People have been enjoying cricket-type games for more than five hundred years, but the cricket that we know and love came into existences just over 300 years ago. If you were to ask someone what the most popular sport is in Ireland, they will likely think for a couple of seconds and tell you football or Gaelic football. They would be right in doing so, but they will be surprised when you tell them that cricket in Ireland is very popular too. There are thousands of cricket fans in Ireland nowadays. In the following review, we are going to have a look at how cricket in Ireland came into being, the best Irish cricket players, and the best cricket betting sites for Irish.

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Cricket in Ireland

As we said above, a lot of people are surprised when they find out how popular cricket is in Ireland, but they are even more surprised when they learn that cricket actually used to be the most popular sport in Ireland. Although it was a game that was played on the land of rich people in the 1850s, many still considered it to be a game for the average Joe.

Nowadays, in Ireland, you will find more than 50,000 Irish cricket fans in clubs, schools, and universities across the land. To give you a good idea as to how the popularity of cricket in Emerald Isle has increased, in 2007, which was when Pakistan were stunned by Ireland at the World Cup, there were only around 15000.

Cricket Ireland, which is the board that controls cricket in Ireland, are now in charge of five provincial teams and have the goal of making the sport even more popular and increasing the number of children, especially girls, that want to play it.

It is estimated that around 30,000 children in Ireland started to play and enjoy cricket in 2019 thanks to cricket Ireland’s school program that was released across the country.

Cricket in Ireland History

The game of cricket arrived on the shores of the Emerald Isle during the 19th century when the British sailed across the Irish sea and started yet another colonization process. Many people speak only about the negatives of British colonialism, but there were many positives that came out of it too. Us cricket fans will agree that cricket is one of these positives as it was colonialism that spread the game of cricket across the world.

Cricket in Ireland started to become more widespread in the 1830s and a number of clubs came into existence that are still around to this very day. The number of Irish cricket clubs now stands at 32, and we are sure this will increase in the future. It was 1855 when Irish cricket got its first national team, and their very first game was played against a team from England in Dublin. The first professional game that Irish cricket played happened in 1858 when they played against Marylebone Cricket Club.

Cricket’s popularity continued to surge, and the Irish government decided in the 1880s that any sport that was not an Irish one would be banned. However, a lot of Irish cricket players ignored this new law and played the sport that they loved anyway. An Irish team was sent to tour the US and Canada at the end of the 19th century, and at the start of the 20th century they managed to get their very first victory over a team from South Africa.

The Irish government decided to lift the ban on foreign sports in 1970, and 23 years later Ireland became another team that was added to International Cricket Council’s list of Associate Members, and this means that they could now play in the ICC Trophy. In the first tournament they took part in, they came in 7th place, but they did lot better at the next one, and only just missed out on qualification for the 1999 Cricket World Cup. In the 2005 edition, they finished second, which meant that Irish cricket would be represented at the 2007 World Cup for the first time.

As mentioned earlier, Ireland had a shock win against the Pakistan team at the 2007 World Cup, and this victory meant that they got to play in the next part of the competition, where they completed a victory over Bangladesh. They also qualified for the World Cup in 2011, and they topped their previous wins against Pakistan and Bangladesh by beating England. This fantastic and unexpected win gave Irish cricket ODI status and this meant that they could start playing the big boys a lot more.

In 2017, thanks to their vast improvement in ODIs, they were awarded Full Member status, meaning they could participate in Test cricket. To date, they have played 3 Tests, with the last one being against England at the home of cricket. They eventually went on to lose the match, but they made England sweat a bit at times.

Ireland's Best Cricketers

Over the years, it is fair to say that Ireland has produced a string of extremely good cricketers. For instance, Eoin Morgan, who captained England to World Cup glory in 2019, is an Irishman. Below we are going to have a quick look at some of Ireland’s current best players.

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Kevin O'Brien

O’Brien is the Irishman that will be forever remembered as the man that put England’s bowlers to the sword at the 2011 Cricket World Cup. He hit a stunning century off just 50 balls, making him the owner of the fastest World Cup century. To add to this, O’Brien was the first Irishman to score a Test century as well as the first Irish sportsperson to play 300 times for his country. Additionally, he is the first Irishman to pick up 100 wickets.

