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Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup and Clear Currency National Cup return
this weekend after two-year hiatus
This weekend the Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup and Clear Currency National Cup competitions return to cricket grounds all over Ireland after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year saw the return of the Clear Currency All-Ireland T20 Cup, but the Irish Senior Cup and National Cup competitions were last held in 2019, with Pembroke Cricket Club and Railway Union Cricket Club the respective defending champions of the two competitions.
New Match Centre
As a new feature for fans, thanks to a partnership between Cricket Ireland and NV Play we will have a livescoring match centre available to follow: https://www.cricketireland.ie/general/match-centre-club-cup-competitions
Title sponsor returns
Clear Currency will continue their sponsorship of both the Irish Senior Cup and the National Cup in 2022. They have been Cricket Ireland’s official currency exchange partner since 2017, and in 2018 became title sponsor of both the Irish Senior Cup and National Cup competitions. Clear Currency is part of Clear Treasury - an Irish owned business founded by ex-treasury bankers with offices in Dublin and London. It is a boutique treasury and risk management company bringing insight and stability to an uncertain environment. More: https://www.cleartreasury.co.uk/about
Paul Reilly, Chief Commercial Officer with Clear Currency, said:
"It's fantastic to be involved with another exciting season of Irish cricket. Best of luck to all the teams involved with the All Ireland T20 matches for men and women, plus the Irish Senior and National cup fixtures."
FIRST ROUND PREVIEWS
Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup
The Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup is now 40 years old. Beginning in 1982, it is a 50-over competition for the top-ranked clubs in their respective provincial unions. The teams compete for the much sought after Bob Kerr Trophy (named after former President and Chairman of the Irish Cricket Union who passed away at the 2007 Cricket World Cup).
Cup-holders Pembroke, along with fellow semi-finalists in 2019 (Waringstown, CIYMS and Phoenix) receive a bye into Round 2.
One of the ties of the round will take place at Clontarf, with the home side taking on CSNI at Castle Avenue. Both sides are flying high in their respective leagues and are full of highly-talented players – Clontarf features PJ Moor, David Delany and Fionn Hand, while CSNI features Stuart Thompson, Marc Ellison (current Northern Knights assistant coach) and Luke Georgeson.
Coming off the back of a superb 125 against Cork County last weekend, Harry Tector and his YMCA team-mates will host a Bready side who were recently impressive seven-wicket winners over Strabane in the Long’s SuperValu 40-Over league. It will be a big occasion for YMCA as it’s the first home game back at Claremont Road in over a year (read backstory).
Cork Harlequins will face a daunting round-trip to face Ireland international Andy McBrine’s Donemana side in the opening round. Meanwhile, Malahide, who have been struggling early in the season, will travel north and hope to pull off a victory over high-flying Lisburn. Malahide will rely on young Leinster Lightning pace bowler David O’Halloran for wickets, while Lisburn have a talented line-up with the ball that includes Northern Knights duo Josh Manley and Matthew Humphreys.
The first-round draw:
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 bye (as opponent withdrew)
Donemana v Cork Harlequins
The following clubs received first round byes: Pembroke, Waringstown, Phoenix, CIYMS
Clear Currency National Cup
The Clear Currency National Cup is a 40-over competition featuring the next-tier of clubs across all five provincial unions and is now into its 10th year. The cup-holders Railway Union and Bonds Glen have received byes into the second round (Bonds Glen drew the bye in the first-round draw after previous National Cup runners-up Ardmore moved into the Irish Senior Cup draw).
Muckamore (from County Antrim) make a 1,000km round-trip to the Oyster Oval in Kerry – possibly the longest trip of the round.
In an all-Connacht clash, Roscommon’s Ballaghaderreen will host County Galway. In their most recent outing Ballaghaderreen had a big victory over Merlin Woods, with Owais Ali scoring 154 not out, and was ably assisted by Zohaib Haneef with 94. County Galway are coming into this game on the back of three straight victories in the Leinster league, the latest of those a three-wicket win over Clontarf 3s with Khizar Mehmood taking 5-22 with the ball.
