Harry Tector fell 11 short of yet another one-day international half-century when Ireland lost to England in Nottingham on Saturday but again showed how far he has progressed since making his ODI debut against the same opposition three years ago.

After a nine-ball duck on that first outing in Southampton and failing to raise his bat in any of his next nine innings, Tector notched a maiden half-century in the 50-overs format against the Netherlands and hasn’t looked back. 

In 26 innings since that knock in Utrecht, the now 23-year-old has reached 50 a remarkable 14 times (15 in all), and converted four into centuries to stand fifth in the global ODI batting rankings.

No wonder Gloucestershire were happy to recruit him for their recent One-Day Cup campaign allowing Tector a little home knowledge when Ireland play the third and final match of the series in Bristol tomorrow.

But coming from a Test-playing nation, Ireland stars are labelled as ‘overseas players’ and do not have the same access to county cricket as they used to, and that’s holding back development according to former dual international Eoin Morgan.

“The best times of Irish cricket were when the players could piggyback the county system and play with and against some of the very best not only in English cricket but in the world,” Morgan said.

“Doing it day-in day-out you become more disciplined, more professional, at a younger age. To fail against better players made you a better player yourself over time.

“I look at some of the players coming through in Ireland now and the talent is there in abundance - the talent doesn’t change - but what they lack at the moment is viable facilities to hone those skills, as you would in county cricket.

"The younger players in the Irish team now are the best players and will be for years but not being able to play county cricket curbs their learning by a long way.”

Morgan singled out left-arm speedster Josh Little as “exceptional” among the new generation but after an expensive 10 overs as England racked up 334-8 it was the Pembroke man’s batting that caught the eye on Saturday.

Little and Craig Young added a record 55 for the final wicket - both recording career-bests, as did Barry McCarthy - helping Ireland rally from 188-8 to 286 all out, and a 48-run margin of defeat that was flattering.