Who is Curtis Campher? Ireland cricket player stars at T20 World Cup 2021 - how he made history vs Netherlands

Ireland’s Curtis Campher made T20 World Cup history by taking four wickets in four balls against the Netherlands

Campher took four wickets in four balls in Ireland’s first T20 World Cup match

Ireland kicked off their International Men’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign with a flying start as they thrashed the Netherlands by seven wickets, scoring the Dutch total of 106 with five overs left.

The star of Ireland’s impressive performance was all-rounder Curtis Campher who took a phenomenal four wickets in four balls to completely dismantle the Dutch batting order.

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The Irish all-rounder is only the third man to have taken four wickets in as many balls in T20 history and the only man to have done so in a Twenty20 World Cup match. Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan and Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga are the only two other cricketers to have managed such a feat, both accomplishing it in 2019.

Here is all you need to know about Ireland’s new star cricketer.

Who is Curtis Campher?

Campher was born in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and represented South Africa at under-19 level. It was only after a chance conversation with Irish cricketer Niall O’Brien that Campher realised he was able to qualify to play for Ireland thanks to his grandmother who came from Derry.

The 22 year-old moved to Ireland at the beginning of 2020 and was selected for the Ireland Wolves tour to Namibia. On 21 February 2020, the right-handed all-rounder made his Twenty20 debut for the Wolves.

Campher celebrates one of his five wickets in his debut ODI series against England in 2020

In July 2020 Campher was then named in Ireland’s 21-man squad to travel to England for the One Day International series and made his ODI debut on 30 July 2020 against England. Campher top-scored for Ireland in the match with 59 not out, however Ireland went on to lose by six wickets. In the second ODI of the series, Campher went on to score 68 from 87 balls and finished the three-match series with five wickets at an average of 28.80.

Campher was named in Ireland’s T20 squad for their series against Zimbabwe and made his T20 International debut on 27 August 2021.

Who does Curtis Campher play for?

In the 2020 season, Campher played for the inter provincial team Leinster Lightning before moving to the Munster Reds in 2021.

Campher has previously played for the South African national team at under-19 level but since 2020 he has been part of the Irish national squad.

Curtis Campher’s match against the Netherlands

The Netherlands had a rocky start with Ben Cooper being run out for a duck, however Max O’Dowd managed to score 51 runs off 47 balls, going some way in an attempt to stabilise the Dutch team. However, in the ninth over, Campher was brought back into the attack and the Irish all-rounder reduced the Netherlands from 51-2 to 51-6 in the space of four balls.

Campher’s first victim was Colin Ackermann who was caught by the Irish wicketkeeper Neil Rock on 11. The three that followed - Ryan ten Doeschate, Scott Edwards, Roelof Van der Merwe - were all out for ducks and by the halfway point in the Netherlands’ innings Ireland were in control.

Campher had two wickets lbw, one caught behind and one bowled

The wickets of ten Doeschate and Edwards were given to lbw decisions while van der Merwe dragged his first delivery directly onto the stumps to give Campher’s historical fourth wicket in as many balls.

What did Curtis Campher say?

Speaking to Sky after the match, Campher said “My heart was racing quite high but I just took a few deep breaths at the top of my run and made sure that I just managed my skills.”

Campher praised his captain, Andy Balbirnie, for his words of encouragement saying “To be honest, I wasn’t feeling great out there with the ball but the skipper told me to crack the game open. He’s a great skip. He gives you free rein when you’re bowling to do what you want.

“I’m very fortunate to get (four wickets in four balls). To be honest I wasn’t really thinking about it, maybe it will sink in a little bit later. I was just trying to do what I wanted to do.

“Any time you get the opportunity to take a wicket in international cricket, it’s a real privilege. Any wicket I can do for the team is a real boost.”

When is Curtis Campher playing next?

Ireland’s next match is against Sri Lanka on Wednesday 20 October 2021 at 3pm BST and will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

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