There was an incredible atmosphere at Malahide yesterday as 9,000 fans packed the temporary structures arising in the shadow of the castle for India’s cricketers taking on Ireland.
Indian fans are passionate about their team and the joy and colour they brought from the opening of the gates, through every ball bowled left those Irish fans there with a broad smile even if the result did not go as well as might have been hoped for.
The beauty of sport though is that there is always the next game and the two sides will meet once more at the same venue and in front of a similar sell out crowd on Friday.
A part of the joy of this week has been the lack of any second thought to the weather and the interest in Friday’s game is boosted by having the International Women’s teams of Ireland and Bangladesh playing before the headline game.
Broadcast partners ITW showed yesterday’s game to an audience that could have been in excess of 100 million people and there were full LED boards around the ground advertising a host of Ireland Cricket and Match sponsors that every sport outside the very biggest would marvel at a fraction of.
Minister of State for Sport Brendan Griffin was there with his sleeves rolled up and it is expected that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will drop by on Friday, spending time with his dad who was there yesterday as is the case at almost every major cricket event.
Government support for the sport was clearly indicated in the introduction Varadkar wrote for the official match programme where he recognised the “importance of world-class facilities for cricket with work nearing completion on the new training centre at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus in Blanchardstown.”
“The teams training at this centre will also benefit from the co-location with many other facilities provided for our elite athletes from across the sporting spectrum.”
“I was delighted to hear that the Board of Cricket Ireland have also endorsed the development of a new permanent cricket stadium at the National Sports campus.”
“This is an exciting development for Cricket Ireland and also for the Campus. My Government and Sport Ireland are committed to working with Cricket Ireland over the coming years to bring this project to fruition.”
Image Credit: Inpho Photography