Cricket Ireland’s own goal over Irish Cup draw

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2016

Irish Cup cricket at Shaws Bridge, south Belfast.  Instonians  v Pembrooke.  Instonians Steven Bunting bowls as Pembrooke's Daniel Solway waits to run. 


Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2016 Irish Cup cricket at Shaws Bridge, south Belfast. Instonians v Pembrooke. Instonians Steven Bunting bowls as Pembrooke's Daniel Solway waits to run. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Cricket Ireland have undoubtedly missed a trick over their handling of the Irish Cup quarter-final draw.

The delay in staging the second round draw was perhaps understandable to some extent, given the number of first-round ties that had been washed out by the weather.

But even then, the delay inconvenienced those clubs who were already safely into the hat, who could have started pitch preparations or explored travel arrangements.

Tournament director Simon Dyke is right to point out that there will be a month between this month’s quarter-final draw and the ties taking place in mid-July, and there’s nothing wrong in principle with trying to maximise publicity by having the draw before Ireland’s ODIs with Sri Lanka.

But what do other sports do when are other high-profile cup draws staged? In football’s Irish Cup for example, the draw traditionally happens live on the BBC, within minutes of the previous round ending on Saturday tea-time.

The FA Cup draw is usually on a Sunday once that round is complete, and the League Cup in England? Minutes after the previous round is completed on a Tuesday or Wednesday night. As for European competitions in football? The Champions League draw is on a Friday morning after the previous round ends on a Wednesday night.

In other words, there is no time like the present, capitalise on cup fever, seize the moment, and don’t wait two-and-a-half weeks to put people out of their misery.

The eight quarter-finalists don’t really care whether Angelo Matthews or William Porterfield is making the draw, or whether it takes place on the top of Slieve Donard, or in some grotty committee room at the back of a pavilion.

They just want to know who are they playing, and they want to know now!