T20 World Cup: Andrew Balbirnie hopes Eire beating England will ‘set off curiosity at house’

T20 World Cup: Andrew Balbirnie hopes Ireland beating England will 'trigger interest at home'


“This win tonight will hopefully trigger a bit of interest back home. I hope so. If it doesn’t, I’ll give up.”

Balbirnie, of course, has no intention giving up on his mission of attempting to get the Irish public – north and south – to fall in love with the game of cricket.

But it was a joke with a little jag.

Ireland’s men’s team have been landing blows on the world cricket stage for 15 years but still face a constant battle to find solid ground on the Emerald Isle’s sporting landscape.

“Growing up, cricket wasn’t a big sport in our country. There was a lot of trekking up and down to Belfast for nets,” recalled the 31-year-old Dubliner some 30 minutes after he celebrated victory with family, friends and seemingly every Irish supporter in the small band that had made their way to Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“We want to see loads of kids playing the game. It’s a great game. It’s given me a lot of pleasure and hopefully nights like tonight can ignite a future generation of Irish…