Off spinner Andy McBrine is on cloud nine following Ireland’s impressive win over the West Indies in the World Cup opener on Monday.
The Donemana man, who follows in the his father (Junior) and uncle’s (James) footsteps by playing for his country, played his part in the four-wicket success in New Zealand.
“It was a great start for both myself and more importantly the team,” he said.
“It really was a dream come true for me to play for my country at the World Cup - a great honour.
“We had a plan and we all stuck to it and thankfully everything worked out for us. But it’s only one game and we want to keep improving.
“We don’t play until next week against the UAE and it would be great if we could win that game too as that would be two wins in a row.”
The 21-year-old also said that it was a great honour to be following in his father and uncle’s footsteps.
“I was over the moon when I found out that I was playing. In fact I started to think about my family back home and how much they have given to me to get this far, I was also following my Da and uncle playing for Ireland,” he added.
“Yes while I was nervous before the game, our captain Purdy (William Porterfield) was great to me. He just kept me calm and told me to go out and enjoy the whole experience, I think him being a Donemana man, he knew how much it would mean not just to me but to everyone back home.”
McBrine’s ten overs cost only 26 runs and the pressure he exerted led to chances been taken at the other end which was instrumental in reducing West Indies to 87 for five.
Although he didn’t get a wicket with the ball he produced a superb piece of fielding that resulted in him running out Darren Bravo with a direct hit.
“It was a bit surreal the first time I got the nod that I was bowling to someone like Chris Gayle. He’s a world renowned top cricketer, but I just felt this is the stage I want to play in so after my first ball I just settled myself down and remained focused.
“The run-out was great for me, it really settled me down. That’s one thing I noticed when I first broke into the team last year, the amount of work I had to do to try and force my way into the squad.
“Since then I have done a lot of work back home to and I have to thank Brendan Connor and Kieran O’Reilly, our physio and strength and conditioning coaches. They have helped me lose some weight and get my fitness levels up.
“I have also been working hard with all the support staff - Phil Simmons, Pete Johnston, Matthew Mott and Carl Hopkinson (Sussex fielding coach), so it has been so far so good, but as I said it’s only one match and everyone isn’t getting carried away with things, we are all focusing on our next game against the UAE.”
There was healthy support in Nelson on Monday cheering on the boys in green and McBrine said that it really helped the side.
“The atmosphere was great and we had a big support. I know there are a lot of ex-Pats living in both Australia and New Zealand, so hopefully that support will continue throughout the competition.”