Kevin O'Brien celebrates his record-breaking century during the Cricket World Cup match against England PA Images/ Kirsty Wigglesworth
brit bashing

The xenophobic ‘Ould Enemy’ cack spluttered over a cricket game shows how immature a country we can be

The Ireland team who excelled at cricket should be applauded. But the Brit-bashing celebration of their feat is hypocritical for a country that is, in many ways, becoming ‘more British than Britain itself’.

I’VE ALWAYS ASSOCIATED cricket with acute pain. My first memory of that association dates back to winter 1977, when I was dozing through fourth class at the Harold Boys. Mr Halpin was winding the day down by reading us a newspaper report about freak weather conditions in Australia.

“It says here that ‘Brisbane has been battered by hail-stones the size of cricket balls’. Think about that boys.”

Half-asleep, my hand shot up, almost involuntarily. “I didn’t know crickets had balls, sir.”

Thwack. Bamboo cane. Cricket equals pain.

The second memory is of a freak accident with a cricket bat while playing rounders. My friend ‘Chun’ – a huge, Sumo-wrestler-shaped boy of 11 – decided to do some batting practice while I was sliding, heels-first into final ‘base’. Whenever I see anyone playing ‘paper, rock, scissors’, I am reminded of the ‘CRUMP’ sound his bat (the rock) made as it smacked into my crotch (the open scissors). My howls could be heard several roads away. I still wince when I hear the sound of a wicket being knocked over.

Recalling my time as a sports hack with the Irish Press also brings back memories of cricket and pain – the pain of having to watch it. It’s so boring it makes pitch-and-putt look like ice hockey.

I didn’t give a Rubberbandit’s curse when I heard Ireland had beaten England at the Cricket World Cup. ‘West Brits beating the actual Brits at a boring garrison game,’ I thought. Big deal.

Read the rest of David Kenny’s article over at >