The game between Derriaghy and Ballyhaunis has been moved to the reserve date of May 29th at the request of the away side.
There are also three North West v Leinster clashes as Strabane host Civil Service, Burndennett play North County and Glendermott take on Athlone.
The first-round draw:
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 bye (as opponent withdrew)
Ballaghaderreen v County Galway
The following clubs received first round byes: Railway Union, Bonds Glen
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Dixon Rose died yesterday. He was truly a Legend in Ulster and Irish sport, and was honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honours with a deserved MBE in 2008.
He was a Colossus in Irish cricket and hockey and was President in both codes. He played Interprovincial cricket for Ulster Town and also played for Ulster and Ireland hockey. He was a tireless administrator for both the NCU and Irish hockey and sat on numerous committees for both. To say he was a workaholic is an understatement as he was at the helm in many events that carved the history of his club and Irish cricket and Irish hockey. As director of Harris-Marrian Insurance he introduced sponsorship into Ulster cricket and it is a great mystery how he had the time to work at his beloved Shane Park with his brother Carson for many years. Yes, he ruffled a few feathers with his no-nonsense straight talking, but he got things done and will always be seen as an Icon in Ulster sport.
Our sincere condolences to Joan and the Rose family.
Rest in Peace, Dixon
Knights win in the rain
North West Warriors v Northern Knights, Inter-Provincial Cup, 12 May 2022
Knights 123 (44.5 overs; A Chore 48; G Hume 4-18, R Macbeth 3-29)
Warriors 61-5 (23.2 overs; A McBrine 15; R Pretorius 3-21)
Northern Knights won by 12 runs (DLS)
Knights lose to Munster at Stormont
Despite being put into bat by the Reds under cloudy skies, Knights openers Paul Stirling (35) and James McCollum (53) put on 76 for the first wicket.
The pair batted patiently early on, scoring just 22 off first eight overs, before racking up 54 off the next 38 balls before Stirling chopped on to the impressive Mike Frost.
The slow left armer bowled tidily during the middle overs, dismissing Pretorius (14) caught and bowled for 14, in claiming 2-27 from his ten overs.
Although James McCollum fell to Hand with Campher jumping full-stretch at cover to claim a difficult chance at the second attempt on the cusp of 30 overs, the Knights were well placed on 134-3. Hand (2-28), Tyrone Kane (2-55) and Campher (2-48) each claimed a couple of wickets, and at 194-7, it was Ross Adair who injected impetus into back-end of the innings. He hit six fours and an imperious six that landed on the sightscreen to finish unbeaten on 47 off 32 balls as the Knights closed their innings on 248-9.
In the end it wasn’t quite enough to get the Knights over the finish line. IP50 action continues at Bready on Tuesday, 10 May where the North West Warriors host the Knights.
Northern Knights v Munster Reds, Inter-Provincial Cup, Stormont, 5 May 2022
Knights 248-9 (50 overs; J McCollum 53, R Adair 47*; M Frost 2-27
Reds 249-7 (48 overs; M Ford 71*, P Moor 48; R Pretorius 3-30
Munster Reds won by 3 wickets
Not the start we hoped!
New President of Cricket Ireland
David Griffin has been confirmed as the new President of Cricket Ireland following today’s Annual General Meeting, replacing Philip Black who has been President since 2020.
Player, administrator, umpire and Board Director – these are the titles that David has collected over the last 50 years within Irish cricket. Now he can proudly add: ‘Cricket Ireland President’.
David’s long and distinguished career within cricket – on and off the field – began in 1972 when attending Trinity College Dublin. He played for 12 years for Pembroke Cricket Club, becoming the Honorary Secretary of the club from 1976 to 1982.
His professional career then took him to Cork, where he joined Cork County Cricket Club in 1985 – eventually rising to captain of the 1st XI in 1989 and 1990, and playing a further decade for the club before his playing retirement after the 2000 season. Following retirement from playing, David umpired in Munster Cricket on a regular basis up to 2019.
Brian MacNeice has assumed the role of Chair of the Cricket Ireland Board following today’s Annual General Meeting, replacing Ross McCollum who has been Chair since 2012.
