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Further positive COVID-19 tests sees tomorrow's ODI suspended
ABU DHABI – Emirates Cricket Board has advised Cricket Ireland of a further four players who have tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, it has been agreed that tomorrow’s ODI will be postponed.
ABU DHABI – Emirates Cricket Board has advised Cricket Ireland of a further UAE player has tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequently, the two cricket bodies have agreed to postpone tomorrow’s scheduled match until Saturday 16 January 2021.
UAE beat IRELAND by 6 WICKETS
A Paul Stirling unbeaten century – his second in consecutive ODI innings – positioned Ireland well in the first one-day international today, but a clinical run chase by UAE saw the home side achieve its first-ever ODI win over a Full Member.
Near faultless centuries from Chundangapoyil Rizwan and Muhammad Usman steered UAE to victory – their first win over Ireland in the seven ODI clashes between the two sides
Chasing 270, the hosts got off to a shaky start losing their openers, Vriitya Aravind (14) and Zawar Farid (15), inside the first eight overs, with Barry McCarthy accounting for both the wickets.
UAE lost another wicket, when Curtis Campher had Alishan Sharafu caught behind for one in the 13th over, reducing the hosts to 52-3.
Ireland looked in total control before Rizwan and Usman came together and changed the course of the game. The duo made the visitors' bowlers toil, with both the batsmen smashing maiden hundreds.
The visitors kept hunting for the breakthrough - which came courtesy of a sensational catch by Harry Tector in the 46th over – but it was too late. Rizwan (109) had shared a 184-run stand with Usman – the highest by a UAE pair for any wicket in ODIs. Usman reached his hundred in the penultimate over and hit the winning runs, as he remained unbeaten on 105.
Earlier, Irish skipper Andrew Balbirnie won the toss and elected to have a bat first. Openers Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling provided their side a steady start, sharing a 39-run stand before losing O'Brien in the 8th over. He became UAE debutant Kashif Daud's maiden ODI victim, who had the opener clean bowled for 23
The wicket brought Balbirnie to the crease who joined forces with Stirling, and together they stitched a solid century stand, with both the batsmen reaching their fifties along the way. They kept the scoreboard ticking over at a rapid pace en route to a 102-run second-wicket stand, which laid the foundation stone for Ireland’s innings.
Balbirnie, who made his 10th half-century in ODIs, was dismissed for 53. The Ireland captain was looking for a slog sweep but Ahmed Raza managed to turn the ball away, and got the top edge as UAE 'keeper Aravind took an easy catch.
From 141-1, Ireland slipped to 159-4, losing Balbirnie, Harry Tector (6) and Lorcan Tucker (4) in quick succession, with Rohan Mustafa accounting for the last two wickets.
Curtis Campher, the No.6 batsman, contributed with important runs, 24 from 30, before becoming Palaniapan Meiyappan's only victim of the day.
Gareth Delany then joined Stirling in the middle, and together they shifted gears. At the end of the 46th over, Stirling brought up his 10th ODI ton with a single. The duo added 55 runs from the last five overs, lifting their side to a competitive total of 269-5.
Stirling was Ireland's star batsman, smashing a sensational 131* from 148 and also passing 9,000 runs for Ireland across all formats in the process, becoming only the second Irish batsman to reach the landmark after William Porterfield.
We wish you a Happy and Prosperous 2021.
We want Covid-19 ended
We want cricket back to normal
Ireland fixtures 2021
ABU DHABI – All of Ireland Men’s players and support staff have successfully completed their initial quarantine and testing protocols after their arrival in Abu Dhabi last Sunday, and have held their first outdoor training session at the Zayed Cricket Stadium complex ahead of next week’s one-day international series against the UAE.
The squad has been self-isolating in their hotel since arrival and were required to undertake three COVID-19 tests each – which have all come back negative. The 16-man squad will prepare for the four-match series against the UAE with daily training sessions and a warm-up match against a UAE XI on 4 January. The UAE series will then be followed by a three-match ODI series against Afghanistan which will be part of the World Cup Super League.
The international fixtures, which will be played at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, are:
UAE v Ireland – 1st ODI – 8 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
UAE v Ireland – 2nd ODI – 10 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
UAE v Ireland – 3rd ODI – 12 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
UAE v Ireland – 4th ODI – 14 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
Afghanistan v Ireland – 1st ODI – 18 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
Afghanistan v Ireland – 2nd ODI – 21 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
Afghanistan v Ireland – 3rd ODI – 23 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time
The matches against Afghanistan will be part of the World Cup Super League (see below for det
LIVESTREAM / BROADCAST
Matches will be livestreamed via Youtube in Ireland / UK, with further details made available closer to the match days. For the rest of the world, the series with either be shown on satellite television or livestreamed, so please check local guides.
