Big PictureIt had to be Pakistan, really. Eleven years and counting have elapsed since the single most transformative moment in the history of Irish cricket – the legendary World Cup victory at Sabina Park, on St Patrick’s Day 2007, that propelled a team of part-timers into the big-time and made feasible the scenes that will unfold at Malahide in the coming five days. Ireland are about to become cricket’s 11th Test nation, and what a journey it has been.Extraordinarily, four of the men who held their nerve in that Group D thriller those years ago will be back on parade for Ireland tomorrow. The current captain Will Porterfield, the fast bowler Boyd Rankin – whose own journey has taken him to England Test colours and back again – and the O’Brien brothers: Niall, whose dogged 72 set up that thrilling three-wicket win, and Kevin, whose unbeaten 16 guided his side over the line on that occasion, but whose own crowning glory would come against England at Bangalore in the subsequent World Cup.Throw in Ed Joyce, who had qualified to play for England during that same tournament but would be back in emerald green by 2011 (not to mention a promising… Read full this story
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