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Bryan Milford, NCU


18th Mar 2020

As you know the NCU suspended all cricket activity until 29 March at the earliest based on advice from Cricket Ireland.
This is a complex and novel situation both for the Union and our clubs. I want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and planning for a number of eventualities.
NCU Action
The health and wellbeing of staff, coaches, volunteers and players is a key priority and the Union has taken the following actions:
• Staff are working remotely from home and conducting meetings via conferencing or telephone;
• All training sessions, coaching courses and schools’ programmes are suspended until at least 29 March;
• Cancellation of non-essential travel for staff.
We know clubs and players are anxious about the impact on domestic cricket and the season ahead and here is the up-to-date situation.
Domestic and Inter-provincial Cricket
At this stage we cannot provide any certain information on a possible change to the start date for competitions. However, we are closely monitoring the situation and looking at contingency plans for various scenarios, including different start dates. We will of course look at the impact on clubs and the integrity of our competitions as part of these contingency plans and consult with clubs before any action or plans are agreed
Club Training
Based on advice from Cricket Ireland, the Union suspended all cricket activity until 29 March 2020 at the earliest. We recommend clubs also adhere to these guidelines and suspend all club training for both youths and seniors until this date. We will issue a further update closer to 29 March.
Registration of players should be submitted by 15 April. The General Secretary will be issuing the necessary forms to clubs shortly. However, there is no need to submit starring lists until we have a start date for the season, and we will keep in touch with clubs on this.
Club Fees
At this time of year clubs are invoiced for affiliation fees, advance of registration fees and umpire costs.
It is recognised that this will be a difficult time financially for clubs, therefore the initial invoice will only be for affiliation fee of £25.
Collection of advance on registration fees and umpires’ costs will be dependant on the start of the season.
Overseas Players
We are unable to provide any guarantees or assurances regarding the entry into the country of overseas players or the potential quarantine period they may face on arrival. Clubs will want to check what contractual arrangements they may have entered into with overseas players.
We would advise clubs to monitor UK Government advice on travel both in and out of the country. This is a situation that is changing rapidly and clubs should monitor Government advice.
Ongoing Updates
We appreciate how close we are to the start of the season and that clubs are eager to put plans in place. The Union will continue to monitor developments and update clubs as appropriate.
Angela Platt (General Manager)
and Bryan Milford (General Secretary) are available to answer queries from clubs.
Our priority just now should be one another’s wellbeing. So please concentrate on keeping well and hopefully we will be playing cricket soon.
Sam Beckett



14th Mar 2020

Coronavirus Update
Following our statement yesterday in respect of Covid 19 (Coronavirus) we wish to update you. Having considered the advice from Cricket Ireland and the relevant public authorities, NCU has undertaken the following actions:
The NCU Office has now been closed to staff and visitors from 5pm this evening – working from home procedures have been established, and staff are contactable by phone or email during normal business hours (except Tuesday 17th March, which is a public holiday for the NCU Office and recognised as a statutory holiday for NCU staff);
We will endeavour to fulfil external business meetings during the period when the office is closed by phone or video conferencing, as appropriate;
We will cancel any non-essential travel by staff during this period;
All cricket activity led by NCU staff has been postponed and we have been advising the relevant organisations and individuals involved;
There is a vast amount of information available regarding COVID-19, but the following websites contain regularly updated information both in the UK and ROI.
Anyone with suspected symptoms of Coronavirus should follow Government health advice and:
Isolate themselves from other people – this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone.
Dial 111 in the UK or 112 in ROI to report your symptoms and seek advice.
In a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) dial 999.
If you have any concerns regarding a potential Coronavirus case at your club, dial 111 in the UK and 112 in ROI
At this stage the steps that we have taken also relate to NCU planned activities up to 9th April 2020. We will continue to actively monitor developments on a day-to-day basis, and provide further updates as appropriate.
Sam Beckett
Chairman, Northern Cricket Union



13th Mar 2020

Due to ongoing concerns and developments regarding COVID 19, the NCU has decided to postpone this event (NCU Golf Day), but with plans to reschedule in the autumn, following guidelines from both Cricket and Golfing National Governing Bodies.
Whilst we are disappointed to convey this message, we believe in doing so early is the correct course of action.
The NCU have been liaising with Royal Belfast Golf Club and we hope to be able to confirm a revised date in early April, and we will convey this as soon as we possibly can.
We hope that you will understand why we have taken this course of action and look forward to your involvement at the rescheduled event.
Sam Beckett
Chairman, Northern Cricket Union



13th Mar 2020

NCU has agreed to follow the Cricket Ireland protocol & all cricket activity is to be postponed until 29th March.
As a result there will be no further Regional Development Squad sessions until further notice.
NCU will continue to monitor the situation & will update in due course.