The Ireland Men’s squad is:
Andrew Balbirnie (C), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, David Delany, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
The feature on the late Bob Kerr reminds me of playing for Ballymena against North Fermanagh on a Sunday “tour”in the 70s - concrete pitch with coconut mat - when Bob opened the batting. Great crack with lots of rehydration post-match. The reverse fixture took place the next year and because of the “no Sunday” rule, we played at St. Patrick’s Barracks. They brought their West Indian pro Everton Mattis who hit a spectacular 74 including 5x6s and 10x4s so he didn’t do much running that day. One 6 off Alex McKee went over the wall on the assault course that adjoined the field. He went on to feature on the rebel tour to SA that led to so many changes in the cricket world. Great days and great memories!
So sorry to hear of the passing of my former team member of donacloney cc,I refer to David Carson . superb all rounder and gentleman . sympathy to all the family
Very sad indeed Gilbert. A great stalwart of Donacloney CC and a fine cricketer with both bat and ball. Above all, a true sportsman. I remember when Ian Shields patted the ball to him after he saved the delivery and the Pro bellowed "that's out." Umpire Murray Power shrunk into his collar as he would have to give him out. However, David quietly defused the mayem when he said "We don't play like that at Donacloney." I never forgot it after 40 years. Wonderful sportmanship in the heat of battle! What a lovely man.
Rest in Peace David.
Sorry to hear sad news about Raymond Hunter . sympathy to all the family
It is a sad day for Irish cricket as one of our Legends Raymond Hunter has passed away on Wednesday. He had a long illness over the years, and was 82.
Big Hunter, as he was often called, was a dual International for cricket and rugby, and played in the British Lions in 1962. He won 28 caps for Ireland cricket and 10 for Ireland rugby. He played 12 matches for the British Lions in South Africa.
Ray was born at Dunmurry and after a short term at the local club, then moved to Lisburn and later Lurgan, when three sons Alan, Neil and Graeme joined him at Pollock Park. He was a fine attacking batsman, excellent pace bowler, and terrific in the field. He hit 133 for Lisburn against Woodvale in the 1957 NCU Cup Final, and scored two half-centuries for Lurgan when they beat Muckamore to win the final in 1972. His batting and bowling figures are legendary.
A dashing strong three-quarter at centre or wing, he played for CIYMS RFC and won 10 caps for Ireland in the 1960s. His brother Lawrence was also capped twice, playing for Civil Service RFC.
Raymond was always a forthright visionary at NCU AGMs, and Committees. Not everyone shared his views, and he 'ruffled a few feathers,' but perhaps he was right in many instances when discussing the controvverial Overseas Professions debate. Sadly, his ill health robbed the NCU from his debate, as the discussions have been rumbling for over 40 years.
Our sincere condolences to Maureen and the family.
Rest in Peace Ray.
You are right Clarence he was a lovely man but he was also much more than that. He stood up for everything that was good in cricket. I had the great privilege of playing for Ulster Town with him in 1971.
Sadly missed and I am sure Doc Crothers, Willy Kirk (what a talent), Johnty and everyone else remembers him with affection.
I could add a lot of other names too. Yes, he was much more.
Rest in Peace Billy.
Billy Smith, the Creaghy great, passed away a few months back. He had a wonderful ability to knock batsmen's leg stump back and say goodbye with his wicked smile.
Sad to hear. Billy was a legend at Cregagh. Good Captain as well, and starred in 1975 when they won the league. Lovely man.
Cricket Ireland agrees new Ground Rights deal with ITW Consulting
Cricket Ireland has today announced ITW Consulting Pvt Ltd, a Global consulting and management agency with expertise in international cricket rights and sports media, as Ground Rights Holder for international home matches until 2022.
The agreement covers five home series that are expected to be played from 2021 to 2022, and will see ITW responsible for negotiating sponsor deals covering in-ground signage, 3D mats and boundary ropes. Brands will be able to leverage the exposure created through the global broadcast of men’s internationals, with an estimated reach in the hundreds of millions of viewers.
In July 2020, ITW was announced as the new Ireland Men’s shirt sponsorship rights holder and Official Sponsorship Consultancy Partner, and have previously held the ground rights in Ireland in 2018 for the men’s Test match against Pakistan and the T20I series against India.
