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COVID-19 Safety Officer


16th Jun 2020

Hi Andy, it would appear that those in the Leinster Cricket Union have availed of the sanitisation kit free of charge (according to a recent tweet from LCU) whereas we have had to fork out just shy of £200 to purchase the same kit to enable our club to train.

Andy Kennedy

Costa del Buckba

14th Jun 2020

A lot of information in the 2 recent postings that takes some studying! One question that arises from Elaine Nolan's posting about a "package of supports" being made available - are these "supports" going to be provided to clubs in all Unions and free of charge?



9th Jun 2020

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed interim changes to its playing regulations, which include the ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball and allowing home umpires in international series.
The ICC Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) ratified recommendations from the Anil Kumble-led Cricket Committee, aimed at mitigating the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus and protect the safety of players and match officials when cricket resumes.
COVID-19 Replacements: Teams will be allowed to replace players displaying symptoms of COVID-19 during a Test match. In line with concussion replacements, the Match Referee will approve the nearest like-for-like replacement.
However, the regulation for COVID-19 replacements will not be applicable in ODIs and T20Is.
Ban on applying saliva to the ball: Players will not be permitted to use saliva to shine the ball. If a player does apply saliva to the ball, the umpires will manage the situation with some leniency during an initial period of adjustment for the players, but subsequent instances will result in the team receiving a warning.
A team can be issued up to two warnings per innings but repeated use of saliva on the ball will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side. Whenever saliva is applied to the ball, the umpires will be instructed to clean the ball before play recommences.
Non-neutral umpires: The requirement to appoint neutral match officials will be temporarily removed from the playing conditions for all international formats owing to the current logistical challenges with international travel. The ICC will be able to appoint locally based match officials from the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Officials and the Emirates ICC International Panel of Match Officials.
Additional DRS reviews: The CEC has also confirmed an additional unsuccessful DRS review for each team in each innings of a match, keeping in mind that there may be less experienced umpires on duty at times. This will increase the number of unsuccessful appeals per innings for each team to three for Tests and two for the white-ball formats.
The ICC Cricket Operations team will support Match Referees when processing Code of Conduct breaches, and a neutral Elite Panel match referee will conduct any hearing remotely via video link.

Cricket Ireland


9th Jun 2020

Elaine Nolan, Participation Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
"Today is an important one for cricket in Ireland – while we still have a while to go until competitive club cricket returns, the return to training step is a crucial one in salvaging what was once considered to be a likely lost season. It's been heartening to see so many from the cricket community pull together over recent months and help their clubs, their communities and the sport during a time of strain and uncertainty for all."
"The detailed set of protocols released today provides clubs, players, coaches, volunteers and families of cricketers guidance on how they can begin to re-engage with the sport in a safe and healthy way – minimising the risk of spread of the virus. This next stage, more than ever, will need to see us all working together for the good of the game and the health of the community."
"We felt strongly that we should give clubs the best chance to get started as quickly as possible - bearing in mind how different this season's restart would be from normal – so we have put together a package of supports for clubs to avail of that includes the provision of online education, signage and subsidised hygiene starter packs, risk assessment, cleaning checklists and booking templates, as well as advice on zoning configurations for training that complies with current Government directives on social distancing. In addition to relying on the advice of sporting and health experts, we have also adopted the recommendations of the International Cricket Council around starting with one-to-one training routines in the early stages. Measures like this are under constant review and we will be working closely with the Provincial Unions in order to increase training sizes in the coming weeks."
"We would also remind clubs that, in line with recent government announcements, electronic records of attendees at all training sessions must be maintained to support Contact Tracing work."
Clubs will to need to register through an online form for the Covid-19 Education and Awareness Training (see link).
If a club's nominated COVID-19 Safety Officer has already completed accredited COVID-19 Safety training through an alternate provider they are not required to complete the Cricket Ireland course. However, details of the alternate course completed must be lodged with their Provincial Union.
Provincial Unions have appointed COVID-19 Safety Support Officers who are assigned to clubs in their regions, and will be supporting clubs back to activity. While we have developed an approved set of protocols and provided guidelines for implementation, our strong advice to clubs prior to restarting any coordinated activity is to contact your insurer and discuss any matters regarding liability in regards to individual policies. Cricket activity should not resume until a club is set up to comply with the requirements in the return-to-train protocols.The detailed documents are now available at: and any enquiries or issues that arise should be directed to Provincial Unions via the nominated COVID-19 Safety Support Officer.


over looking the square

26th May 2020

section 1 cricketer
yes there is a difference between section 1 and premier league I mean a good junior 1 side will beat most section 1 teams no disrespect intended but remember the premier league is not great pros and overseas players who now either live here or have Irish passports dominate week in week out with a few home grown players contributing the odd time not great crowds unless it's a t20 some players really do think they are better than they are. I think a 10 team premier league should be given the green light may not be the walkovers the big guns think.