MacNeice was announced as Vice-Chair in 2021 and worked closely with McCollum over the last year as part of a transition process. He is currently a Managing Director at Teneo with more than 30 years’ experience in consulting across a range of industries, as well as acting as a strategic advisor to major businesses and sports organisations in Ireland and overseas. He was formerly the President of Clontarf Cricket Club, and was appointed to the Board of Cricket Ireland in 2020.
Well Ed here is my choices for Week 2 of the season following on from some good choices last weekend
Following on from last weeks encounters I will say welcome back to April after 3 years away due to Covid and it could'nt have been better Balbriggan winning from the dead v YMCA, North County just holding on to win v The Hills same with Rush against Leinster and Malahide tense 1 wicket win v Phoenix. The University beating Railway might cause alarm for the Park Avenue side
Section A Senior League Cup
Merrion V YMCA - HOME WIN
Rush V Cork County - HOME WIN
Clontarf V Leinster - HOME WIN
North Kildare V Balbriggan - AWAY WIN
Section B Senior League Cup
Pembroke V Dublin University - HOME WIN
Phoenix V The Hills - HOME WIN
Terenure V Railway Union - HOME WIN
Malahide V North County - AWAY WIN
Following on from last weekends openers seen both Paul Stirling and Luke Georgeson record good tons and J Gibson 6-23 and 39 with the bat and J Hunter 5-30 and 64* with the bat were candidates but Luke just gets the nod over his ton being crucial for CSNI win v Instonians
Easy choice of Player of the week in League 1 S Gordon of Muckamore 4-23 and 93 with the bat in the win v Bangor
Player of the week in League 2 is between M Burns 4-8 for Laurelvale v Dunmurray or A Gray 4-8 for Victoria v Larne credit to D Sinton 96* for Laurelvale v Dunmurray but the nod goes to A Gray as Victoria only defended 190 and won by 125 runs
Robinson Services Premier League 30th April
Cregagh v CIYMS - AWAY WIN
Lisburn v Cliftonville Academy - HOME WIN
North Down v CSNI - AWAY WIN
Waringstown v Carrickfergus - HOME WIN
Woodvale v Instonians - AWAY WIN
Robinson Services League 1 30th April
Derriaghy v Bangor - HOME WIN
Lurgan v Donacloney Mill - HOME WIN
Muckamore v Ballymena - HOME WIN
Saintfield v Armagh - AWAY WIN
Templepatrick v Dundrum - AWAY WIN
Robinson Services League 2 30th April
Ards & Donaghadee v Holywood - AWAY WIN
BISC v Monaghan - HOME WIN
Downpatrick v Cooke Collegians - AWAY WIN
Drumaness Superkings v Larne - HOME WIN
Dunmurry v Belfast - HOME WIN
Victoria v Laurelvale - HAS BEEN POSTPONED
50 Over Cricket season starts here following on from last weeks T20 action after Ryan Curry 7-14 bowling and 37 in Bonds Glen win making him my NWCU Player of the Week, T20s will be now played on Friday nights like in the NCU area
Ardmore v Brigade - HOME WIN
Bonds Glen v St Johnston - HOME WIN
Bready v Strabane - HOME WIN
Glendermott v Fox Lodge - HOME WIN
Killyclooney v Eglinton - AWAY WIN
Burndennett v Ballyspallen - HOME WIN
Newbuildings v Coleraine - HOME WIN
BYE for Donemana
PS Ed it was a very interesting Derby last weekend no not the Merseyside affair but the one on Sunday in Cork between County and Harlequins which in my view is the stand outs in Munster Premier this year and Harlequins won 140 all out v 114 all out. Kerry trashed Co Galway 355/09 v 190 all out and Midleton beat Limerick 165 all out v 092 all out.