Bhairav Shanth, Co-founder, ITW Consulting Pvt. Ltd., said
“ITW has been at the forefront of a lot of opportunities in cricket and this is one of our most exciting because we believe in the potential that the sport has globally. It is rich with possibilities not just in the major cricket playing countries but beyond them too.”
“We are delighted with Cricket Ireland’s paradigm-shifting progress both on and off the field and their well thought out vision for the future is something we are thrilled to be a part of. Through this association, we are committed to enabling Cricket Ireland to realise that vision and grow further as a brand.”
Dennis Cousins, Commercial Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“It is a demonstration of confidence in the strength and growth of Irish cricket to see this deal agreed during what is still an uncertain time for live sport around the world. Bhairav and the team at ITW have proven to be engaged and supportive partners, helping to drive commercial activity that is necessary to see Cricket Ireland and the sport in general to move forward through these difficult times.”
“Saying that, the strength and attractiveness of Irish cricket shouldn’t be under-estimated – the broadcast reach of our men’s home internationals in 2019 alone was approximately 429 million viewers - and with World Cup runners-up New Zealand and South Africa amongst sides visiting our shores in the next two years, this is an exciting time for cricket in Ireland.”
“We look forward to working closely with ITW over this time and seeing some high-level international cricket return to Ireland in coming seasons.”
I don't know any of the issues behind the Downpatrick situation but I remember playing against clubs that folded such as Crossbows, Cloughfern, Crossgar & YMCA to name a few. Players will move clubs to play with their mates but some, to be honest, will move because of an over-inflated opinion of their ability. However the decline appears to me to be more pronounced in recent times. I used to post about the lessons to be learned from the decline in club rugby and others used to moan about my negativity. What is happening in NCU cricket is mirroring Ulster rugby with Leinster players on Ulster & the Northern Knights. Why is there such a gulf between Leinster at all levels and the rest? I watched the Emerging Knights against Leinster this year and there is a wide gulf between the two. I used to read about the number of youngsters at coaching nights. What has happened to them. Another organisation to which I belong is looking at "recruitment & retention". Sadly I think it is too late and the decline will continue. A lot of players during the truncated season just past expressed their preference for the 20 overs games so it might be difficult to enthuse them about a return to 50 over matches. I recall some fantastic days at Strangford Road and one in particular was meeting Colin Cowdrey during the Touche Ross sponsorship of the Senior Cup. Another was the day of the conversation between Ian Houston & Flossie in 1974 that he still reminds me of! Yes it is sad to see how things have turned - but I wish DCC well.
Having been following Section 1 cricket for a number of years - the demise of cricket in Downpatrick has been a long time coming. The side had a core group of players - The Boultwood brothers, Yeates, Smyth to name a few.. However there hasn't been like previous years of any home grown talent through the youth set up since Thomas Magowan (who hasn't played the last 2 years). I also heard that Smyth during the summer had announced he had played his last game for Downpatrick (reasons unknown). You get to look at why. The club has not had any youth sides - how can you expect to maintain as a club never mind grow. The players mentioned above all came from other clubs. You get to wonder where the club may be now if those players did not sign for Downpatrick when they did. From an outsiders view they gave Downpatrick good years of their playing careers. One can understand the want to move on due to the clubs lack of future. My view is that this demise is not due to the above departures but a lack of Youth for the last 5 or so years.
I hope the club can bounce back from this as it is a fantastic club and one of the best venues in Northern Ireland for cricket. A place I have always loved visiting!
What is happening at Downpatrick?
We understand a number of senior players have left the club, and the NCU has been asked, and agreed, to drop to another level. The club has also said, a 2nd XI will not be fielded in 2021, as the club is struggling to field the 1st XI.
We are not acquainted with the details, but obviously something is wrong at the Meadow. Very sad for a variety of reasons, as the club had recent success, and a shame that the Strangford Road ground might fold. And a shame that former stalwarts Alfie Linehan, Noel Ferguson, Bob Law, George Lennon, Dr Billy Ritchie, Eddie Malone, Hugh Linehan and many others, have built this club to the pinnacle of Irish cricket. And what a beautiful clubhouse and ground that hosted many international matches and Senior Cup finals?
Thankfully the NCU has been helpful during this crisis, but we appeal to former players and officials to answer the call.
Downpatrick need help or the town's cricket might be lost forever!