Curtis Campher – The Peculiar Case Of The Irishman

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Curtis Campher of Ireland celebrates reaching fifty during the Second One Day International between England and Ireland in the Royal London Series at The Ageas Bowl on August 01, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB)

Curtis Campher has suddenly become a household name, but how did he reach here?

From back to back fifties in his debut series, to making Tom Banton his bunny. What has Curtis Campher not done?

Curtis Campher has had a fantastic ODI series against England. He was the fifth highest run-scorer with 127 runs in just two innings. He did not bat in the third game because the team finished the job without him. Campher averaged 127 as a result – the highest by any player on either side.

He was also in the top 5 highest wicket-takers with 5 wickets in just three games. His average of 28.80 and economy rate of 6.69 can be considered as very respectable given the nature of the series.

But you may be wondering where has this young Irishman come from?

Curtis Campher’s Irish debut:

The young South African in Curtis Campher qualified to play for Ireland via his grandmother who was born in Ireland and therefore, holds an Irish passport. Campher had a debut to remember walking out at 28/5.

First things first, he had to negotiate a hat-trick ball from an inform David Willey who had the ball on a string. Not only did he manage to negotiate the hattrick ball, but he also formed good partnerships with Kevin O’Brien and Andy McBrine to take Ireland to a respectable total of 172.

Watch – Curtis Campher debut best I’ve ever seen says Andrew Balbirnie

His score of 59*(118) is the second-highest for Ireland by an Irishman on debut. Only the opposition captain, Eoin Morgan is ahead of him who made 99 vs Scotland on debut. Later in the same game, Curtis Campher dismissed Tom Banton who was also his first u-19 wicket.

With that, he was only the second player to make 50+ runs and take a wicket vs England on ODI debut. The first being Shaun Pollock with 66* and 4/34 on debut in 1996. A rare feat, if ever there was one. It looks increasingly likely that Curtis Campher could achieve many more records, if he continues to play in the same manor.

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Curtis Campher’s move to Ireland from South Africa:

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ireland were in Pretoria in early 2018. Playing a warm-up against Easterns and Northerns Combined XI. Campher, 19 back then impressed with making 49 off 39.

Niall O’Brien the Irish keeper, had recently learned about Campher’s Irish ancestry linked to his Irish Grandmother. Niall approached Curtis later that game and told him that he should think of making a move to Ireland.

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Campher told BBC: ” Niall O’Brien said, ‘Listen you’re a good player, I will chat to you after the game.’ And that is where one thing led to another.”

Curtis Campher relocated to Dublin earlier this year but is yet to play a match on Irish soil. He made his ODI debut which was only his second official List-A game ever.

He was picked ahead of players like Gary Wilson, William Porterfield, former Irish captain because he impressed everyone in the nets. A big and brave decision Ireland made has reaped rich dividends so far.

Watch – Curtis Campher has Tom Banton LBW

Curtis Campher – 2nd game of international career:

Curtis went one better next game by scoring his second fifty in just as many games. With Ireland reeling at 78/5. Campher formed partnerships with Simi Singh, Andy McBrine to push Ireland past 200.

He topped his score from the first ODI by scoring a crucial 68 this time around. He also added 2 useful wickets in the second innings, dismissing Tom Banton yet again. Curtis has been impressive against a very formidable England lineup missing only one front line bowler in Jofra Archer.

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You may keep an eye out for young Curtis, with this start, he might go a long way. He has all the potential to be an all-round talent for Ireland Cricket. He bowls what one may call “a heavy ball” and is a very accomplished batsman.

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