Larry’s Lost Diary: Minnows? No Nay Never


Originally written 12 Feb

I read a few articles with John Boy with interest this week, particularly this quote: “The players are hungry because we don’t want to be known as minnows any more.”

Now I don’t know about you but the only other time that I have heard the word minnow was when a three hour tour went horribly wrong for the skipper, Gilligan, a movie star, a professor, a millionaire and his wife.

But ‘minnows’ has long been associated with Irish cricket with former cricket legends, such as Bob Willis and Michael Holding amongst others, sadly giving us that label.  I thought we silenced the critics back then with World Cup wins over Pakistan, Bangladesh and England as well as the tie against Zimbabwe.  But this is clearly not the case with virtually every article written about an associate side in a world cup mentioning that we are minnows and easy beats.  

So with apologies to all the original artist of The Wild Rover (as well as the artists who have covered it over the years), I felt inspired to pen a song to silence the critics once and for all.  I hope all of the Blarney Army will sing it with me (along with other songs) over the next few weeks.


Minnows? No Nay Never

We went to Jamaica two thousand and seven
White sands, blue skies, we thought we were in heaven
But the critics were harsh and treated us like a pup
Ireland are minnows, they don’t deserve to be in this cup

And it’s No, Nay, never,
No, nay never no more
Ireland aren’t minnows
No never no more 

We tied with Zimbabwe and beat Pakistan
We silenced the critics one to a man
Ireland can play cricket as good as the rest
They deserve to be here amongst the world’s best 

And it’s No, Nay, never,
No, nay never no more
Ireland aren’t minnows
No never no more

Roll forward to India four years later
We played Mother England and god we beat her
Chasing 330 we thought we were gone
Til out came big Kev and scored a mighty ton 

And it’s No, Nay, never,
No, nay never no more
Ireland aren’t minnows
No never no more


I have been in Melbourne this week so missing the two practice matches against Scotland and Zimbabwe up in Sydney.  Tuesday’s flogging at the hand of the Scots was obviously disappointing on paper but I would rather lose like that in a warm-up match than an official World Cup game when it matters.  It was clear that the side experimented with a few things and have learnt the lesson.  Today’s four wicket win was a great bounce back against the Bangas and the Scots put up a tremendous effort against the Windies to go down by just three runs.

A bit of a spring in the step is back and the Windies won’t know what hit them come Monday.  I can see the newspapers around the world with headings such as Gael-Force Puts Wind Up Windies (rather than Gayle-Force).

Tonight we attended the Opening Ceremony of the Cricket World Cup in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne.  It was a glorious evening and we gave Lil Larry a trial run in his leprechaun outfit.  It was a hit unlike cricket’s version of Eurovision.  I am not sure who chose Ireland’s song but gee it lacked some tempo and would have come close to being the worst of the night in engaging the crowd.  Particularly coming straight after India’s Bollywood offering just before which got the few thousand Indians up and dancing about.  A version of Riverdance was the only thing that would give us a chance but alas not to be.  There were about ten Irish in the crowd.  Met a few girls from Donegal who enjoyed the night but we were well and truly outnumbered by the Indians and Pakistanis.  Their match in Adelaide will be one of the highlights of this world cup.  It was great to see two Irishmen – in William Porterfield and Eoin Morgan – captaining World Cup sides.  Eoin has been out of touch with the bat of late which has reminded me of his poor run back in 2007 where I think he only averaged 10 throughout the whole tournament.  Will looked very relaxed and happy.

Time to prepare for my trip across the Tasman.  See you in Nelson on Monday. I have heard from my NZ friends that this match against the West Indies plus the one in Hamilton (on March 10 versus India) are virtually sold out.  Hope that’s true and that a large Irish contingent have bought tickets.  Will be great to see the Blarney Army in full swing in the land of the great white cloud.

Make sure you join the conga after each wicket we get!

And if I don’t get to see you at the game, make sure you are at the pub – an Irish one of course! – afterwards to celebrate another great World Cup win by the Irish.

I’m definitely #BackingGreen

Larry the Leprechaun, occasionally known by his pseudonym Dr Adrian Raftery, is Ireland’s biggest cricket fan. Listed at number seven in a recent All Out Cricket list of cricketing superfans, he made the ICC’s World Cup list too.

When he’s not donning his greens and gamboling around the cricket world, Larry runs a tax and finance advisory company, Mr Taxman.

You can find Larry on Twitter at @LarryLeprechau, and Adrian at @MisterTaxman.


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