"Let's go to Dicey's!": 5 key phrases for the Irish cricket bandwagoner
We're stunned to know there's no offside in the ol' rounders.
Full disclosure up front - I haven't the faintest, foggiest notion about cricket.
I'm convinced there's something genetic in most Irishmen's inability to grasp the simple concepts of runs, wickets, bowlers, massive kneepads and LBWs.
Not a clue.
Thankfully, I know a man who does. Journalist Nick Royle is an avid cricket fan and agreed to share some pearls of wisdom.
These, according to Nick, are the key points of information you need to have in your locker as Ireland prepare to take on South Africa at the Cricket World Cup in the small hours of tomorrow morning.
It includes the fascinating story of how we sent an Irishman over to take down the English from the inside. Maybe it's not such a complex game after all...
1) “We need a big innings from Ed here”
You can't go wrong with this – Ireland's top batsman Ed Joyce is, quite simply, Ireland's greatest-ever cricketer, and inspired many of the younger players in the squad to take up the sport.
He declared for England at a time when the Irish cricket team was a largely amateur affair, but came back to the Ireland squad in time to play in the 2011 World Cup.
The Bray batsman is one of five Joyce siblings to represent Ireland at cricket, and his sister Isobel is the current Ireland ladies team captain.
He currently has two children, but Irish cricket are hoping he will produce a few more in the coming years.
2) “Come in agent Morgan, your work is done”
Eoin Morgan is the second-best cricketer ever to come from this island, but even as a teenager in Dublin he was focused on playing for England.
He was appointed captain of the England World Cup team after the sacking of Alastair Cook, but he has overseen a disastrous campaign so far, with crushing defeats to Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka and just one win, against Scotland.
The 28-year-old has been criticised for his failure to sing 'God Save the Queen' before England matches, but Morgan's former teacher at Dublin’s Catholic University School, Kevin Jennings, says that it is not a political gesture or a snub to his adopted country.
“He’s a very shy fellow. I would imagine he’d be quite self-conscious singing in that context,” Jennings said.
3) “He made that himself, you know”
To be said when John Mooney comes out to bat, wearing a specially-adapted helmet.
Former electrician Mooney has created an additional metal grille to be attached onto the back of cricket helmets.
The 33-year-old designed the device after Australia batsman Phillip Hughes was killed following a blow to the neck from a cricket ball while batting during a Sheffield Shield match last November.
He built the device himself, which he calls a 'gorget' - after the throat protector on French medieval suits of armour - and hopes to manufacture the device commercially.
4) “Of course, he learned all that in Carrickfergus....”
Ireland will come up against one of the best batsmen in the world, AB de Villiers, when Ireland face South Africa in Canberra on Tuesday.
As a youngster, de Villiers captained the South Africa junior rugby team, set 100 metres sprinting records, played for the South Africa junior tennis team, was outstanding at badminton and swimming and is now a scratch golfer.
But we can still claim a part in his development as one of the world's greatest cricketers.
As a 20-year-old, he played half a season at Carrickfergus as an overseas professional and scored double hundreds in successive matches against Cliftonville and against Instonians.
5) “Let's go to Dicey's”
If you are out in Dicey Reilly's on Harcourt Street over the summer, don't be surprised to find an international cricketer or two among the students on the dancefloor.
The club is run by Sri Lankan Rangan Arulchelvan, a hugely popular figure in Dublin cricket, who hands out open invites to cricketers and a few lucky supporters after big matches involving the Ireland team.
The security staff are well used to it – you may be stopped at the door for scruffy trainers, but they'll quite happily let you bring in a cricket bat.