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Ireland: International Tournaments
1994 ICC Trophy
Nairobi, Kenya

Roy Morgan and CricketEurope

The 1994 ICC Trophy was held in Nairobi, Kenya. All the games were played on grass wickets on grounds within a fifteen minute drive of the city centre. Two controversies marred the otherwise successful competition in which Ireland, United Arab Emirates and Namibia took part for the first time.

The major problem concerned the status of the team from the UAE which comprised seven Pakistanis, two Indians, one Sri Lankan and only one Emirate by birth, Sheikh Zarwani, who was given the captaincy. Although all the players satisfied the ICC regulations, there was a general feeling that the UAE had effectively ‘bought’ a team from the sub-continent by offering various incentives to players with first-class experience.

Ireland v Papua New Guinea: Ireland's Alan Lewis is run outIreland v Papua New Guinea: Ireland's Alan Lewis is run out

The second topic of dispute related to the lack of adequate rules to matches affected by rain. As long as the innings of the team batting second lasted 30 overs, the outcome was decided on run-rate. The problems arose where the game was abandoned before this could be achieved. They were exacerbated by a rule that matches had to finish by 5.40pm on the second day. Not surprisingly, some bizarre situations emerged.

There was no play on the first day in the match between Singapore and Canada. The umpires then decided that since no play had occurred, the second day must effectively be the first day which meant there was no time limit to the finish on that day. The umpires therefore invoked the first-day rule that a match could continue after 5.40pm if an outcome looked possible. In the end, rain brought the match to its conclusion after only 20 overs of Singapore’s innings, so the match was abandoned and the points shared.

With the precedent set, the umpires of the match between Papua New Guinea and Ireland, two days later, again decreed that the second day was the first day, after there had been no play on the official first day. On the second day, PNG were forced to continue batting into the night with no indication of how many overs the innings would last. The game was eventually stopped after 32 overs and Ireland declared the winners on run-rate. PNG protested that the umpires had breached tournament regulations but the result was allowed to stand. In reality, no injustice was done because PNG had been completely outplayed and their score of 88 for 7 was a poor reply to Ireland’s 230 for 8.

The tournament followed the format of that in 1990 with a first round in which the twenty teams were split into four groups. The top two in each group entered the second round with the first two teams of the two second round groups progressing to the semi-finals. The third and fourth placed teams in the first round groups entered a Plate competition, where they were divided into two groups, the winners of each contesting the Plate final. The outcome of the Plate final was a farce because the supposed finalists PNG and USA had already booked their flights home, not expecting to qualify. As a result the runners-up had to play the decider.

There were few surprises in the first round. The biggest was the failure of Denmark to go through. The finished below a much improved Hong Kong, a position which was determined by the outcome of the game between the two countries. With the score levels, Hong Kong were declared the winners by losing fewer wickets. The USA could not repeat their 1990 performance and they failed to progress after allowing Bangladesh to contrive a victory from almost certain defeat after they slipped to 36 for 5 chasing 147. The UAE topped Group A winning all four games.

Ireland v Netherlands: de Leede and Scholte combine to dismiss CohenIreland v Netherlands: de Leede and Scholte combine to dismiss Cohen

Nolan Clarke was in fine form as The Netherlands topped Group A, scoring a century against Ireland. The Irish got the second place slot with Conor Hoey taking five wickets against PNG and four versus Malaysia. Hosts Kenya and Canada emerged from Group C, while Bermuda topped group D ahead of Bermuda.

The second round of games saw some thrilling matches with Kenya and The Netherlands both beating Bangladesh to secure semi-final berths. In the other group UAE won all three matches, beating Canada and Bermuda by one wicket to finish top, while Bermuda joined them courtesy of comprehensive wins over Ireland and Canada.

Kenya secured their World Cup slot courtesy of a brilliant 158 not out from Maurice Odumbe as they accounted for Bermuda, while the UAE sauntered to a six wicket win against The Netherlands chasing 195 to join them.

The Netherlands and Bermuda then played a winner-takes-all clash for the final qualification slot. Another century from Nolan Clarke, who shared in an opening stand of 114 with Flavian Aponso – a Sri Lankan who received a lifetime ban from his home country for going on a rebel tour of South Africa – ensured the Dutch were in complete control as they posted 306 for 2, winning by 103 runs.

The final itself saw a crowd in excess of 10,000 hoping for a home win but they were to be disappointed as UAE chased 282 to win by two wickets.

There were sixteen centuries in the tournament with Nolan Clarke making three of them, as he topped both the run charts and the averages.

There were 12 five wicket hauls in the competition, with Ole Mortensen’s 7 for 19 against Israel the best, and that helped him top the bowling averages.

  • Qualifiers: UAE, Kenya, The Netherlands.
  • Plate final: Namibia beat Denmark (USA and PNG unable to compete)
  • Wooden Spoon Deluxe Winners: West Africa.