Forum

Please click here to leave a message.

The Ulster Cricketer reserves the right not to publish submissions written under pseudonyms or which make gratuitous personal attacks.

Ricky Finlay

Belfast

9th Nov 2018

Ulster Grasshoppers CC weekend tour to La Manga 4th April 2019
Afternoon guys
Please see below the email I received from the organiser of the tournament this week. If anyone is interested in getting touring / playing please email me etc. The details are self explanatory.
Cheers
Ricky

Hi Ricky
Good talking to you earlier.
We run a pre season tournament each April for teams looking to prepare for the coming season.
For the first time in 2019 we will be using our grass wickets following significant investment from Cricket Ireland, the grass wickets have been used by their test squad, women's squad this pre-season and for training sessions through the summer.
The tournament is an 8 team event, a 20/20 festival played over 3 days - with teams guaranteed a minimum of 4 games.
The standard package is teams arriving on Thursday 4th April, with cricket played Friday, Saturday and Sunday and teams leaving Monday.
Package includes
4 nights twin share accommodation in Las Lomas Sports Village Apartments - seewww.lamangaclub.com/accommodation and click on Las Lomas Apartments
3 days of cricket - minimum 4 games per team, umpires, balls, trophies etc... all provided - played on grass wickets
Scheduled use of 2 grass nets for 1 hour per day per team during the tournament
Sunday night presentation dinner - 3 course hot buffet with wine and beer on table
Daily return transfer per team from accommodation to ground (5 mins drive)
Use of fitness centre and spa
Discounts in a variety of bars and restaurants - plus special meal offers
Price £350pp for UK teams
Deposit of £100 or 30% per person - balance due 6 weeks before the event
Not included:
flights (you should book into Murcia / Corvera or Alicante)
Priced at £160pp return as of 09.11.18 by tourist Andy Beattie
Airport transfers - we quote this for you when we know how many players but approx 25 Euros PP for Murcia / Corvera and 40 Euros PP Alicante (This is the total price pp not each way)
Food unless where stated - please note the cricket centre marquee will serve breakfast baguettes, lunch time food options and soft hot drinks, snack, cakes and beer and wine all day.
I hope this helps, to confirm we need a rough idea of players and how many supporters and I can then provide a booking form / deposit invoice.
I look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions
Regards
Andy House - La Manga

Ricky Finlay

Belfast

6th Nov 2018

Ulster Grasshoppers CC Dinner 2019
Afternoon all
The annual Ulster Grasshoppers CC dinner is scheduled to take place on Saturday 2nd February 2019 in the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Shaw's Bridge, Belfast.
Last years event was a super evening in excellent surroundings with Lisburn CC stalwart and now respected umpire, Michael Foster our guest speaker. This year, the guest speaker is former Irish skipper and Grasshopper, Kyle McCallan (227 caps).
The evening is open to non members and from talking to cricketers over the summer, there was high interest in attending the dinner. If you are interested, please email me on richard@finlaygrahamproperty.com
Many thanks
Ricky
Chairman Ulster Grasshoppers

Alan Stevenson

Armagh

1st Nov 2018

I though this had a certain resonance for the whole cricket in Ireland situation and the seemingly fruitless search for El Dorado.
Poetry For The Mildly Insane: The Shiny Things by Edwin Madu

There was an urgency the night bore
When the men with the shiny things came
The air was tight
Words on lips were light
The moon cowered
The crickets were mute
The men arrived on beasts
That resembled slender lifeless horses
They came to us as we sat in the open
Telling old stories to newborns
They asked us where our leaders were
We took them there with hastened steps
For these men were white
Almost as white as the cowering moon
They saw the chiefs and gave them gifts
The chiefs, they laughed and called them kin
The gifts were several, shiny they were
But after that night, more of the moon men arrived
But bearing no gifts, they took instead
They stole our land and erased our name
Freedom left when the shiny things came.

Bryan Milford, NCU

Cricket Ireland-Dublin

31st Oct 2018

Dr Murray Power will be recognised with a Special Award - Outstanding Contribution and Service to Irish Cricket , in honour of John Wright - at the 2018 Turkish Airlines Cricket Ireland Awards on Friday 2 November 2018.

Response

Ed...
Totally deserved. I doubt many people outside Unions are aware of the work he does across so many sectors. Well done Murray.