Throughout his international career, O’Brien has made 152 appearances for Ireland and has scored 3619 runs with a 29.66 average. He has also collected 114 wickets in the ODI format, averaging 32.68 with the ball. He has played in 96 T20I games and has hit 1,672 runs, averaging 21.16 with the bat. His bowling figures are better in this shorter format – he has 58 wickets at an impressive average of just 19.55.

William Porterfield

Porterfield has been a part of Ireland’s cricket team for 15 years now and has captained his country in all age groups. He was the first Irish cricket to pass 1,000 T20I runs for Ireland, and the first man to captain the Test team. He was also captain of the Irish side that shocked England at the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Like O’Brien, he has also enjoyed more than 300 games for his country.

He currently has 139 OCI caps to his name and has hit 4,091 runs with an average of 30.75. In the shortest format of the game, he has scored 1079 runs from 61 games, giving him an average of 20.35.

Paul Stirling

Many fans of Irish cricket feel that Stirling is the best batsman that has played for Ireland, and he was granted vice-captain status in 2020. In 2019, when they were playing Zimbabwe in an ODI series, he passed 4,000 runs, making him the first Irishman to do so. As well as being a very good opening batsman, he can also collect vital wickets every now and then.

He has 125 caps to his name, and in these games, he has struck 4,697 runs and has a 39.47 average. He has picked up 43 wickets in this time and has an average of 44.25 with the ball. He also has Ireland’s best bowling figures, thanks to the 6 wickets for 55 runs that he got against Afghanistan back in 2018. He has played in 78 T20I games, hitting 2,124 runs at an average of 29.91, while he also has 17 wickets and a bowling average of 36.17.

Boyd Rankin

Rankin is one of those bowlers that causes a lot of batsmen problems due to his height, which gives him a bouncing action that can be hard to bat against. Rankin’s first game for Ireland was in 2007, but 6 years later he decided to go and play for England instead. However, his time in England did not go the way that he liked, and he changed his allegiance back to the Irish team. Many fans would not have cared had the Irish Cricket Board told him where to go, but they accepted him back due to the fact that Ireland do not have a lot of bowling depth.

He has played 75 ODI matches for Ireland and has 106 wickets under his belt at a 27.87 average. In the 55 T20I games that he has played, he has collected 55 wickets and currently has a 22.16 average.

International Cricket Stadiums in Ireland

There are plenty of cricket stadiums across Ireland, but only 4 of them have staged international cricket matches. We are now going to take some time to look at these different stadiums.

The Village, Malahide

This is the home stadium of Malahide Cricket Club and it just so happens to be Ireland’s biggest cricket stadium with an 11,500 capacity. England came here in 2013 to play the first international match on the ground – the visitors won the match by 6 wickets, with Morgan hitting 124* on a ground he played on regularly as a kid in Ireland. This ground has the distinct honour of being the venue of Ireland’s first ever Test match.

Castle Avenue Cricket Ground, Dublin

This stadium can be found close to Clontarf Castle and first hosted a cricket game more than sixty years ago. With a capacity of just 3,200, it cannot be classified as a large stadium by any chalk of the imagination. Despite its small size, it was the stadium that was chosen to host the 1999 Cricket World Cup game between the West Indies and Bangladesh. Ireland played their first ODI match at Castle Avenue in 2007 when they took on the West Indies. Over its history, it has hosted matches for ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers.

Stormont, Belfast

Stormont is the home ground of Civil Service North of Ireland Cricket Club and is a bit bigger than the stadium above as it can hold around 6,000 fans. This venue is over seventy years old and the first ODI that Ireland played here was against England in 2006. South Africa and India also played a series here back in 2007, while it also acted as host for some Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers the following year.

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Bready Cricket Club Ground, Magheramason

This is the home venue of Bready Cricket Club and it is also the smallest stadium of the ones that we have mentioned as it has a capacity of just 3,000 fans. Ireland’s first ODI game at this stadium was against the Scots in 2015. Like the stadiums above, it has also hosted some qualifiers for the Twenty20 World Cup.

