Richardson named in Ireland squad for England clash
Thu, Aug 22, 2013 9:28 AM
Eddie Richardson has been named in the Ireland squad which will play England in the RSA Challenge ODI at Malahide on September 3 (10:30am).
The 23 year-old is the one new face in the 13 man squad, which otherwise is very much among expected lines. There are seven county players named in the experienced squad, eight of which have won more than 100 caps.
Richardson, who has played for Ireland at all under-age levels, is clearly delighted at earning a senior call-up.
"It's a dream come true for me really. I can't wait to pull on an Irish jersey. I've worked really hard on my game, especially the last two years and it's fantastic that the selectors have rewarded this with senior recognition.
"The difference this season is that I've been scoring runs as well as taking wickets. I've been bowling decently this past few years but to get into the Ireland team you have to be doing both, as it's got so many talented all-rounders", the North County all-rounder added.
Richardson has been in prolific form both domestically with North County, and at Inter-Provincial level with Leinster Lightning. He is in second place in the LCU averages, with 797 runs at 66.42, and 39 wickets at just under 17. In addition for Leinster Lightning he has 21 wickets at 16.10 and 163 runs at 40.75.
He paid tribute to Ireland coach Phil Simmons and his assistant Pete Johnston, who worked with him over the winter months. "Normally I'd go abroad and play during the off-season, but this time I stayed in Ireland and hit a lot of balls with Pete (Johnston) and Simmo (Phil Simmons), and that's paid dividends."
Richardson is of course a first cousin of John Mooney, and was quick to also pay tribute to Mooney's influence on his career: "I train alongside John and he's always driving me on to higher levels. He's been a great role model for us all at North County, and it would be great to play in the same Ireland team as him."
Ireland coach Phil Simmons said Richardson fully deserved his opportunity:"He's been very consistent at all levels and the selectors were especially impressed by his form in the RSA Inter-Provincial Series. His volume of runs and wickets has warranted selection. Eddie is a great advertisement for all Irish youngsters. He's shown that if you put in the hard yards there will be rewards."
Simmons admitted there's a great deal of anticipation building in the Irish camp ahead of the blue riband game of the summer: "It's certain to be a fantastic atmosphere at Malahide, given that nearly 8,000 tickets have already gone. The players can't wait to play at the new venue, and with England as the opponents, there's always that little extra edge which you get when playing a 'local derby' so to speak. It would be something special for the team to give the fans another famous win, which is certainly possible with the talent we have in our ranks."