Andy Kennedy

sunny Buckna

29th Oct 2018

Yes Ed. My comments were mainly directed at CI. But any cursory perusal of the "other" site will reveal the level of misgiving that exists. I would respectfully suggest that, having seen how the upper level of administration has evolved across both sports, we are justified in making comparisons.

Andy Kennedy

Buckna

27th Oct 2018

For many seasons I have been posting about the machinations of CI vis-a-vis what happened when rugby ‘went professional’. To take a jaundiced view of the present scenario and looking at the highly paid CEOs and their minions I see people being involved in basic admin duties - for instance - is it really the role of a CEO to be drinks waiter at an under-age game or handing out the paperwork at an AGM? It’s all about added value.. Having heard assurances that ‘we have’ learned and taken on board the lessons from Rugby Ireland’ I really do have to ask the question. The real problem is that there are so many now involved at the top Level. who are loathe to complain because they are ‘in the system’.As someone who has been involved for more years than I care to remember I am concerned about the continual decline in the Union in which I am mostly involved I really have to ask ‘did anyone take notice of my comments a few seasons ago about the emperor’s new clothes.? This is not a rhetorical question. When I look at my grandson I do wonder will there be cricket for him to enjoy in the 2020s. The ‘vibs’ that I get from the hierarchy says ‘no’ But hey - we are a Teat Nation and those at the top will have the attainment of such status on their CVs should they move on

Response

Ed...
Our Union is thriving at many clubs and I have plenty of evidence during the past season.Yes, a couple of clubs have challenges and we need to help them, but overall the clubscene is strong and I admire the hard work of coaches throughout our Union. I assume your comments are more directed at CI and yes, I find in strange that the work of the Interprovincial Development Officers has been dismissed as it sends a different message from CI. The passage to improve and develop comes from grassroots, and everyone would be stupid to think otherwise. We are not dealing stupid people so perhaps more transparency is needed to share the reasons or a strategic plan to advance at this level. We can't advance without grassroots thriving in the Provinces.
On the question of professionalism we live in this era and whether we like it or not, we have to live in the current. The Ireland rugby team has never been better and Ulster rugby thrives with lucrative revenue and heavy sponsorship. The grassroots have certainly suffered in Ulster, but I'm not sure we are comparing apples with apples? Best for cricket to get their own act together irrespective and it starts with grassroots, in much the same as rugby too.

Gilbert Alexander

Lurgan

16th Oct 2018

Thanks for follow up.after enquiry at donacloney c c was able to get a copy . sorry for not letting you know sooner . thanks again

Response

Ed...
Great! Hope you enjoy it.

Keith Montague

Clogherhead Co Louth

8th Oct 2018

Thanks Ed, I've been catching up on scorecards missing from my 2018 score-books and writing scores from my other love which is snooker, pool and billards games from all leagues and international events. Both of the sports are enjoyable and lasts for hours which is a good and keeps the mind ticking over all year round. Ed is their any cricket clubs in the Northern region with snooker or pool associations that are aligned with each other.
One thing you failed to respond with was "I told you so" with Waringstown winning the Irish Senior Cup you said that the cup would end up North so true you were or were you being diplomatic

Response

Ed...
Keith, I'm always a diplomat. LOL
Not sure about the snooker connection with cricket, but I know North Down has a pool table but not aligned.

Gilbert Alexander

Lurgan

8th Oct 2018

Thanks and congrats to Clarence Hiles after reading his comments regarding.2018 where can I purchase history of N C U book

Response

Ed...
Are any of your friends at the AGM tomorrow night? I could deliver it. (No Charge)

Keith Montague

Clogherhead Co Louth

8th Oct 2018

Hi Ed it has been a while since my last posting and congrats to CIYMS in the Premier, Lisburn in Section 1 and Templepatrick in Section 2 and in the cups well done to Waringstown in winning both of the regional Finals and also in the Irish Senior Cup (you got your wish saying the cup could head north and it did just that) and to every one else who won well done, and those relegated in Leagues and runners up in Cups hard luck and bounce back next year (like Lisburn did this year).
In the Womens area congrats to Muckamore on the League success and to Lurgan on the Cup win.
2018 season has passed now and to all those men and women who have retired from playing and umpiring a good and happy retirement to all and to the new kids starting it is all ahead of you and for all those who passed on during the season we will remember them
For any one out there without a Sky or BT television there will be live commentaries on all of Ireland Womens matches in the T20 World Cup and all others on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Xtra and 4 Long Wave on certain ones on BBC Radio and all of the Aussie domestic T20 comps men and women and Internationals aswell.
Also a TMS Social will be done during the Sri Lanka tour by England as Talksport has the rights, only on their digital station of Talksport 2 so can not be gotten in the Republic but can do in the North (someting akin to the defunct Test Match Sofa) but gurellia cricket will provide alt commentary online

