Derbyshire star helping put Ireland on the cricketing map

Derbyshire CC 2018,'T20 skipper Gary Wilson
Derbyshire CC 2018,'T20 skipper Gary Wilson

Derbyshire vice captain Gary Wilson believes Ireland have put themselves firmly on the cricket map and wants to help them to take that forward.

Cricket’s surge of popularity has only recently hit the Irish, with the international cricket team having been awarded Test status in June of last year.

With the national team performing well on the world stage, the number for those playing has continued to show a dramatic increase

Wilson said: “Anyone that knows me knows that I’m pretty passionate about Irish cricket.

“Over the last 15 to 20 years I feel like we have put Ireland on the map.”

Ireland will play their inaugural test match against Pakistan in May at Malahide in Dublin, a game which has seen the first two games completely sell out.

“We’ll have 10,000 at Malahide but the broadcasts rights will be the biggest thing” said Wilson.

“To get on TV around the world, it will create big sponsorship deals and by selling the rights we can get more money to put in the grassroots and professional game and we can get the facilities to a reasonable standard.”

“The facilities are a little behind than we’d like compared to other countries and it will have a huge effect, especially after missing out on World Cup last month.

“It was a big thing in Irish cricket and would have created huge revenue but the ICC decided to have 10 teams and not 14 and unfortunately we missed out.

“We need to be proud and go out against Pakistan and just enjoy the experience.”

Wilson has made 30 appearances for Ireland in total, with 19 caps at ODI and 11 at T20I, making his debut in an ODI match against India in 2007.

“To have the chance to play Test cricket is something I never thought I’d have in my career and hopefully I get in the squad for the next game,” he said.

“I think it’s a recognition of what we’ve done as a team over the past 10-15 years and I think it’s fully deserved. But it will be a hard road from here, because in Test cricket there’s so many good teams around the world.”