Ed Joyce: Playing an ODI at Lord's will be "amazing" for Irish cricket
The Bray batsman has played for both Ireland and England11:57 Wednesday 3 May 2017, 11:57 3 May 2017
Can you name a player that has played for and against Ireland at Lord's?
This Sunday, Ed Joyce is hopeful of joining that list. The veteran batsman is entering the final stages of a glorified international career, but is looking forward to wearing the green at the home of spiritual cricket this weekend.
"Everyone knows of Lord's and how iconic it is. We have been invited for the first time to go over and play a multi ODI series against England. It's a huge boon for the game here and for us as players."
"It's the history that makes Lord's so special... Anyone who grew up watching cricket here or anywhere else would see the ground and wish to play there. Because of where Irish cricket was 12 or 13 years ago, the idea of playing ODIs against England full stop was fairly strange. The fact we are going over there to play games is amazing."
Joyce has played international cricket for both Ireland and England, and he told Newstalk.com that the recognition the sport now has at home is on another level to when he took up the game.
Ireland's Peter Chase, Kevin O'Brien, Ed Joyce, John Anderson, Andrew Balbirnie and George Dockrell. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson
"I grew up playing the game, where you didn't tell people you played cricket to be perfectly honest. It's got to the stage where everyone knows we have a decent cricket team. There is not a stigma around it as much."
"I used to go and watch Ireland play the West Indies in a game. It certainly wasn't an ODI but it had a charity feel to it. West Indies would come over and get 350, while we would be bowled out for 70. That was great for us to watch, but we clearly weren't competing with them. To go from that stage, which was about 22 or 23 years to now, where we are in a position to compete is amazing."
Joyce admitted that the team "has had a tough 18 months" as results have not gone to plan, despite recent successes on the global stage.
"We seem to punch above or weight. We have good enough players on our day to beat the likes of [May's opponents England, New Zealand and Bangladesh]. We have to concentrate on getting our performance right."
Joyce has previously played for England, against Ireland. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Andrew Paton
"There's no doubt England and favourites and we are underdogs. We'll relish that."
While Joyce admitted the team will be happy with their underdogs status, he says the team will have to move on from that mentality if they are to succeed.
"The Irish rugby team used to seem to play better when they were underdogs. They've got to the stage now where they have had to become favourites. We're not at that stage yet, and we need to recognise that as a team. We're still at a stage, with all the young lads coming into the team, that we play better as underdogs."
"Nobody expects us to go to England and win these games. They do expect good performances, and that's the pressure we are putting on ourselves."
Ireland's opening ODI against England takes place in Bristol on Friday, before the teams meet in Lord's on Sunday to complete the two-match series.
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