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Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Dublin

11th Mar 2022

Cricket Ireland to enter development squad in 2022 European Cricket Championship
Cricket Ireland has today confirmed that it has agreed to enter a representative team in the 2022 European Cricket Championship in September 2022.
The pan-European competition is the national partner competition to the European Cricket League – a club cup competition which is currently underway.
The competition will feature 21 teams from a range of countries including: Ireland, England, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, France, and Scotland. Teams will be placed into four groups of five teams, with the England XI receiving automatic qualification for finals week.
Ireland’s team will feature in Group A alongside Spain, Austria, Czech Republic and Portugal.
Group A’s fixtures will be played between 12-16 September 2022 at Cartama Oval in Spain. Finals Week will be 10-14 October 2022.
More information at: https://www.ecn.cricket/european-cricket-championship
Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“Cricket Ireland is pleased to be able to send a team to the next European Cricket Championship. We will be putting together an emerging talent squad for what will be a great international cricket experience for a squad of players keen to develop their careers.
“The team behind the European Cricket Championship, and its sister club competition – the European Cricket League – have been exceptional to work with and deliver a great tournament that showcases the growing depth of talent in European cricket.
“We will select the squad in coming months and look forward to the opportunity to compete at a pan-European level once more.”

Response

Ed...
Will it advance Irish cricket I wonder?

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Dublin

10th Mar 2022

€1.5M investment in women's cricket; full-time playing contracts, international fixtures and head coach contract extension
Cricket Ireland today unveiled its first-ever full-time professional contracts for Ireland Women as part of a €1.5M investment in the women’s game – and announced three of the world’s best teams would tour Ireland this summer.
The key announcements at today’s event were:
20 women’s playing contracts have been offered - seven full-time, nine part-time/educational and four non-retainer contracts
Cricket Ireland’s investment in the women’s game is now €1.5M a year – triple the expenditure from pre-pandemic 2019
Ireland Women will host Australia, South Africa and Pakistan at home this summer
Head Coach Ed Joyce has signed a three-year contract extension
PLAYING CONTRACTS
20 playing contracts have been offered in 2022:
International (full-time) contracts
Laura Delany, Shauna Kavanagh, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray, Celeste Raack, Eimear Richardson, Mary Waldron.
Education (part-time) contracts
Ava Canning, Georgina Dempsey, Amy Hunter, Gaby Lewis, Louise Little, Jane Maguire, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Rebecca Stokell.
Non-retainer contracts
Rachel Delaney, Sarah Forbes, Hannah Little, Kate McEvoy.
All full-time contracts commence in March 2022 and represent Ireland’s first-ever fully-professional women cricketers, and just the second women’s national team in Ireland to introduce full-time, year-round playing contracts.
Education contracts are designed to work around players who are at school full-time or studying at a tertiary level. Players on these contracts gain a significant living allowance to ensure they do not need to find a job during their education years, and can instead concentrate on their cricket. Most of these players will be effectively full-time in the summer holidays.
Non-retainer contracts offer players loss of earnings and match fees, 12-month medical and healthcare insurance, sports science support (strength and conditioning, psychology, performance analysis, nutrition and lifestyle management), specialist coaching support, and for ROI-based players, full access to the Sport Ireland Institute.

Cricket Ireland

Dublin

4th Mar 2022

Cricket Ireland offers 12 two-year central contracts as part of improved men's contract system
Cricket Ireland has today confirmed 19 men’s central full-time contracts have been offered in 2022 – 12 of which are two-year deals.
This year will see the reintroduction of two-year contracts which were last used in 2014-15 during the lead up to the Cricket World Cup 2015.
The centrally-contracted full-time men’s players for 2022 are:
Two-year contracts
Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andy McBrine, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
One-year contracts
Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, William Porterfield, Ben White.
Andrew White, Chair of National Men’s selectors, said:
“Central contracts are one of the key tools we have as Selectors, and decision-making around contracts is often guided on two levels of thought – firstly, to identify a group of talented players that we believe will form the core of the national team for the year ahead. Secondly, to identify a cohort of players we believe can be developed into the spine of the senior squad in the medium-to-long term.
“We have a very busy year ahead, and a T20 World Cup at the back end, but player development is also key for us when making contract decisions. Player development, however, is not a quick fix, but a longer-term investment in our players – as such, the Selectors were pleased with the opportunity to offer a number of multi-year contracts in 2022. However, these contracts should not be seen as a rite of passage for selection. While we invest in the playing pool we have, there are players within the central-contracts pool, and outside of it, who are putting pressure on existing first team players – they are just as hungry and keen to succeed.
“An obvious absence from this list is Kevin O’Brien. Kevin knows that the door is still open, and he is still on the Selectors radar. He has made it clear he has the desire to stake a claim for a recall, and we look forward to seeing him back in action at the inter-pro level come May.
“I congratulate all players receiving contracts for 2022, but encourage those outside the group to keep pushing hard. Runs and wickets are the currency, and on-field performance is key. If you perform consistently, I’d like to think that rewards will follow. I wish everyone well for the year ahead as we get into a big home season, then on to a T20 World Cup later in 2022.”

