Cricket has seen fandom, unlike any other sport. From a medium to resist oppressors to religion, the game has traveled miles from its inception. With billion fans, million lovers and umpteenth promoters, the game have no dearth of interesting and inspiring stories.
However, some tales are fascinating in their own way. One such recital rises from Ireland. The narrative is distinct for masses as the lead here is a woman. Irish cricket has been eternally served by Miriam Grealey. Several generations of players come and go in the course of four decades. However, the name of Miriam Grealey has been second to cricket in Ireland. She has been in the settings of national service for an unbelievable four decades.
Interestingly, she had started her endeavor with the game at times when the game itself was coming out of the shell. She had joined the women’s side of Ireland in 1985 when the game was primarily associated with her male counterparts. Her timeline and the progress marked on the journey are evidence of dedication to the team and love for the game. She had to wait two years in her national side for the team to get their first ODI game. She was handed captaincy eight years later in 1995. She continued her stint in the team as a player till 2005.
In the meantime, she captained the Irish team in their only test against Pakistan in 2000. The passion for the game and her attachment to national service could not fade. She continued her relationship with the board as the team manager, coach, and national selectors. Indeed, it is hard to find a figure like hers in the game. In her four decades of service, she had learned all the arts of the game. While captaining the national team for 79 one-day internationals, she recalls many of the memories as her favorites. A century against Pakistan while fighting the battle on crease amidst losing partners of the other hand tops her charts.
She recalls an interesting incident when bowlers had the better of her and yet she fought to see herself getting to a half-century. She led her team to lift the Euro Cup defeating mighty England. In her final role as a national selector, she shared worthy insights about the game. She elaborates on how stats can often lie and judging a player without witnessing her passion and commitment to the field. These words can be guiding principles for people with shorter perspectives in the fast forward era.
She received a due farewell by the board and her successor took on twitter to blog her praises. Ed Joyce regarded her as one of the great of the games. He shared with his followers how her knowledge and insights on the game were priceless. It is a point of no contestation that she has been an eternal advocate of the game for women in Ireland and throughout the globe. The game and their female lovers need more promoters of the game like Miriam who not only love the game but live it daily.
A student who enjoys studying cricket more than anything else, keen to learn the insights of the women’s game.