NCU Headquarters

25th May 2020

NCU Update to Clubs - 24th May 2020
The NCU provides the following update to clubs:
The NCU welcome confirmation from Cricket Ireland today that a submission has been made to both Sport Ireland and Sport NI regarding a return-to-training for cricket across Ireland and Northern Ireland in Phase 2 / Step 2 of the respective government roadmaps to reopening.
We also welcomed the publication today of the Sport NI 'Getting Back to Sport - Framework' and in particular the inclusion of cricket within Step 2 of the NI Executive's Coronavirus Recovery. This provided some clarity in respect of the return to cricket in the steps ahead for sport in the NI context, which helped to finalise the Cricket Ireland submission.
As outlined by Cricket Ireland the submission has been developed in collaboration with health and sports authorities, Provincial Unions, as well as in liaison with other sports in Ireland, other cricket boards and using draft ICC guidelines.
The NCU will continue to work with Cricket Ireland, the Provincial Unions and the relevant government departments to finalise the protocols for 'Return to Cricket' and we hope to be in a position soon to announce the first step in returning to cricket training.
Cricket clubs so far have been excellent in supporting the guidelines and these high levels of compliance will aid us in our proposals to Sport NI/Sport Ireland. We would remind clubs to continue to follow the guidelines and not to operate any cricket activity or training during Step 1 of the Northern Ireland Executive's Coronavirus Recovery Plan. This directive also applies to Phase 1 of the Government of Ireland's Roadmap To Reopen SocietyWe will discuss the practicalities with clubs when the protocols are approved. Details of how we will do this will be communicated to clubs in due course.



23rd May 2020

I have to agree with Section 1 cricketer. I cannot see the point of diluting the quality of cricket in both the PL and Section 1 by increasing the number of teams.
Having played in the PL in a promoted side, the novelty of losing and more importantly not competing wears off quickly.
It would be interesting to hear the views of clubs in section 1 it is likely to effect.

Section 1 cricketer

Desperate for some cricket

22nd May 2020

Please tell me what advantage there is in 4 section 1 teams playing premier league cricket at a level clearly too high for them.
Interested to hear everyone else’s opinion on the matter. I can imagine some premier league players licking their lips at the thought of boosting their averages but look at previous season results in the challenge cup and you’ll see section 1 teams will be in a hiding to nothing.
They won’t be able to afford a pro to compete. Most teams are carrying 3 or 4 players as it is (me being one of them) I can see this putting a lot of players off playing 1st eleven cricket. I’m bemused.


I have to say I'm bemused too.
And yes, if the weaker clubs want to aspire to the highest level they probably need to recruit from more players and/or a professional. Several clubs obviously don't, either because they can't afford the funds or they simply want to play in an amateur culture. Those teams are certainly in for a hiding. Is this a progressive move I also ask?



16th May 2020

The NCU Board provides the following update to clubs:
On Tuesday 12th May 2020 the NI Executive announced its approach to decision making to gradually ease the restrictions currently imposed upon us. This included a section specifically addressing sport, cultural and leisure facilities setting out a five stage plan. No indicative dates have been given for the introduction of any of those stages.
We can surmise that the first possible step when we might resume some cricket activity could be at step 2 with "the resumption of team sports training in small groups", then in larger groups at step 3. It remains to be seen whether the resumption of matches will be at step 4.
In support of the Executive's phased approach Sport NI is developing a "sports sector framework for recovery" to act as a high level guide for sports as they consider their specific plans for resumption. This should be available next week.
In the meantime, Cricket Ireland has been leading the development of a "Back to cricket training/playing" protocol in consultation with health experts, sports authorities, players/officials and the Provincial Unions. This has to address the tricky balance between the public health requirements that must be met to allow for the protection of everyone involved including the wider community, and the desire to have meaningful and enjoyable cricket activity without unduly onerous conditions. This will have to be agreed with Sport NI and the NI Executive before any resumption of cricket can take place.
We announced previously that cricket activity would be suspended until at least 28th May 2020. The NCU Board met on 14th May and decided that the suspension of all cricket activity will continue until we receive clarity from Sport NI and the NI Executive. We will also take into account the responses of clubs to our suggested programme for cricket in what will be, at best, a truncated season.
In addition, it was agreed that registrations and starrings should not be required from clubs until such times as there is clarity around the date for recommencement of competitive cricOur priority is to support our clubs to deliver elements of outdoor cricket in a responsible way that does not comply to League Restructuring Consultation
We have received responses from almost every club to the proposals for the restructuring of the Robinson Services Premier and Senior Leagues. We are grateful for the time and thought given to this subject by our clubs. There was overwhelming support for change. However, some suggestions for variations to the proposals were also received principally relating to the number of teams in each league was also clear that many clubs did not wish for the proposals to take effect until season 2022 and the Board has agreed with this.The Board has now asked the Domestic Cricket Directorate to review the proposals in light of the responses working towards proposals for change to be tabled at this years' AGM, for implementation in the 2022 season.

Jeff Maguire

great see rain help the grass seed on boundary extensions.