Cricket Ireland

Dublin

4th Mar 2022

Gary Wilson, Ryan Eagleson appointed to national coaching roles
Cricket Ireland has today announced the appointment of former internationals Gary Wilson and Ryan Eagleson to the coaching staff of the Ireland Men’s senior squad as part of structural changes made to the support set-up.
Wilson, 36, a former Irish international T20I captain played 292 times for Ireland. He was appointed North West Warriors head coach in 2021 and led the side to Inter-Provincial T20 Trophy success last year. Wilson has captained and coached at both Derbyshire County Cricket Club and Surrey County Cricket Club, and has been seconded as an assistant coach since September 2021. He will take up the role of High Performance Batting and Wicketkeeping Coach immediately.
Eagleson, 47, a former Irish international seam bowler played for Ireland 65 times, and had stints with Derbyshire, Essex and Glamorgan in the English county system. He has been the Ireland Under-19 head coach – taking multiple squads to Under-19 World Cups, and is one of a few coaches in Ireland with the ECB Level 4 qualification. He has also been the Performance and Pathway coach for the National Academy programme since 2009, and has been seconded as Lead Bowling Coach since September 2021. He will take up the role of High Performance Pace Bowling Coach immediately.
The new coaching structure
The coaching restructure process was initiated after the departure of former National Bowling Lead Stuart Barnes in August last year and of the former men’s head coach Graham Ford. The new coaching structure is one of a number of previously-planned measures which are aligned with the outcomes of the T20 World Cup Review recently undertaken by Portas Consulting, which recommended:
to deepen the provision of high quality coaches that drive player development;
to recruit domestically within Ireland where possible;
to ensure coaches are based in Ireland and able to support player development on a consistent basis; and
to ensure specialist skill-sets are supported.
The new structure sees a National Men’s Head Coach supported by three full-time specialist coaches:
Batting and Wicketkeeper Coach
Pace Bowling Coach
Spin Bowling Coach
The first two coaching roles have been announced today, while the Spin Bowling Coach will be advertised shortly.