The Tournaments That Are Played in Ireland

Inter-Provincial Championship

This is an event that takes place over three days and is played between Northern Knights, Leinster Lightning, and North West Warriors. The format for this competition is pretty much the same as that which you will find in the Sheffield Shield in Australia or the County Championship in England. The inaugural edition of this competition was played back in 2013 and the matches are played at different stadiums across Ireland.

This competition is now played every year; however, it was not until 4 years ago that the games were given a first-class status. The teams play two matches against each other and when all the games have been played, the team that has the most points will win the title. Leinster Lightning have been the most successful team as they have won the title six times, while the only other team to have won the title is the North West Warriors.

Inter-Provincial Trophy

This is an exciting 2020 tournament that four provincial teams play in. The tournament, like the one above, was first held in 2013 in venues across the country. The teams that take part in this event are the North West Warriors, Leinster Lightning, Northern Knights, and the Munster Reds. Each team plays two games and when the eight matches have been completed, the team who has earned the most points will be crowned champions.

Like in the above competition, Leinster Lightning are the most successful team with five trophies. The North West Warriors have managed to win it once, while the other two teams are yet to lift the trophy aloft. However, we should inform you here that the Munster Reds were only added to the tournament four years ago.

Betting on Cricket Online

The people of the Emerald Isle, like us Indians, really enjoy their cricket, there can be no debate there. They love watching it, playing it, and betting on it, which is exactly like us. When it comes to Ireland cricket betting, it is not an exaggeration for us to say that Ireland online cricket betting fans are able to register with more than enough cricket betting sites Ireland and place as many bets on this great sport as they so wish.

With regards to finding the best cricket betting sites for Irish, we know that it can be pretty tricky due to that fact that Ireland cricket fans just have so many different bookies that they can choose from. We would liken it to going to a restaurant that you have never been to before, picking up the menu, and finding that it has hundreds of great dishes on it – how are you meant to select something to eat from such an extensive list? Well, when it comes to betting on cricket, there are many wonderful comparison sites that you can make use of to find the best cricket betting sites for Irish. Many of these sites come equipped with their own sport experts that spend their days doing plenty of research on the best online bookmakers and then providing their analysis to their readers.

When you are on the hunt for cricket betting sites Ireland so that you can start your Ireland online cricket betting experience, there are a number of factors that we recommend you take a look at. For instance, you should ensure that the bookmaker has the newest betting innovations such as a great mobile app, matched betting, and secure and fast payment options. Once you have made sure that the bookie you are interested in has these features, then you need to see if they have plenty of different cricket betting markets that will be able to keep you thoroughly entertained and if Ireland cricket betting odds on offer are to your liking and are competitive.

Also, you should check to see what levels of customer support there is and whether the security is as secure as it can be. One way that you can test the customer support that is on offer is to send them a mock issue using one of their response methods and if you like what you see, mark it down as a positive and move on to look at the other important stuff we just mentioned above.

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Best Irish Cricket Betting Sites

Now, the next thing that we are going to discuss is what the best bookies are for Ireland cricket fans. In our humble opinion, one bookmaker that we recommend Irish sports bettors consider opening an account with is Paddy Power.

They have all the cricket markets that a cricket fan could wish and when it comes to the odds that they offer they are not tight. To add to this, they have fantastic mobile betting, whether that is on their app or mobile site, meaning that you can place cricket bets wherever you happen to be. If you are lucky enough and win some of your bets, you will want to withdraw your cash at one point, and you will want your winnings as quickly as possible. Luckily, Paddy Power is a bookie that has fast withdrawal methods, and we are sure you not have to complain about anything.

However, Paddy Power is not the only fantastic bookmaker that fans of cricket in Ireland can register with. Other great bookmakers that we really think you should take a closer look at are:

  • Betiton
  • Betway
  • Coral Hill
  • Bet365
  • William Hill
  • Unibet
  • Ladbrokes

We do honestly believe that if you take the plunge and sign up with one of the aforementioned bookmakers that your cricket betting experience will be one you will thoroughly enjoy.

How to Bet on Cricket

Betting on a sport like cricket, just like betting on other types of sports, is a relatively simple process. Below you can find the process that you will need to go through in order to place your very first bet on cricket. The process will be much the same regardless of the bookmaker that you finally decide to open an account with.

