Quiz to sing-song, the off-field games that Team Ireland play
The extended Team Ireland family; they play a key match Sunday.
Days after their third nail-biting win, this time against Zimbabwe, and ahead of the crucial match against Pakistan on Sunday, Ireland cricketers were involved in yet another close finish. In this contest, the difference between the two sides wasn’t a scampered single or a stunning catch but the answer to a question: who in the Irish team has a teddy bear named ‘Chicky’?
It was the final round of Ireland’s intra-team quiz competition — some personal facts about teammates to break the tie. The team of coach Phil Simmons, Ireland Cricket president Joe Doherty, pacer Peter Chase and wicket-keeper Gary Wilson answered the “teddy bear” question and nosed ahead.
But since ‘Chicky’ happens to be Wilson’s bear, there have been unending fake fights and hours of ribbing among the four teams comprising 28 participants, and several others in the audience who are also a part of the extended Team Ireland.
Ireland players aren’t walking alone at this World Cup. They are marching from city to city, making friends and influencing people, with a happy army of parents, wives, partners, children, siblings and ‘world cuppers’ behind them.
The neutral’s favourites are one of three sides from Pool B competing for two spots in the knockouts (the other two being Pakistan and West Indies) and a win or even a washout against Pakistan will assure their progress. Whether or not they make the quarter-finals, Ireland have been an entertaining team on the field and, away from it, they have been a big, happy, noisy family.
“There are Kevin and Niall’s parents, Kevin’s wife, Niall’s girlfriend, Simmons’ wife and children, Ed Joyce’s wife and young boy. Alex Cusack is from Brisbane so he has many among his family here,” says Ireland media manager Barry Chambers. “So if you count the families of players, the strength is 40 to 50, and if you add those who follow us closely, it’s about 100.”
The families pay for their own tickets but since players have a room to themselves at ICC events, the wives and partners save on hotel expenses.
Niall O’Brien says it helps to have your loved ones around during a long tournament. “They help you deal with the ups and downs,” he says.
Doherty, Ireland Cricket president, stresses how group activities bond teams. “Irish people like to engage others, whether through a sing-song, going for a walk, playing a board game, quizzing, playing table-tennis. It keeps the mind off the job in hand. They don’t become too engrossed in it and at the same time it keeps them together,” he says.
It’s not that the jumbo Irish squad was bored in Australia and New Zealand. They have honoured official invitations, enjoyed Maori nose-rubbing receptions, dressed up for official evenings at the ambassador’s house and also partied after all three wins. The boys have an ongoing golf competition, but the idea of the quiz was novel.
“Kevin and his wife took it upon themselves and came up with this,” says Doherty. Chambers says the persistent couple got everyone to divulge some personal facts about themselves that they included in the trivia round.
With Kevin as quizmaster and his wife as scorer, the teams — all with funny names — sat down for an evening of fun. The eventual winners were the “Rattlin Bog”. “It’s an Irish song that Chase sings, so that’s what he called the team,” explains Chambers. “It’s a party piece, it goes on and on, it has fast words, it has to be sung quickly, if you are not Irish, there’s no chance of singing it,” adds Doherty.
Chambers was part of a team called “Don’t cry for me Argentina” — that’s because the media manager wore Argentina’s rugby jersey for the quiz — and finished second.
Source:: Indian Express