Irish Cricket Awards

Dublin

26th Feb 2022

Paul Stirling, Gaby Lewis claim top honours at ITW Irish Cricket Awards 2022
Irish internationals Paul Stirling and Gaby Lewis were announced the men’s and women’s International Player of the Year respectively amongst the 15 categories of awards handed out at the ITW Irish Cricket Awards 2022.
It proved a double-delight night for Lewis as she also claimed the Arachas Super Series Player of the Year, while world-record breaker Amy Hunter took the Emerging Player of the Year award.
Stirling and Lewis also received ICC recognition for their performances in 2021 making various teams of the year, while Hunter has won or been shortlisted for a plethora of national sports awards.
The event was broadcast via Youtube and was hosted by sports journalist and broadcaster Marie Crowe, supported by RTE’s John Kenny and former Ireland Men’s captain Kyle McCallan. Viewers were treated with interviews with each winner, and highlights of the 2021 year in Irish cricket.
Each winner will receive an engraved award designed to the iconic Irish brand, House of Waterford Crystal – an organisation that is proudly extending its generational links with cricket.
THE WINNERS
ITW International Player of the Year – Men
Winner: Paul Stirling
Runners-up: Andrew Balbirnie, Josh Little, Simi Singh
Process: This was a peer-nominated award, with players all awarding 3-2-1 rankings to their teammates after each game.
Hanley Energy International Player of the Year – Women
Winner: Gaby Lewis
Runners-up: Laura Delany, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast
Process: This was a peer-nominated award, with players all awarding 3-2-1 rankings to their teammates after each game.
HBV Studios Inter-Provincial Player of the Year
Winner: George Dockrell
Runners-up: Matt Ford (2nd), William Porterfield (3rd), Andy McBrine (4th)
Process: This was a commentary team-nominated award, with players all awarding 3-2-1 rankings after each game.
Arachas Super Series Player of the Year
Winner: Gaby Lewis
Runners-up: Leah Paul (2nd), Shauna Kavanagh (3rd), Lara Maritz (4th)
Process: This was a commentary team-nominated award, with players all awarding 3-2-1 rankings after each game.
Clear Currency Emerging Player of the Year - Male
Winner: Matthew Humphreys
Citation: Matthew was named Player of the Tournament at the Under-19s World Cup Qualifier in September, and – as can be seen by his performances last month at the ICC Under-19s World Cup, this wasn’t a one-off.
Clear Currency Emerging Player of the Year - Female
Winner: Amy Hunter
Citation: When Irish women’s cricket makes the front page of The Irish Times, you know it was for a significant achievement. And I think we all agree that Amy’s world-record century on her 16th birthday was indeed a significant moment, not only for her personally, but for women’s cricket as a whole.
Tildenet Club of the Yea
Winner: Bready Cricket Club
Shortlist: Balbriggan Cricket Club, Bready Cricket Club, Cork Harlequins Cricket Club, Drumaness Superkings Cricket Club
Citations: You can read citations at bottom of this page
O’Neill’s Club Male Player of the Yea
Winner: Aniruddha Chore (North Down)
Shortlist: DD Barr (Brigade), Aniruddha Chore (North Down), Sunil Gautum (Cork County), John Glass (Ballymena), Theo Lawson (Pembroke), Ruhan Pretorius (Woodvale)
Select citation: Ani is a wicket keeper batsman for North Down CC playing in the NCU Premier League. 2021 was his first season playing club cricket in the NCU after settling in Ireland with his wife. Ani was North Down’s standout player this year and helped North Down get to the NCU Challenge Cup final where he scored a fifty. Ani was the top run scorer in the NCU domestic game with 1157 runs at an average of 77.13. He scored 3 hundreds including a top score of 140* and 7 fifties. Ani was also the top wicket keeper in the NCU with 22 catches, 11 stumpings, and 1 run out. Ani is also a key influence in North Down’s youth section and supports their growing section with quality coaching. Ani is also coaching in the NCU at club development camps and in the NCU talent pathways.
O’Neiil’s Club Female Player of the Year
Winner: Laura Delany (Leinster)
Shortlist: Amy Caulfield (Muckamore), Laura Delany (Leinster), Mollie Devine (Fox Lodge)
Select citation: 2021 was truly a remarkable year women’s cricket in Leinster, and as the overall standard rose however, so too did the performances of Ireland captain Laura Delany, as her exploits for Leinster CC in the 2021 season saw her claim each of the awards for the leading batter and bowler in Division 1, as well as the leading overall all-rounder in all divisions.
Crawford Cup for batting: Delany batted 8 times, amassing 512 runs and getting out on just half of the occasions on which she batted, resulting in an amazing average of 128. The highlight of Delany’s season was undoubtedly her unbeaten century against Merrion in the Senior Cup semi-final at Anglesea Road in mid-July.
Harrison Cup for bowling: Delany’s haul of 14 wickets came at an average of just 13.71 across the course of the season, but again she had one truly stand out performance which has helped propel her to the top of the tree on this occasion. In the Pilkington Plate encounter with Phoenix on July 18th – just days after the Senior Cup semi-final mentioned earlier – Delany produced the best bowling figures on record in Senior cricket. She took 8-12 as her side cut their hosts down from 75/2 when Delany entered the attack to be all out for 166.
Howard Cup for the leading all-rounder across all divisions: Delany won the points race comprehensively.
Winning all three cups for Division 1 performance was an unprecedented performance by Laura.
Cricket Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame
Inductee 1: Barbara McDonald
Citation: Barbara was born in Waterford, but helped form Malahide Cricket Club back in 1988 - quickly proving herself to be the outstanding seam bowler of her generation. She played for Ireland Under-19s before winning her first senior cap in 1993 aged 21 against Netherlands. By 1996 she had become a senior team regular and won sixty caps in the following decade. Our inductee saved some of her best performances for the biggest games, taking 3 for 17 against South Africa, 4 for 8 against Pakistan and 4 for 13 against West Indies. In all she played in three World Cups and took 63 wickets at less than three runs an over. She also spearheaded a strong Malahide attack and was a key performer in 2002 when the club won the treble for the first time, taking 2-23 off 10 overs in the Pilkington Plate final against YMCA.
Inductee 2: Angus Dunlop
