Fitting stage set for Irish cricket’s biggest test
Malahide will host an attendance of 10,000 as Ireland host England in eagerly-awaited clash
With the new square installed, the key matter of the grant for the full redevelopment of the ground would come in October 2010 when the Department of Art, Sport and Tourism approved funds of €450,000.
Talbot was the project manager on behalf of Malahide and points out how important an issue drainage was in the plan.
“We knew we had to do a good job, the big cost was first of all there was a lot of levelling, but the second thing is to get the drainage system in. And that’s really key, because if Sky are coming over and bringing their 15 to 18 cameras and 85 people, they want to be as sure as they can, unless it’s actually raining, that you are going to get play in.”
It wasn’t all plain sailing as two wet summers hindered the full bedding in of the outfield and banking around the boundary, but this past summer has seen the ground come into its own, with last weekend’s staging of the Irish Senior Cup final showing it off in its full glory.
The appointment of former Somerset groundsman Philip Forest, a five-time winner of the ECB pitches award, was one of the last pieces in the jigsaw and the wickets have received plenty of praise from players.
It’s been all hands on deck at Malahide for the last couple of weeks, but Talbot is confident everything will be right on the day, with a little help from the weather gods.
“There’s always panic moments, no matter how much you plan there’s always things falling together at the last minute and you’d have your fingers crossed,” he says, before looking forward to the end of a successful staging. “There’ll be relief and celebration eventually, at the moment it’s fear factor, fear of the unknown.”
And Deutrom knows the man that many people’s thought will turn to on the day. “John Wright was a massive part of Malahide being the venue, he was a huge inspiration not just behind Malahide but also behind Irish cricket. I know there’s going to be an awful lot of people who are going to have a few wistful thoughts about John when the day comes.”