Cricket Ireland


12th Mar 2020

The health and safety of players, staff, coaches, families and volunteers within the cricket community is our key priority, and we will take all necessary actions to do our part in limiting the spread of the Coronavirus.
As a result of the clear advice from public authorities, Cricket Ireland will undertake the following actions:
• The Cricket Ireland Office will be closed to staff and visitors from 6pm this evening, until 29 March 2020 – all staff will work with their line managers on establishing working-from-home procedures, and conducting meetings via video conferencing;
• We will endeavour to fulfil external business meetings during this time by phone or video conferencing, as appropriate;
• We will cancel any non-essential travel by staff during this period;
• All training sessions led by Cricket Ireland coaching staff will be postponed immediately until 29 March 2020;
• An immediate assessment will be made on the scheduled tour to Zimbabwe by the Ireland Men’s senior team, with an announcement made in due course.
Furthermore, Cricket Ireland will liaise with Provincial Unions on their own emergency plans to ensure a consistent approach is being taken across the Unions and the 117 clubs across Ireland. The Unions will also postpone all training and schools programmes until 29 March 2020.
While we are not in the regular season for cricket at this stage, we are conscious that most clubs will have a scheduled programme of pre-season activity underway. We appreciate this disruption may inconvenience many, however, we believe it is in the best interests of both the cricket family and the wider community, and we sincerely thank everyone in advance for their cooperation and understanding.
We will continue to actively monitor developments on a day-to-day basis, and provide further updates over the coming weeks.

Terry Mccloskey


8th Mar 2020

I wonder when the ncu will deliver the inevitable news that League cricket is suspended this year


Let's hope not. We survived two horrendous World Wars in the last century when millions died. It can't be any worse.

Andy McCrea

Templepatrick CC

6th Mar 2020

Templepatrick CC are renewing our Public Liability and Personal Accident Insurance are wondering if their is anyone out there interested in giving us a competitive quote, or has anyone any good contacts.
I so please get in touch with me on
Andy McCrea



4th Mar 2020

My earliest competitive memory in cricket was from the Parks league.
As a boy of 10 I learnt to keep the score but before every game I counted the number of players.
Only 10 today so I am on the team.
Batting11 of course.
Ninth wicket goes down I walk to the crease with oversized pads and bat. Instructions were stay in line and push forward.
What seemed to me like Freddy Trueman racing into bowl.
With eyes firmly closed I pushed forward. An edge ball onto the cinder pitch. Run one game tied call for the second pads slipping off and heavy bat entangled. Disaster as I sprall mid wicket and the throw comes in.
Run out but carried off shoulder high for getting Loopvale a tie.


Any witnesses? LOL
Lovely memory.

John Kerstens

Holywood HQ

3rd Mar 2020

Read Clarence Hiles interesting account of the Belfast Park League now in our features section. Woodvale CC were winners of the league in the first two years of its existence.

John Kerstens


28th Feb 2020

Not long now until the new season!!
Cartwrights Sports can supply all your Club's requirements.
Contact or call him on 07812203281

Clarence Hiles

UC Headquarters

25th Feb 2020

Jim Lindsay
It is with great sadness that former North-West Cricket Union Secretary Jim Lindsay died after illness for some time. He succeeded the late Jim Simpson after he moved to Chairman, and between the two they formed a strong allegiance. Jim Lindsay was often the quiet man behind the scene in his Secretary's role, but he often combined with Treasurer and PRO. He was a great servant of North-West cricket and was much admired for his efficient and unassuming approach to the game. He donned many roles, and when we travelled to North-West Annual Dinners, he was the first to greet us with a big beaming smile. He was a lovely man and a pleasure to be with him.
Our condolences to the family.
Rest in Peace Jim.