Citation: Angus began his career with YMCA at 15 in 1982 and only finished at senior level in 2016 with 12,532 runs and 314 wickets. He was one of the brightest stars of a great YMCA side that won almost everything in the 1980s and 1990s. He was first picked for Ireland in 1990, making 69 on debut v MCC and another 50 against Scotland that summer. But he struggled with the bat for several seasons and was in and out of the Irish side, but after a sixth recall to the colours, he finally showed what the selectors saw in him. His career went to another level in 1996. Against Wales he was unlucky to miss his maiden century, scoring 99 and 94, but got there in the next game, against MCC, with a brisk 148. That was the first of his four centuries for Ireland, the most memorable coming against a South African attack that included Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock. Our inductee was an all-rounder in the early part of his career, taking 5 for 26 on debut, but never bowled after 1995. His most memorable moment with the ball came at Castle Avenue when Australia captain Allan Border hit him for 32 in an over. He was appointed captain in 1998 and led his country on 40 occasions. He retired in 2000 and signed off with his fourth century, a chanceless 150 and the highest score for Ireland against Scotland at the time
Inductee 3 (posthumous): Dermott Monteith
Citation: Born in 1943, our inductee had just turned 22 when first picked, as a batsman, for Ireland. He made 54, becoming the first Irish debutant to make a first-innings fifty at Lord’s. While all the batting and appearance records have fallen in the last 15 years, our inductees 326 wickets is still the most taken by an Ireland bowler – and looks unlikely to be overtaken for many years to come. His best of 8-44 also came at Lord’s, against MCC, but he had a phenomenal 27 five-wicket hauls, including 5-31 against a near-Test quality Pakistan International Airlines XI, 5-96 against the 1976 West Indians, and eight wickets in the famous win over Sussex in 1977. His bowling was good enough to be called upon by Middlesex in two seasons when they were hit by international calls to their spinners John Emburey and Phil Edmonds. He fitted in perfectly and helped the county to the championship title. In so doing he showed Irish club players that they were capable of playing in England and a new wave of youngsters won trials and contracts in the years following. A letter addressed simply to “the second best left-arm spinner in the world” was duly delivered by the Royal Mail. Sure, who else would they deliver it to. Later on he became an Ireland selector and was President of the Irish Cricket Union in 1999. After several years of illness he died in 2009
Gibney’s Outstanding Contribution and Service to Irish Cricket
Winner: Michael Sharp
Citation: Sadly, Michael passed away in December having devoted a lifetime of service to cricket. A past President of his beloved Pembroke Cricket Club - Michael's name is synonymous with the oversight & administration of cricket in Leinster and his incredible voluntary contribution extended far beyond his 37 years on Cricket Leinster Committees. Michael’s role in laying the foundations of competition cricket at club level was immense and all those involved in cricket in Leinster owe him a significant debt of gratitude. This award is named in honour of John Wright and he and Michael worked together frequently on cricket matters. There is no doubt of the contribution of John Wright at national and international levels, likewise there should be no doubt of the contribution of Michael Sharp to the game of cricket at club level.
House of Waterford Crystal Volunteering Excellence Award
Winner: Bryan Milford
Quote from judging panel: While Bryan has been involved in cricket his whole life, he has served as General Secretary of the Northern Cricket Union for the last 14 years – and to quote his colleagues he “manages every aspect of cricket in the NCU - from fixtures to finance, and his attention to detail and collaborative approach has helped improve cricket in the Provincial Union and beyond.”. Now the judging panel also wanted to acknowledge a number of other very worthy nominees that were put forward: “Stephen McCartney, Joe Mahoney and Siobhan McBennett. Each of you should be very proud of your contributions and that you were put forward by your peers.”
Techfynder Cricket Official of the Year
Winner: Mary McElwee (scorer)
Citation: Over a number of years Mary has been the leading scorer in the NW region. Scoring for clubs such as Limavady and Ballyspallen Mary has been at the forefront of embracing new ways to score as they become available. She regularly scores for IACUS at International and Interpro level, as well as continuing to take appointments locally for the NW to score youth matches as well as her club scoring. Mary has embraced the various scoring methods, book, Frindall as well as digital scoring via MyCricket, CricClubs and NV Play. Mary is always helpful with developing up and coming scorers as they come through club cricket and is a help to young scorers who are often appointed locally to representative youth games.
Shapoorji Pallonji Outstanding Contribution to Coaching
Winner: Ted Williamson
Citation: Ted's contribution to Munster & Cork Harlequins has no equal within the province. As Reds & Heat coach he has brought together on the pitch a disparate group of players in difficult logistical circumstances. In the 2021 season the Reds & Heat made significant performances to support his efforts against unified and resource rich opponents. As the Harlequins coach he has overseen the development of youth players who are now driving the club forward to AIT finals and punching way above their weight and resources. His personal vision & development of the nets facility at Douglas Community School has been phenomenal. We now have a truly state of the art triple indoor venue that is not only supporting a step change of player development for his club but also shaping the future Reds players and building the skills and ability of other Munster clubs. This vision, insight & determination driving this project, combined with his unmatched coaching skills has given Clubs & Province the opportunity to make a significant step change in on-field performances.
Turkish Airlines Groundskeeper of the Year Award
Winner: Dean Simpson (Lisburn Cricket Club)
Citation: The past decade has seen a significant increase in the standard of the wickets and outfield at Wallace Park. This would not have happened if it wasn’t for Dean’s dedication to improving the cricket playing facilities at the park. In fact, Dean not only overseen improvements at Lisburn, he regularly advises and guides other clubs over matters related to the upkeep or preparation of wickets. Dean also played a prominent role in finding a solution to the issues last March relating to the loam soil crisis caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.”
JUDGING PANEL
General Award Judging Panel:
Aideen Rice, Isobel Joyce, Ger Siggins, Ian Callender, Peter McCartney, Paddy Grimes, Philip Smith, Joe Moynihan