Response

Ed...
Thanks Keith. You have been quiet!

Richard white, NCU PRO

NCU Headquarters

8th Oct 2018

Northern Cricket Union Autumn/Winter Regional Development Sessions

This week 350 junior cricketers from more than 28 clubs and schools will receive invitations to attend regional coaching sessions, to be undertaken by over 20 Northern Cricket Union coaches. Ranging from Under 9's to Under 17's (boys and girls) and undertaken in 3 locations: Antrim Forum, Ulster University Jordanstown Sports Centre and Wallace High School, these regional development sessions which started in 2012 have gone from strength to strength.
Commenting on the programme, NCU Cricket Operations Manager, Uel Graham, said ‘this is the foundation of our winter programme where clubs and schools can nominate players, across all age groups who they believe have potential, to attend coaching sessions from our dedicated coaching team. The NCU also welcomes club coaches to attend and observe these sessions so that we can share some best practices on a wider scale. We have increased and strengthened our coaching pool, with Knights players, James Cameron Dow and Rob McKinley, and current Premier League player, Andrew Cowden, who all undertake coaching duties at their clubs, adding their expertise at a regional level. Michael Clark, from New Zealand, who was a professional at Carrick, Woodvale, Lisburn and North Down in the 1990's, and is a Level 2 coach, has relocated to Northern Ireland, and has also joined our team.
Within the girls coaching team, senior NCU women players, Staci Maxwell and Becky Hall will be formally involved for the first time, bringing their player experience to the junior girls programmes.

Callum Atkinson who was Lead Coach at Under 13 level has moved up to Under 15's, and Stephen Dyer, who has worked across the junior age groups as volunteer and coach, has stepped up to lead the Under 13's, whilst Peter Bates (Under 9), Andy McCrea (Under 11) and Nigel Jones (Under 17) continue their good work as Lead coaches.

The commitment of coaches, parents and administrators at club and school level are all fundamental to the success of this programme and hopefully it will have a positive impact on club participation levels, and also to the ability levels of the players who attend these sessions as part of their cricketing journey, which can be undertaken in a safe and fun environment.’
NCU Chairman, Alan Waite, said, 'the NCU has continued to develop and enhance the development program over the last five years and we are delighted that this winter will see record numbers of nominations from the clubs. The expanded nature of the winter schedule has required the introduction of a number of new coaches all of whom already contribute massively to their respective clubs and who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to help support those who have done so much to establish the coaching program'.

Richard White, NCU PRO

NCU Headquarters

1st Oct 2018

The Annual General Meeting, taking place at the Civic Centre, Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn, on Tuesday 9 October 2018, commencing at 7.30pm.

Any further queries should be directed to Bryan Milford, General Secretary of the Northern Cricket Union. Mobile: 07828 182090

Ryan Haire

North Down CC

27th Sep 2018

North Down Coach Craig Yelverton leads the Futura Sports Agency Academy and would like to invite any prospective cricketer over the ages of 17 who is looking take their pre season to a new level to join our program based in Durban South Africa. Have a look at our video from this year's program and get in touch.
Craig can be contacted via email -
craigwy@futurasports.co.za
YouTube video -
https://youtu.be/EpwCI_SMWyY

Ivan Mc Combe

Sunny Carrickfergus

24th Sep 2018

I was reading at the weekend that there is a growing demand from the IFA towards playing Irish League games from February to October .
What effect do readers of the Forum think this could have on local cricket?

Response

Ed...
Two different breeds Ivan. The IFA wants to cash in on the terrific summer this year, but it only happens every 25 years. Summer football has been brandied about for many years, and I wonder will the footballers be in reverse and play winter football? Also, where will the footies get a tan on their holidays with their wives and kids?
Few footballers watch cricket and vice-versa. In fact, few cricket supporters watch cricket. Look at Stormont when the Afghans visited.