  1. Sign into your bookmaker account and ensure that you have sufficient funds in the account
  2. Scroll through the list of sports that have been made available and find cricket – select it when you manage to find it
  3. Have a look at the different matches that are scheduled to be played and find a market that you like the look of
  4. Select market and you will see that it has been added to your betting slip, which is usually located on the right
  5. Decide on the amount of money that you are going to stake on this wager and add the value to your betting slip
  6. When you are happy with both the stake and the market that you have selected, click on the submit button – congratulations, your first cricket bet has been made

So, as we mentioned above, you can see that it is a very easy process. If there are no cricket matches on and you want to entertain yourself by betting on other sports, you can do so by just following the procedure that we just outlined for you.

Cricket Betting Tips

There is absolutely nothing wrong about making mistakes as it is what humans do but making the same mistakes continuously when betting on cricket is something that will lead to you losing more money than you would like. Below we have given you plenty of betting tips that you should always remember when you decide to place a cricket bet. We should add that the following tips can also come in handy for whatever other sports you enjoy betting on.

Never Change the Size of Your Stake

Gambling is about making money and being able to manage all your funds. If you never learn to manage funds, then you will have a pretty dire cricket betting experience. One error that is common among cricket bettors is that they chance their stake size time and time again according to how much success they are having. If you are someone that does this, then you have to stop doing so. You should never increase your stake if you are on a winning streak and you should definitely never try to regain any losses that you have made when you are going through a bad patch. In our opinion, the best approach to cricket betting, or any sports betting, is a flat bet one. This means that you bet the same value with each bet and risk just 1-5% of your set aside bankroll for each wager.

Never Get Too Carried Away

If one of your favourite teams is going great guns in a tournament or league, then a lot of inexperience sports bettors will be more than happy to place their money on them as they are having a bit of a purple patch. Also, when a team happens to be on a bad run of form, novice bettors will often avoid them. However, we need to inform you that this is not a smart move and is one that could see you lose some nice profits. Why is this the case? Well, those teams that are on a lovely winning streak are often undervalued by bookies. Bookmakers know that their customers are going to put their money on these teams because they are in form, so they shade the odds to their advantage. Therefore, all you will end up getting is a bum deal. The most solid piece of advice we can give you is to do your own research and do not bet on a team simply because they have been doing quite well of late.

Do Not Make Impulsive Decisions

We all know that showing some loyalty to something is great, but if you end up showing a lot of loyalty when betting on sports then it can come back to bite you. The best team is not a team that you support, it is the team that has a higher chance of winning. You really should not be betting on a team because you like them. When you have your own hard-earned money on the line, you have to learn how to control all of your emotions and bet using your brain and not ignore whatever your heart is telling you.

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Do Not Think about Poor Decisions for Too Long

Making a bad choice when you are betting can end up losing you money. We all know how annoying this can be but getting very upset about it and blaming yourself will not see your money magically return to your account. Even professional sports bettors make some errors that cost them money, so you should definitely not be too harsh on yourself if you make a mistake that is costly. If Lady Luck is not on your side, just take a deep breath, walk away, and come back to bet on another day. There are plenty of great cricket events throughout the year, so you do not need to bet on everything that is happening anyway.

Ignore Your Unrealistic Expectations

Many novice bettors start to place cricket bets with expectations that exceed reality. Of course, we would all like to earn a lot of money very quickly when we are betting on sports, but we live in a real world and sports betting does not work like this. If it did, there would be no bookmakers left as they would all be bankrupt. If you start to place bets on cricket and believe that you will win all the bets you place, you will have a lot of disappointment coming your way. You need to remember that sports betting will involve good and bad days, which is something that makes sport betting so great.

Do Not Start Betting Everything

Betting on cricket is really entertaining, but there might come a time or two where you are struggling to find a cricket game that you want to bet on, or maybe you feel like betting on another sport. This is normal, but you have to make sure that you go on to place bets on sports that you have some type of knowledge of. If you start to bet on sports that you have no clue about, then the only outcome is that you will end up losing money. If you do really want to bet on a sport you are not familiar with, take some time to do a bit of research.