Tuesday 21 November 2017

where are they now?

Alec O'Riordan

(Former Irish cricketer)

Alec O'Riordan was one of the finest all-round cricketers to ever represent Ireland. He played for his country for almost 20 years between 1958 and 1977 before injury finally put a halt to his remarkable innings in the game.

He began playing cricket at the age of eight in Belvedere College, a school which produced many notable cricketers, including Jimmy Boucher and Eddie Ingram. O'Riordan was a fine athlete, excelling at rugby as well as cricket.

His first cap for Ireland came against Worcestershire in 1958 when he was just 18 and only a year out of school. To this day he still considers his first cap one of his finest memories of his time in the sport. He recalls their win over Sussex in a three-day game in 1977 with similar pride. "Everyone always talks about the win over the West Indies in 1968 but that was one-day cricket, three day is different cricket altogether."

O'Riordan had offers from English counties to play professional cricket across the water but always declined for personal reasons. He still regrets this decision -- to a point. "I would have liked to have played professional cricket and tested myself against professional players regularly, but it wasn't feasible due to my business and family commitments".

O'Riordan feels the current Ireland team have a lot of talent but now need to build on that with greater consistency. "They're very successful, very committed and very talented," he says. "Their standard is high and they have a lot of good players. They need to make a success of one-day cricket on a more regular basis and make it up to Test level."

He envies the opportunities top Irish cricketers have nowadays. "I probably regret I didn't have the same opportunities they have now. Playing all over the world. They're playing Test sides on a regular basis, people we would never have played against."

O'Riordan is a retired consulting engineer. He no longer misses playing the sport. "When I retired I did, not now. I retired a long time ago."

He stayed involved with cricket for many years after his retirement. However, he hasn't been actively involved with the sport since his year of presidency of the Irish Cricket Union ended in 1995. He still follows the Irish team. "The odd game, not as much as I should perhaps," he says when asked if he gets to many matches.

Sunday Independent

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