Richard White, PRO NCU

Stormont HQ

3rd Feb 2020

Andy McCrea to take up new NCU Coaches Mentor Role
Andy McCrea has agreed to take up a role as ‘Coach Mentor’ to support the growing number of regional and club coaches involved within the NCU. The NCU regional programme now has player development programmes running all year round, with Coaching Camps open to all Clubs running from October to December each year, as well as Performance and Development squads training year round. Last summer, the NCU had over 50 match days across its youth programme, both boys and girls and this number of match days is due to grow again this summer.
The expansion of player development programmes has also required more coaches to support delivery of those programmes. During the Winter Regional Coaching Camps, there were over 30 club coaches involved and this growing number has resulted in the NCU to ask Andy McCrea to undertake this new role, in order to also support coach development through NCU programmes.
Speaking on this new role, Angela Platt, NCU General Manager, said ‘With such growth in coaching numbers and players participating in NCU programmes, we all understand the importance of supporting the development of our growing band of coaches, as well as our players. Andy McCrea has significant experience as a coach educator having been involved with Cricket Ireland Coach Education for over 15 years. As a qualified ECB Level 3 coach Andy has already been working with coaches in their activities and assessment across a wide spectrum of qualifications from ‘Welcome to Cricket’ to ECB Level 2 and 3. Andy has also been a representative coach for over 25 years and has been lead coach with the NCU Boys U11 Performance squad in its current format for over 6 years. We look forward to seeing the positive impact Andy will have through this important role, supporting the development of coaches across the NCU regional programmes.’
Cricket Ireland have recently facilitated an ECB Level 2 course within the NCU region and through Department for Communities investment, the NCU have also been able to host Masterclass Coaching workshops from renowned Level 4 coaches, which our regional and club coaches were invited to attend.
Some of our learning from the recent coach development visit to Surrey CCC highlighted the importance of continuing develop and upskill our regional coaches and enable them to share this knowledge back at their clubs.
Simon Johnston, NCU Pathway Coach, has established methods for knowledge sharing of coach development resources through Dropbox folders and Whats App groups. This enables wider sharing of information and knowledge across the broader coaching group. It has also been great to see some coaches adding material here also as we share knowledge to a wider audience.
Andy’s role will be to provide support to the development of budding coaches, sharing best practice and act as a sounding board for Lead and Assistant coaches across all NCU programmes.
Andy McCrea, commenting on this new role, said ‘I think it’s a superb step in the right direction for the NCU to be investing resources in their coaching workforce and I really am looking forward to working with all the coaches across all the environments. I see this Coach Mentor role as an opportunity to reassure the coaches and the NCU of all the good work that is going on yet also providing challenge and opportunity for coaches to keep developing their skills and the product they provide which will ultimately enhance the players progression.’
In order to focus fully on the Coach Mentor role Andy is coming out of his existing role as Lead Coach for NCU U11 Boys Programme. However, the NCU is delighted that Steven Crothers has agreed to take over the Lead Coach role.


Good luck Andy. Excellent appointment.


Chambers park

31st Jan 2020

If you had to travel from the Craigavon area to Carrickfergus for a midweek match with a 18:30 start, what time would you have to leave at to get to the game on time? I reckon from Portadown it would be leave at or before 5pm and hope that you make it there on time.
The border league is set to play their midweek competition in two pools this season. Three or perhaps four teams (entries are not closed yet) in each pool means that no team will have to travel more than 10 odds miles to an away match. The play offs and final notwithstanding.
It means something when a half dozen cricket clubs in a land packed with layers of governing bodies, cricket development and management personnel has to step outside and arrange their own competition.


Chambers park

15th Jan 2020

Re: SEC 3.
That old proposal for an invitational league that was rubbished so condescendingly from various quarters might have helped this little situation to resolve.

Peter Wood


13th Jan 2020

Gordon Bell
The former Cregagh and Collegians cricketer Gordon Bell has sadly passed away. Gordon played over 30 years for Collegians as an opening batsman and slow bowler. He helped to introduce dozens of young cricketers to Senior Cricket and was a mentor to many in a quiet, unassuming way.
He was on the NCU Grounds Committee for many years and, with his great friend the late Beattie Arlow, brought the ground at Deramore up to Interprovincial standard.
RIP Gordon, a true Gentleman of the sport.


Very sad. Lovely man. I met and played with him many times and always found him an easy-going personality with charm. Something we don't often find in current club cricket. A stalwart of Collegians CC and as Peter says, 'a true Centleman.'
RIP Gordy.