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Was wondering how things are going with the Ireland training sessions at Stormont - or is it Comber? Hearing wee whispers again that even the CEO has been involved!!
Sir Everton Weekes
We feared the worst in the last few weeks after Sir Everton's health had deteriorated. I had the pleasure of being a friend over 25 years and enjoyed so many wonderful experiences. There were no 'airs' about Sir Everton, and he enjoyed life to the full. There were several special memories in Ireland after he had been Knighted by a small group of friends who honored him in 1995, presided by the legendary EDR Shearer. Robin and Dorothy Walsh also hosted him a few years later when he presented the prizes at the NCU Annual Dinner, and he was the special Guest at the North Down CC Dinner to celebrate the Sesquicentenary Celebration in 2007. He loved Ireland and often wanted to return, but his ailing health prevented it. I had the pleasure of introducing many Irish cricket friends to him in Barbados, and he never rejected the many demand placed on him. He loved the visits of Malcolm Brodie, Robin Walsh, Alfie Linehan, Roy Torrens, Colin Barkley and the Irish team et al. He was always in the most accommodating of a Legend, as indeed he was. His cricket records barely scratched on what he has achieved in his lifetime.
As for me, I lost a dear friend.
Rest in Peace Sir Everton
I spent 8 wonderful years as an adopted son of Instonians Cricket Club and made many friends and many enduring get memories of great matches and great people who played or were involved with the club.
The Walsh family were always so welcoming and helpful.
The fact that Johnnie was a similar age to my own son really brought this sad loss home to me.
May God comfort and strengthen you all at this very sad time.
We are sorry to inform you of the sad passing of Jonathan Walsh yesterday after a valiant fight against motor neurons disease. Despite we feared the worst, it still came as a shock for everyone and we remained stunned that we have lost a wonderful young man at the height of his prowess. A former Captain at Instonians, he was immensely popular within the club and throughout Irish cricket. We extend our condolences to his father Brian, a doyen within NCU and Ireland Cricket, to Anne, wife Helen and son Ben, sister Julie and Stephen and their family. Our loss is one of cricket, as he was a joy to be involved prior to his illness which he bore with great courage.
Rest in Peace, Jonathan
Have very rarely felt the need to make an entry on the forum however Joe Vaughan was one of the most warming and compassionate men I’ve met .Him and Pete Reith were something else.
I echo a lot of what of Paul McCrum has said .
However I was a competitor to all he held dear - Armagh Cc and Loughgall FC but his fairness always shown through.
I can remember scoring a few runs or getting a goal against his teams and he always congratulated me.
A personal response but one that highlights the quality of this man who I have very fond memories
Thanks for the article
PS - Thanks Paul and Charlie for the alleged good fielder I became after watching you both bat and bowl to each other and as the young fella I was only there to return the ball
Yes Craig, Joe was a great guy. Lots of people have compimented me on the article as the 'old hands' have their own special memories. I'll do another article about Pete too later in the year. Another terrific man. It seems the Umpires we remember the most!
And they deserve it!
So we are all equal but some are more equal than others - that explains the postings on the CI forum about getting cricket started in Leinster. I think this speaks volumes! £200? What is being supplied? Hazchem suits?
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.
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?
INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL
INTERIM REGULATION CHANGES APPROVED
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.
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: www.cricketireland.ie/covid-19 and any enquiries or issues that arise should be directed to Provincial Unions via the nominated COVID-19 Safety Support Officer.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.