Cricket Ireland

Dublin

26th Feb 2022

Clear Currency National Cup – 1st Round
Rush v Saintfield
Laois v St Johnston
Knockharley v Midleton
Cliftonville Academy v Terenure
Cregagh v Killyclooney
Derriaghy v Ballyhaunis
Strabane v Civil Service
Burndennett v North County
Ballyspallen v Templepatrick
Glendermott v Athlone
Limerick v Wexford Wanderers
County Kerry v Muckamore
UCC v The Nedd
Ballaghedreen v County Galway
The following clubs received first round byes: Railway Union, Bonds Glen
National Cup Schedule
Round 1: 21 May 2022 (reserve date 29 May)
Round 2: 19 June 2022 (reserve date 26 June)
Quarter-Finals: 17 July 2022 (reserve date 24 July)
Semi-Finals: 31 July 2022 (reserve date 7 August)
Final: 28 August 2022 (reserve date 11 September)

Cricket Ireland

Dublin

26th Feb 2022

Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup – 1st Round
Clontarf v CSNI
YMCA v Bready
Leinster v Eglinton
Merrion v Coleraine
Lisburn v Malahide
Woodvale v Balbriggan
North Down v Brigade
Fox Lodge v The Hills
Newbuildings v Carrickfergus
Ardmore v Instonians
Cork County v North Kildare
Donemana v Cork Harlequins
The following clubs received first round byes: Pembroke, Waringstown, Phoenix, CIYMS
Irish Senior Cup Schedule
Round 1: 21 May 2022 (reserve date 29 May)
Round 2: 19 June 2022 (reserve date 26 June)
Quarter-Finals: 17 July 2022 (reserve date 24 July)
Semi-Finals: 31 July 2022 (reserve date 7 August)
Final: 27 August 2022 (reserve date 7 September)

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Muscat, Oman

24th Feb 2022

Ireland has lost the final of the Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier to the UAE, but will be satisfied that their primary mission to qualify for the 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup was achieved this week at the Al Almerat Stadium.
It was the Muhammad Waseem show as the UAE opener plundered his second T20I career century – both against Ireland. Waseem’s 112 came from just 66 balls, as he led the Emerati side to a comfortable 7 wicket victory with 8 balls to spare.
For the Irish bowlers it was slim pickings, with the best return being the paceman Josh Little who took 2-17 from his four overs.
Given today’s result, Ireland will enter the First Round Group Stage of the ICC T20 World Cup in October facing West Indies, Scotland and one further qualifier (TBC in June) in Group B. Two from that Group will move to the Super 12s stage of the tournament (see draw).
Earlier in the day Irish skipper Andrew Balbirnie won the toss and decided to bat first, but despite a burst of 11 runs from the first over, both Balbirnie (4) and opening partner Paul Stirling (12) were back in the pavilion shortly after, with Gareth Delany (1) falling in between. Whether the top order felt the pressure was off today after qualifying for the World Cup on Tuesday or had simply decided to attack early, the three wickets were loose-looking shots which left Ireland at 19-3 in the fourth over.
Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker (20) sought to stabilise the innings with a 43-run stand, but Tucker was caught in the deep from an impatient shot, trying to up the run rate. After Andy McBrine and Simi Singh came and went cheaply, Shane Getkate joined Tector and the pair put on 55 for the seventh wicket from just 36 balls. Getkate surpassed his previous highest T20I of 24 with a mighty blow over the mid-wicket boundary, but fell soon after, bowled by a leg cutter from Zahoor Khan.
Tector brought up his second T20I half-century from just 36 balls, but after reaching 50 the in-form right-hander fell to a diving catch in the outfield by Basil Hameed.
Mark Adair (20 from 15 balls) and Barry McCarthy (15 from 6 balls) added late runs, and Ireland was eventually bowled out for 159 off the last ball of the innings, with the 48 runs off the last five overs pushing the score to a par score, which unfortunately wasn’t enough on the day.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland Men v UAE Men, T20 World Cup Qualifier, Muscat, 24 February 2022
Ireland 159 (20 overs; H Tector 50, S Getkate 30; Z Khan 3-29)
UAE 160-3 (18.4 overs: M Waseem 112; J Little 2-17)
UAE Men won by 7 wickets

Response

Ed...
Bad luck.
However, a lot of positives!

