known Bakery!
In 2017, domestic cricket in Ireland was recognised as first-class cricket for the first time. In recognition of their progress as a cricketing nation, Ireland were granted Full Member (and hence Test) status for the men’s national side. Ireland played their first men’s Test Match against Pakistan in May 2018, losing by 5 wickets. Ireland’s women cricket played a test match prior to full membership in 2000, coincidently also against Pakistan.Cricket Ireland announced the recipients of six part-time professional contracts for members of the senior women’s national team, in what is a landmark step forward for the game’s development. This year The mens test team played England at Lords. Despite a great start the experience of the home team proved too strong.
part 2 Next Week.
The Theatrical Cavaliers Cricket team at St Columba’s