Irish cricket mourns loss of Torrens

Roy Torrens (left) was a hugely popular figure with the Ireland players during his stint as the country’s team manager

Irish cricket is mourning the death of former international pace bowler and ex-national team manager Roy Torrens at the age of 72.

Torrens was a hugely popular figure having represented his country 30 times before his high-profile stint as national team manager.

His managerial stint from 2004-16 was in a period of stunning Irish success.

Torrens’ joyous celebrations with Ireland players were a memorable feature of their World Cup wins.

Cricket Ireland chair Ross McCollum described the Londonderry man as “an immense presence in Irish cricket and a truly great friend”.

“He was a player, a team manager, a president and – most importantly – an inspiration to all he met,” he added.

“It goes without saying but we will miss him greatly and our hearts go out to Joan, the family and his friends at this time.”

Ireland wicketkeeper-batsman Gary Wilson said on Twitter that when he met up with Torrens “we didn’t shake hands, we hugged”.

Wilson’s former rival for the Ireland wicketkeeper spot Niall O’Brien added that Torrens was a “fabulous man” and “champion of Irish sport”.

Torrens was a larger-than-life character and while he also played Irish League football for Coleraine and Ballymena United, it was in cricket where he made his name.

A committed player for the Brigade club based on Derry’s Waterside, he won 30 Ireland caps between 1966 and 1984, taking 77 wickets with his best figures 7-40 against Scotland in 1974.

After hanging up his whites, he served as a national selector before becoming president of the then Irish Cricket Union and chairman of the Cricket Committee.

His period as national team manager saw the country achieve unprecedented success – notably the wins over Pakistan, England and West Indies at successive World Cups in 2007, 2011 and 2015.

Torrens was recognised for his contribution to cricket when he was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2009.

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