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

MUSCAT, Oman

22nd Feb 2022

Ireland has qualified for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup after defeating Oman by 56 runs today at the Al Almerat Stadium today.
A sensational team performance saw the Irish side recover from an early stumble to record a convincing victory, bowling out the Omani’s for 109 in the 19th over. Needing 166 to win, Oman’s batters started with intent, but from a position of 68-2 after 10 overs, they collapsed, losing eight wickets for 41 runs, with Ireland earning the holy grail of a World Cup spot in Australia in October.
Player of the match Andy McBrine hit 36 off 21 balls and claimed 2-24 in an all-round performance of quality. Josh Little delivered another menacing spell with 2-14 from his four overs, and Simi Singh cleaned up the tail finishing with 3-20 from 3.3 overs.
Captain Andrew Balbirnie led from the front in the field, and made a number of tactical bowling changes that paid immediate dividends at crucial times. The most influential switch was to bring Little back for an over at the halfway stage with Oman setting themselves for a launch at the target and two set batters gradually upping the run rate. Little’s extra pace induced an edge from Shoaib Khan from his first ball – and from there Ireland didn’t look back.
Craig Young (2-32) continued his run of wicket-taking form capturing 8 wickets in the four matches of the tournament at an average of 13.38.
In the end, Oman’s Fayyaz Butt skied a ball to long on and was caught, bringing his side’s innings to a close on 109. Ireland’s players burst into spontaneous celebration, having won three matches on the trot in do-or-die encounters.
Earlier in the day Oman won the toss and decided to bowl first having built up a good record chasing down totals on their home pitches. Despite four boundaries coming from the bats of Balbirnie and Paul Stirling, both openers were soon back in the pavilion with the score on 19 – both batters out chasing a quick start, miscuing shots from the bowling of Bilal Khan.
Gareth Delany and Harry Tector then came together to put on an energetic 82-run stand in 57 balls. The pair looked to attack from the first ball together, striking five sixes and five fours between them – Delany hitting three maximums in a row off the 11th over by Zeeshan Maqsood.
Tector, who only came into the team after being left out of the first match of the tournament, looked comfortable throughout – swinging through the line and finding the gaps at regular intervals. However, on 35 he slashed at a wide ball outside off-stump and picked out the point fielder. Lorcan Tucker chopped on first ball, then Delany fell for a 32-ball 47 an over later after at one stage threatening to take the game away from Oman – and from a healthy 101-2, Ireland was now wobbling on 105-5.
George Dockrell played a short cameo of 18 from 16 balls to try reclaim the momentum, but it was Andy McBrine who stepped up with the bat this time. Receiving well-deserved plaudits for his bowling in this tournament, McBrine swivelled and pulled his first ball for four, going on to strike 36 from just 21 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes, eventually falling off the last ball of the innings.
Ireland had put on 59 off the last six overs to finish on 165-7 from their 20 overs – a competitive total, but not ‘out of reach’ for the home side.
Ireland has qualified for the ICC T20 World Cup, but has a chance to win the Qualifier trophy against UAE on Thursday at 2pm (local time) or 10am (GMT) at the same venue.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland Men v Oman Men, T20 World Cup Qualifier, Muscat, 21 February 2022
Ireland 165-7 (20 overs; G Delany 47, A McBrine 36, H Tector 35; B Khan 3-23)
Oman 109 (18.3 overs: S Khan 30; S Singh 3-20, J Little 2-14)
Ireland Men won by 56 runs

Response

ed...
Target was to qualify T20 in Australia. The bonus would be winning in the final!
Well done Ireland.

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Dublin

21st Feb 2022

ITW Irish Cricket Awards 2022 this Friday; several category shortlists revealed

The ITW Irish Cricket Awards 2022 will be digitally broadcast on Friday 25 February 2022 via Youtube, celebrating the year that international cricket returned to Ireland. Several shortlists have been revealed ahead of the event as part of the build-up.
The broadcast of the event will start at 7.30pm (Irish time) and will be hosted by sports journalist and broadcaster Marie Crowe, supported by RTE’s John Kenny and former Ireland Men’s captain Kyle McCallan. Bonus interviews and content will be available on Cricket Ireland’s social media channels on the night.
The event will see 15 award categories presented:
ITW International Men’s Player of the Year
Hanley Energy International Women’s Player of the Year
Cricket Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame (three inductees)
Gibney’s Outstanding Contribution and Service to Irish Cricket, in honour of John Wright
HBV Studios Inter-Provincial Player of the Year
Arachas Super Series Player of the Year
Clear Currency Emerging Talent Award – Male
Clear Currency Emerging Talent Award - Female
Techfynder Cricket Official of the Year
Shapoorji Pallonji Outstanding Contribution to Coaching
Tildenet Club of the Year
O’Neill’s Club Male Player of the Year
O’Neiil’s Club Female Player of the Year
Turkish Airlines Groundskeeper of the Year
House of Waterford Crystal Volunteering Excellence Award
Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:
“We’re delighted to once more to celebrate a memorable year in Irish cricket. It was a year we returned to a sense of normality, a year international cricket returned to Ireland, and a year that was punctuated by reminders of what a great sport we have.
“From elite to grassroots levels, every cricketer and fan alike enjoyed the sights, sounds and celebration of cricket – and while there were too many favourite moments to mention, there was one day in May that stands out in my mind. The 24th of May at Stormont saw Ireland Women run out on the field of play for the first time in over 550 days – and it also coincided with the very first day spectators were allowed back to games. The feeling around the ground was one of joy and relief that the long wait had finally come to an end.
“The Women went on to win that series convincingly – and then finished the year by qualifying for the ICC Women’s Championship. Indeed, 2021 was an epochal year for women’s cricket in Ireland – it featured the release of our first-ever Women’s & Girls Cricket Action Plan, saw numerous on-field team and individual successes, and has seen major investment by Cricket Ireland into the women’s programme.
“Before you enjoy the Awards event this Friday, we would like to acknowledge the many people who played a part in Irish cricket during 2021 – we thank the many thousands of players, coaches, umpires, groundstaff, match officials and volunteers who year-in, year-out ensure our sport continues to grow. Thanks also to our sponsors, business partners, Provincial Unions and venue partners for another successful year, and finally thanks to the many, many fans of Irish cricket in Ireland and around the world. Keep Backing Green.”
Iconic Irish brand House of Waterford Crystal has once again supported the ITW Irish Cricket Awards supplying the awards for winners.
HBV Studios will once more produce the event.
SHORTLISTS
While most winners and nominees will be revealed on the night, several shortlists are provided below ahead of the event:
Shortlist for the ITW International Men’s Player of the Year
Andrew Balbirnie
Josh Little
Simi Singh
Paul Stirling
Previous winners: Paul Stirling (2021, 2020, 2017), Tim Murtagh (2018), Ed Joyce (2016)
Shortlist for the Hanley Energy International Women’s Player of the Year
Laura Delany
Gaby Lewis
Leah Paul
Orla Prendergast
Previous winners: Laura Delany (2021, 2018), Eimear Richardson (2020), Gaby Lewis (2017), Ciara Metcalfe (2016)
Shortlist for the Tildenet Club of the Year
Balbriggan Cricket Club
Bready Cricket Club
Cork Harlequins
Drumaness Superkings

