As Ireland anticipate their inaugural Test match against Pakistan next May I thought that it might be an appropriate time to analyse the origins of the 635 players who have obtained a total of 10021 full international caps for their country. These 635 players have been capped in 911 eleven a side matches for Ireland with 509 of those players being born on the island of Ireland with the remaining 126 originating from 17 countries spread over five continents with South America the only one not represented.

County allegiance is a major factor in Irish life and I felt that it might be interesting to determine from which county the 509 native born players originated. As Belfast spans two counties I list players from that city separately from counties Antrim and Down.

I am indebted to the published work of a number of people but my primary source for this information is the superb body of work that Edward Liddle has carried out for CricketEurope.

In a smallnumber of cases the place of birth is not absolutely confirmed but studying the available information I have allocated those players to the county that had the highest probability of being their birthplace.

The number of capped players and total number of caps for each county is as follows:

  • Antrim: 22 players, 697 caps. Most caps Kyle McCallan with 227.
  • Armagh: 20 players, 479 caps. Most caps Garfield Harrison with 118.
  • Belfast: 63 players, 1192 caps. Most caps Gary Wilson with 239.
  • Carlow: 8 players, 22 caps. Most caps Peter Doyle with 8 caps.
  • Cavan: 1 player, 2 caps. Arthur Bateman.
  • Clare: 3 players, 3 caps. Michael Flanagan, Michael Kennedy, William King.
  • Cork: 28 players, 355 caps. Most caps Alan Lewis with 121.
  • Derry/Londonderry: 29 players, 737 caps. Most caps William Porterfield with 258.
  • Donegal: 4 players, 55 caps. Most caps Scott Huey with 36.
  • Down: 37 players, 611 caps. Most caps Andrew White with 232.
  • Dublin: 221 players, 3441 caps. Most caps Kevin O’Brien with 292.
  • Fermanagh: No caps.
  • Galway: 8 players, 96 caps. Most caps Brendan “Ginger” O’Brien with 52.
  • Kerry: 1 player, 1 cap. Charles Raynor.
  • Kildare: 2 players, 13 caps. Most caps Clement Johnson with 12.
  • Kilkenny: 1 player, 7 caps. Horace Hamilton.
  • Laois: 2 players, 23 caps. Most caps Ken Hope with 13.
  • Leitrim: 1 player, 1 cap. Murrough O’Brien.
  • Limerick: 3 players, 13 caps. Most caps Montiford Gavin with 7.
  • Longford: No caps.
  • Louth: 5 players, 39 caps. Most caps Blayney Hamilton with 19.
  • Mayo: 1 player, 2 caps. James Wills.
  • Meath: 4 players, 32 caps. Most caps George McVeagh with 21.
  • Monaghan: 1 player, 4 caps. Henry Jackson.
  • Offaly: 3 players, 3 caps. John Hume, Robert Marsh, Robert Roe.
  • Roscommon: 3 players, 4 caps. Most caps Rev. James Byrne with 2.
  • Sligo: No caps.
  • Tipperary: 8 players, 26 caps. Most caps George Morrow with 8.
  • Tyrone: 20 players, 469 caps. Most caps Peter Gillespie with 124.
  • Waterford: No caps.
  • Westmeath: 1 player, 1 cap. William Pakenham.
  • Wexford: 3 players, 13 caps. Most caps William Napper with 7.
  • Wicklow: 6 players, 14 caps. Most caps Bill Haughton with 5.

The 509 native born players have a combined total of 8355 caps. Four counties, Fermanagh, Longford, Sligo and Waterford have never had a capped player.

It is not surprising that Dublin with 221 and Belfast with 63 have the highest number of capped players.

177 of the 509 players were 'one cap wonders' (34.8%).

The other 126 capped players were born in the following 17 countries:

  • Australia: 16 players, 557 caps. Most caps Trent Johnson with 199.
  • Egypt: 1 player, 2 caps. Philip Hollick.
  • England: 61 players, 370 caps. Most caps Andrew Poynter with 69.
  • Hong Kong: 1 player, 2 caps. Edward Barry.
  • India: 12 players, 58 caps. Most caps Thomas Dixon with 17.
  • Kenya: 1 player, 1 cap. Brian Stronach.
  • Lithuania: 1 player, 14 caps. Louis Bookman.
  • Malawi: 1 player, 73 caps. Simon Corlett.
  • New Zealand: 4 players, 133 caps. Most caps Peter Connell with 59.
  • Pakistan: 4 players, 65 caps. Most caps Afzal “Alf” Masood with 40.
  • Scotland: 2 players, 2 caps. William Miller, Henry Stevenson.
  • South Africa: 15 players, 372 caps. Most caps Andre Botha with 142.
  • Switzerland: 1 player, 1 cap. Rev. John Mahaffy.
  • Trinidad: 1 player, 6 caps. Ravi Rampaul.
  • USA: 1 player, 4 caps. Robert Moore.
  • Wales: 3 players, 3 caps. William Edwardes, Howard Le Peton, Donough O’Brien.
  • Zimbabwe: 1 player, 3 caps. Neil Johnson.

These 126 players have a combined total of 1666 caps. 12 of them played as overseas professionals totalling 54 caps.

The 635 players on this list have been instrumental in getting Ireland to where it is now. It is to be hoped that ten years down the road the next generation of players can take Ireland to an even higher level than their predecessors.