29th Apr 2020

Editor i think its fantastic work the NCU done producing the document for the way forward well done everyone involved. Only my opinion but id add 2 up 2 down and no league fixtures in April allowing for chance of proper pre season friendlies and possible away tours involving North west or Dublin or UK .
Was speaking to our unpaid groundsman who is working at the meadow over 56 years he is now a sprightly 82 year old and still fit cut the square and prepare wickets Tommy Curlett . Tom told me about the local trades league in county down Dundrum played Minerstown over three saturdays 2 innings Downshire cup final at Ballykinler Army camp which Dundrum won and still hold the cup.
We update on our club with such a superb march and spring we got the new fantastic electric scorebox built just waiting on plaster coming to finish as the whole building was done voluntary by two young Curlett brothers bricklayer Jim 76 and joiner Bobby 74 and Jack another 81year old is assistant groundman and the club is indebted to this family who all played and are still paying membership fees as they proper stalwarts of a great village club .The scorebox will have free full wifi as the meadow has full wifi coverage from the gate entrance and kettle for tea and coffee for the scorers and hopefully a mini fridge .The treasurer a younger stalwart at only 58 Stephen Calvert is the brains and driving force of all our plans from Wifi to boundary extensions and scorebox to the next phase 2021/22 a new 2 bay fully enclosed net facility and most will be amazed at the changes as they turned the square around and boundary extensions and drainage completed new trees replanted .
The club is proud that they held their first NCU Minor Lindsay cup final last year and got great feedback from Ncu & NIACUS and both finalists Woodvale and Instonians as the club have much improved facilities with covers and double sight screens at both ends and look forward to holding more in future .


Thanks Jeff. You are doing great at Dundrum especially with the Curlett family , Stephen Calvert and of course, yourself! All we need!
On the Trades Cricket League, I've heard about it, but we need more details to publish in UC. Especially when you won it!
My Grandfather was Jimmy Calvert born and bred in Derryboye close to Killyleagh. He survived the Battle of the Somme. There are other Calverts in Derryboye. Has Stephen any connections?



23rd Apr 2020

Forgetting about cup competitions below senior and junior cup is a disgrace they can be played if we get any cricket at all if each team is playing each other only once and they should be the only trophies available no league trophies should be given out but when does the ncu give a toss about the lower teams


I don't agree with your NCU opinion. The lower leagues start as grassroots and only fools would neglect them. The NCU are not fools. Setting this aside, the NCU are in a difficult predictament. They want cricket asap, but are dependent on circumstances beyond their control and provisionally planning for events that may or may not happen, dependent on Covid-19 being resolved. Dave, I'm sure you share with the frustrations too, and I'm also sure clubs will be able to air their opinions prior to events and tournamants. As for my humble opinion, I think the cups should take place in the lower leagues and teams will decide whether to play or not. If indeed there is cricket. These are unprecented times.

Aaron Kernohan


20th Apr 2020

Very interested to read some of the info that's appeared lately on the site regarding the various Ulster Leagues as it happens to link in with a bit of a mystery that has cropped up. I recently found some trophies in my late grandfather Roy Braidner's stash from 1953 (league and cup winners) and 1954 (Cup winners).
Having done some research on Twitter it appears they relate to Albert Foundry Recreation Association. This ties in well as my grandfather was an employee of Mackies. It was suggested (by Ian Johnston) that perhaps they were part of an industrial league from that time?

If anyone can shed any further light on this it would be much appreciated, and I'd like to thank the many who replied via twitter and got me this far!

(Photos of the trophies are available here: )


Aaron, Very interesting and you have a number of good 'leads.' With the Woodvale connections, Davy Scott has a number of photos and if his name is in the match against St Mary's that would greatly help. There are a lot of photos in that era. It could be Belfast Cricket League or perhaps the Larne League with the same name? If he lived overseas for a time I suspect the little shields may be somewhere else? You'll need more investigation. Good luck.

Robin Walsh

UC Headquarters

19th Apr 2020

Basil McNamee
Most saddened to learn of Basil McNamee’s death: such an admirable servant of the game at local and national level.
I had the pleasure of playing on the same Foyle College side with Basil and elder brother Derek back in the ‘50s and, without doubt, it was the best school team in the country - for two obvious reasons. A few years later I was to experience the brothers’ talent in opposition when they distinguished the North side of the ‘60s. No doubt whose side I’d rather be on. I rekindled my friendship with Basil in more recent times when he became president of the NCU and then Irish cricket: always a pleasure to enjoy his company and his insights into the game. Alas, the current crisis facing the community will no doubt rob us of sharing our memories at a public tribute. This will obviously add to the pain of members of Basil’s family to whom I extend my sincere sympathy.
Robin Walsh


Yes, very sad indeed. Basil was a lovely person and distinguished himself in many different roles particularly in cricket and golf and as a doctor. He played cricket for Queen's University, North of Ireland and Dungannon, when he worked in the hospital. He and his three sons played for Dungannon CC, and that was a big asset at the time. He was a great Ambassador of the NCU and Irish cricket.
Rest in Peace, Basil.

David Skelton

Queensway, Derriaghy

14th Apr 2020

Many thanks for including article on our club's Centenary year on your Features page. Not only us but everyone will remember the year 2020 for the rest of our lives. Stay safe.


Ed - No problem David, pleasure to do it for your Club. #Stay safe & well

Michael Kennedy


26th Mar 2020

Stuart, there was a press release by the ECB giving some guidelines.