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Muscat, Oman

21st Feb 2022

Ireland moves through to semi-finals after win over Germany at the T20 World Cup Qualifier
Ireland Men have progressed through to the semi-finals after a comprehensive win over Germany in a must-win Group Stage match of the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier at the Al Almerat Stadium today.
Ireland started their run chase knowing that if they could complete the victory in less than 16 overs they would guarantee themselves progression to the semi-final stage after Bahrain – playing in a concurrent match – posted 172-5 against UAE, setting up an exciting finish to this Group stage of the tournament.
After an efficient bowling performance that restricted Germany to 107-7, the Irish batters completed the run chase in 13.1 overs with Harry Tector flashing a square cut to the boundary to bring up the winning runs.
Paul Stirling (34) and Andrew Balbirnie (32) posted a 67-run opening stand from just 47 balls to get the run chase off to the necessary start, but despite both openers falling within three balls of each other, Tector and Lorcan Tucker saw out the win.
During Balbirnie’s innings he brought up his 5,000th run for Ireland across all formats.
In the other match, Bahrain completed a remarkable 2-run win over heavy favourites UAE, but it wasn’t quite enough to progress to the semi-final on net run rate meaning Ireland finished first in the group.
Ireland’s opponents in tomorrow’s do-or-die semi-final will be determined in this afternoon’s matches – with the winner of tomorrow’s semi-final qualifying for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October.
Earlier in the day Irish skipper Balbirnie won the toss and decided to bowl first hoping to take advantage of what he noted was a tacky pitch.
The Irish bowlers were disciplined early, bowling tight lines and producing late swing in early morning conditions. It was Josh Little who broke through first, rapping Talha Khan on the front pad and adjudged adjacent by the umpire for 9. Little followed up in his next over with the wicket of Justin Broad, also for 9, this time beaten for pace and a top edge flew to Lorcan Tucker behind the stumps.
Immediately after the power play finished, Balbirnie threw the ball to his spinners and both Andy McBrine (2-15) and Simi Singh (1-21) responded with great spells through the middle overs. McBrine has bowled exceptionally tightly in this tournament to date, with an economy rate of just 4.42 to go with his three wickets.
Faisal Mubashir (45*) and Dylan Blignaut (22) – who plays club cricket with The Hills Cricket Club in Ireland – were the only German batters to reach double figures as wickets fell regularly. The batting side managed to strike 40 runs from the last five overs, but their total of 107-7 from 20 overs looked well below par.
All of Ireland’s five bowlers contributed with at least one wicket apiece, with Josh Little’s 2-13 the pick with a welcome return to form
Ireland meets their semi-final opponent tomorrow at 2pm (local time) / 10am (Irish time) at the same venue. Given the number of permutations in Group B, the opponent will not be known until later today.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland Men v Germany Men, T20 World Cup Qualifier, Muscat, 21 February 2022
Germany 107-7 (20 overs; F Mubashir 45*; J Little 2-13, A McBrine 2-15)
Ireland 111-3 (13.1 overs: P Stirling 34, A Balbirnie 32; M Yar 2-20)
Ireland Men won by 7 wickets