Cricket Ireland

Cork

21st Sep 2018

Board confirms Malahide to host England ODI in 2019 and other outcomes from recent Board Meeting
CORK – The Board of Cricket Ireland has confirmed that Malahide Cricket Club in Dublin has been designated as the venue to host a one-day international against England in May 2019, as part of a wider-ranging endorsement of a plan to overhaul venue allocation policies and procedures for marquee fixtures, at its recent Board Meeting held at Cork County Cricket Club on 12 September 2018.
The one-day international (ODI), to be held on Friday 3 May 2019, was initially announced in June 2018 as part of the release of the ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP), with the Board now confirming that Malahide will be the host venue (subject to finalisation of terms with the host club).
The allocation of the fixture was part of the Board’s broader consideration of venue allocation policies, with an overhaul of procedures now underway ahead of the first full year as part of the FTP, with further announcements in due course for the remainder of the 2019 programme
Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:
“We are, of course, looking forward to our first Test match against England at Lord’s Cricket Ground in July 2019, but we are equally eagerly anticipating hosting England in an ODI here in Ireland ahead of the Test.
“We expect there will be immense interest in the match, as it will be seen by England as a key part of their preparations ahead of the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England. We look forward to working with, and continuing to enjoy the generous support of, Malahide Cricket Club, Fingal County Council and other local stakeholders for what should be another great cricket event.”
“Planning is underway for this encounter and we would anticipate tickets going on sale before the end of 2018.
“As it stands, in 2019 we will have four Full Member national men’s teams visiting our shores, playing in different formats. The importance of venue allocation for these fixtures is crucial in providing the best conditions we can for our national side, while trying to manage the usual wear-and-tear that pitches endure over a season for the inter-provincial sides and clubs that also use those grounds.
“The Board considered this issue in detail and has endorsed the development of a new Match Allocation Policy for international and Inter-Provincial matches in Ireland. This move recognises the increased demand on our international-rated grounds given our entrance into the FTP.”
“We currently have just four international-rated grounds in Ireland – Malahide, Clontarf, Stormont and Bready. The challenge of using club grounds for international matches is that when it comes to access, infrastructure and pitch quality there are competing demands and expectations between users of those grounds.”
“As part of the discussions, the Board raised the matter of recent comment on the standard of pitches at Stormont. I said the day after we became a Full Member last year that our biggest deficit in infrastructure and human resource was in facilities, and it would take years to change. We have invested thousands in new ground covers, people and transportation of equipment / experienced ground-staff this year to offset the impact of poor weather, but we know being on a par with the older Test nations in the whole area of playing facility development, preparation and management is a much longer-term project.”
“Managing pitch conditions and facilities in general, and taking a strategic approach to where we host matches – taking into consideration pitches, home advantage, revenue generation, cost and geographical spread – will become ever more important with increased international matches over coming years. This is also why we are also exploring the construction of a new cricket stadium – not to take international matches away from existing venues, but rather to provide dedicated, durable cricket facilities and to spread the fixture load across our already busy grounds.”
Next year will be the first full year that Ireland is part of the FTP, but Deutrom sees the programme as an opportunity for Ireland to ensure its policies and facilities are fit-for-purpose.
“One of the operational frustrations of having been outside of the FTP was this very constraint on our ability to plan forward in terms of allocating venues. This had the knock-on impact for domestic fixture scheduling and short-to-medium term financial modelling. Now, with our entrance into the FTP, we are in a position to know our marquee fixtures for the foreseeable future, and allocate matches to venues accordingly. We see this providing benefits in relation to venue planning, building a case for venues to engage with funding authorities to seek infrastructure development funding, and enabling us to market/promote our sport with greater certainty,” said Mr Deutrom.
“The Board has recognised that our existing Match Allocation Policy was drawn up five years ago when the Irish cricket landscape was very different to now – in particular the quantity of major matches to allocate, our ICC status, the hosting of Test cricket, and developments in ICC venue standards.”
“The Board’s decision will enable Cricket Ireland to work closer with Provincial Unions and clubs to create a sustainable network of cricket venues across this island.”