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Regarding paid players. You might call it stirring the pot but this is an issue I think that has the potential to destroy local cricket. Let me say first and foremost I do not have any problems with any of the players who are being paid. Like any professional cricketer they see themselves as people who being rewarded for their talents. Charlie McCrum is a cricketer who has never done anything else but give 'value for money'. I have the utmost respect for him. I just happen to think it is a shame that he spent so many years out of the top flight because of financial reasons that he hasn't received the recognition he deserves. Clubs that offer players money will benefit in the short term. But we have enough evidence admittedly anecdotal, in the North West to see that this in the long term is detrimental to the game. This is an issue that I fundamentally disagree with Clarence Hiles. In the recruitment of Michael Reith he saw the North Down club as visionaries and anyone who felt uncomfortable with it lacked their foresight. Yet it appears to me that the payment of players almost destroyed the club in the late 90's. Cricket in Ireland is unsustainable at club level on a professional basis. For goodness sake soccer is unsustainable in Ireland on a professional basis. Far too many very average cricketers are being paid to play. Vital resources that could be used to develop young cricketers.
Michael, you are right. I may not be able to change it but if I can make club chairmen reflect sufficiently they may only make an exception in exceptional circumstances ie they only pay people who are not only exceptional cricketers but exceptional people.
Why does Alastair Bushe pick the NCU team of the year? Does this mean any sponsor can put up a prize and it becomes official? I haven't seen many compaints about the selections but surely it would be more authorative and meaningful if the selection process involved other cricket correspondents.
Brendan, have to agree on your Belfast comment but taking top teams up to the North West doesn't make financial sense. your grounds aren't up to scratch and everytime somebody says that you all get annoyed. The NCU aren't interested because they play matches on the same day as internationals so come to Clontarf and enjoy yourself. Bring the wife and the kids and stay a few days. Lovely place.
How can anyone expect cricket followers in the North West to support Irish cricket when they don't get any of the top games?
What's the point in staging games in Belfast when nobody goes to watch?
We have great supporters and if you saw the TV coverage in the West Indies at the World Cup you'd have seen more people from the North West than Belfast and Dublin combined!
Just read some of the nonsense being thrown about on Civil Service North about hosting internationals. What peole like Paddy O'Hara need to realize is that hosting any representative game is hard work for the members with no thanks. The ICU doesn't spend money on grounds or promoting cricket as they want everything for nothing. As for hosting matches in the North West get real, their website promoters can't even spell!
Give the matches to Clontarf and save yourself the hassle!
Good article on Charlie McCrum. Still a great player and still as competitive as ever. He could play for any of the section one teams except Waringstown as they never gave him a chance when he was there before.
All this fuss about paid players and people like Staffy stirring the pot will come to nothing as it has been around for years and will be around for years to come. Live with it Staffy and concentrate on things that you can change!
Thankyou very much for your kind and honest comments on my cricket career. You could be a very good sport psychologist.
However, playing at Glendermott and North Down were just as much highlights of the season as scoring centuries. What was even more enjoyable was playing at Laurelvale with people like Wayne, Bruce, Noel and Paul whom I had mostly competed against in the past. To me that's a success story of Ulster Cricket.
Well done the Leinster umpires.
The white stick trophy heads south again, but what a brilliant day out at Saintfield.
Just read the email team and got a good laugh but a bit disappointed there's no room for a Dubliner!
Well done NDCC Under 13 XI.
A great credit to northern cricket and maybe the tide will turn when these youngsters come through.
Also congrats to the Leinster Umpires.
I couldn't make either game as I had the flu.
With most of the cricket over and the highlight of the season looming (NCU AGM) are any of the website experts going to stand for office? Seems to me they are the answer to the NCU woes and I can't beleive they aren't close enough to the action to get nominated.
Come on guys get behind the wheel and not in front of it!
We haven't met but I was at the Rush game last year so I feel I know you a little. I didn't castigate North Down earlier in the season, you guys did it yourselves as Phoenix isn't the best team in Dublin yet you made so many excuses after getting beaten. Despite being also-rans in the Irish Senior Cup for some time I accept you are still the best team in the NCU so please come to the table as we want better competition. I'm up fpr a pint with you as it's only a game.
So are there signs for Saintfield from Newry?
to paul hatton saintfield is 8 miles from comber where north down play their cricket. i distinctly remember you castigating our team earlier in the season. half a dozen of us are looking forward to having a pint or 2 with you on saturday. the late news is that i have been brought in to umpire the match can i have a bet on john andrews and mick dwyer not scoring 10 between them for the southern team.
While I think on the whole the NCU Development plan has a lot of merit I think the one club one vote is flawed.I think the present one team, one vote reflects the wider cricketing family. Not everyone involved in or playing cricket gets there kicks from Senior cricket. For those playing Junior or social cricket it is important they are heard.
Read some of the stuff Billy Henderson wrote on the other site and have to confess I haven't a clue what he's on about. Thankfully some of his neighbours pointed out the reason why Lurgan and Downpatrick got relegated was because they didn't win enough matches even with their pros. As for grounds being up to standard and all that what is Billy raving on about?
Lurgan will bounce back as their under 11 team look like world-beaters according to their chairman. Is he for real?