Robin Walsh, NCU

Stormont

7th Feb 2022

NI Schools
Ferguson Grainger Cup
1st Round (by 6th May)
A Limavady Grammar School v Foyle College
B Grosvenor Grammar School v RBAI 2nd XI
C Friends' School Lisburn v Bangor Grammar School
D Royal School Armagh v Belfast Royal Academy
E Campbell College 2nd XI v Ballymena Academy
F Regent House School v Methodist College Belfast
G Down High School v Lurgan College
Second Round (by 13th May)
H A v Wallace High School
I Coleraine Grammar School v B
J RBAI v C
K D v Sullivan Upper School
L Antrim Grammar School v E
M F v Belfast High School
N Ballyclare High School v G
O Campbell College v Carrickfergus Grammar School

ICC

ICC

6th Feb 2022

ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 placings
1 - India
2 - England
3 - Australia
4 - Afghanistan
5 - Pakistan
6 - Sri Lanka
7 - South Africa
8 - Bangladesh
9 – United Arab Emirates
10 – Ireland
11 – West Indies
12 – Zimbabwe
13 – Uganda
14 – Scotland
15 – Canada
16 – PNG

Response

Ed...
Ireland's 10th place was a commendable performance especially to finish above home boys West Indies and Zimbabwe, who beat them in the warm-up games in Barbados. It was a new experience for most of the youngsters and will hold them in good stead in the future. India deservedly won, but just remember they select from millions of young players!

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Port of Spain, Trinidad

31st Jan 2022

Ireland beaten but unbowed as they exit the Under-19s World Cup
An exceptional bowling display by a spin-heavy UAE side overcame a tiring Ireland side to win the Plate Final of the ICC Under-19s Men’s Cricket World Cup at the Queens Park Oval today.
Already equalling the best-ever finish by an Irish side in the Under-19s World Cup tournament – and having already achieved automatic qualification through final ranking to the next Under-19s World Cup – Ireland were brushed aside by a UAE side that had convincingly beaten West Indies in their last match and looked full of confidence going into today’s clash. For the Irish, this was the last match of a more than month-long tour, having departed Ireland over a month ago. The young side has played 12 matches in that time, often in 30-plus degree heat, and the experience will undoubtedly be to their advantage as they develop as senior cricketers in coming years.
After winning the toss today and choosing to bat first, Ireland weren’t able to repeat the batting heroics of their last match, succumbing for just 122 in the 46th over. Instonians’ Jack Dickson top-scored for the second game straight, today hitting 40 from a patient 83 balls, with a four and two sixes.
The Irish were seeking a partner to stick with Dickson to build a partnership, but regular wickets fell with the domination of the UAE’s spinners making it difficult for the batters to get a start. Philippe le Roux (14), Scott Macbeth (15), Liam Doherty (13) and Jamie Forbes (11*) got starts, but ultimately the Irish side failed to mount a sizeable enough total to defend.
The UAE batters, led by Kai Smith (49) and Punya Mehra (48*), took control of the run-chase and cantered to an eight-wicket win, claiming the UAE’s first piece of silverware at an international tournament.
The Irish side may have been beaten today but should remain unbowed. An unfancied squad by many at the outset, the young side went on to win three of their six tournament matches and finished the tournament’s 10th ranked side – the equal-highest position that Ireland has finished in this tournament’s history. While they may have initially dreamed of getting through the Group to the Super 8 stage, the side quickly regrouped after losses to India and South Africa to convincingly win consecutive Plate matches against Canada and Zimbabwe.
Not only can the squad leave the tournament with pride regarding their eventual ranking outcome, there were several players whose performances caught the eye – Josh Cox’s century against Uganda, Muzamil Sherzad’s 5-20 against Zimbabwe, Jack Dickson’s 78* and 40 in the last two matches, Philippe le Roux’s 83* against Canada, and Matthew Humphreys’ 12 wickets being just a few stand-out moments that Irish fans can reflect on fondly.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland Under-19s Men v UAE Under-19s Men, U19 World Cup Group Stage, Trinidad, 31 January 2022
Ireland 122 (45.3 overs: J Dickson 40; J Giyanani 2-12)
UAE 128-2 (26 overs: K Smith 49, P Mehra 48*; J Forbes 1-32)
UAE Under-19s won by 8 wickets

Response

Ed...
Overall great performance. They were a credit to Irish cricket and hopefully some of them will reach to another level.

Robin Walsh, NCU

Stormont

30th Jan 2022

NCU JUNIOR CUP 2022
(Sponsored by GMcG)

1st Round
A Lisburn II v Victoria
B Laurelvale v Drumaness Superkings
C Belfast v Larne
D Donacloney Mill II v North Down II

2nd Round
E C v B
F Monaghan v A
G CIYMS II v Donaghadee & Ards
H D v Downpatrick
I CSNI II v Holywood
J Instonians II v Muckamore II
K BISC v Dunmurry
L Waringstown II v Cooke Collegians

3rd Round
M E v F
N G v H
O I v J
P K v L

Semi-Final
Q M v N
R O v P

Final (Laurelvale)
S Q v R