Maybe Galway were a bit weary after trashing Knockharley in Co. Meath on Saturday and then a trip to Kerry some year the Munster sides have with Cork County and Harlequins in Championship, Co Galway in Div 4 in LCU and of course Co Galway in Connacht but thats only the 2nds could get stretched for all there
Also a great start to the LCU Womens season with a tie between Leinster and YMCA with 105 all out apiece, YM were crusing but fell by the wayside and Merrion beat Clontarf by by 20 runs and 2 stroll in the parks for Pembroke v The Hills a 9 wicket win and Malahide went 1 better v Phoenix with Instonians girl Amy Hunter 41* in the 10 wicket win
Here is hoping the weather is ok for the Saturday programme as a few showers is forecast so DL could be called upon. Safe traveling to one and all
Well Ed here it goes the tipping is back and normally the opening weekend is the one I look forward to but with the Irish Senior and National Cups back that is the one now after 2 year absence and I will start by the following
PS Ed who are you tipping this year and dark horses and relegation candidates
League Cup A 23rd April
Balbriggan v YMCA - HOME WIN
Clontarf v Cork County - HOME WIN
Rush v Leinster - AWAY WIN
Merrion v North Kildare - HOME WIN
League Cup B 23rd April
Pembroke v Terenure - HOME WIN
Malahide v Phoenix - AWAY WIN
North County v The Hills - HOME WIN
Dublin Uni v Railway Union - AWAY WIN
This is a new comp in Leinster with numbers 1 & 2 playing in Semi Finals and Final. The League proper starts on Monday 06 June Bank Holiday in the Republic
Interesting umpire appointment with Albert van der Merwe a former Ireland player standing in Malahide v Pheonix at the Village
Robinson Services Premier League 23rd April
CSNI v Instonians - HOME WIN
Cliftonville Aca v North Down - AWAY WIN
Carrickfergus v Cregagh - HOME WIN
CIYMS v Lisburn - HOME WIN
Waringstown v Woodvale - HOME WIN
Waringstown, CSNI, North Down top 3 in my opinion with Cliftonville Aca and Cregagh cannon fodder, Woodvale should have enough whilst others placing 4-7
Robinson Services League 1 23rd April
Armagh v Derriaghy - AWAY WIN
Bangor v Muckamore - AWAY WIN
Dundrum v Lurgan - AWAY WIN
Donacloney Mill v Saintfield - AWAY WIN
Muckamore should win here but Lurgan and Bangor could run them close whilst Saintfield, Templepatrick, Ballymena and Donacloney Mill battling out relegation
Robinson Services League 2 23rd April
Belfast v Downpatrick* - AWAY WIN
Cooke Coll v Ards & Donaghadee - HOME WIN
Holywood v BISC - AWAY WIN
Larne v Victoria - AWAY WIN
Laurelvale v Dunmurry - HOME WIN
Monaghan v Drumaness S'kings - AWAY WIN
Women's Premier League 26th April
Muckamore v CSNI - AWAY WIN
North Down v Lurgan - AWAY WIN
My order is as follows CSNI, Lurgan, North Down, Waringstown and Muckamore. CSNI are the side at the minute but if Lurgan could find a good run could pressure them but the others are no where near
T20 Cup Group A 23rd April
Brigade v Burndennett - HOME WIN
Fox Lodge v Killyclooney - HOME WIN
T20 Cup Group B 23rd April
Donemana v Glendermott - HOME WIN
Strabane v St Johnston - HOME WIN
T20 Cup Group C 23rd April
Donemana v Glendermott - HOME WIN
T20 Cup Group D 23rd April
Ballyspallen v Coleraine - AWAY WIN
Bready v Ardmore - HOME WIN
League proper starts next weekend
No predictions from me!
I'm awful and usually back the favourites!
Hi Ed how are you keeping. Ready to start the season again with hope and the biting of nails to go again.
Before I start my message I want to extend my sympathies to all loved ones who have lost family and friends since the Cricket season ended especially my uncle Ivan Harper who was associated with Balbriggan CC and himself and brothers all played for the club and now his son Dwayne who also played alongside Andre Botha and Eoin Morgan and the Mooneys at North County. Ivan also coached Football sides in Boyne Rovers in Drogheda and Glebe North in Balbriggan and worked in Wavin.
But looking back at the Winter for Ireland. The Men needs a good look at themselves in the T20 area in a big way the minute Paul Stirling goes the top order cant get it off the square as seen v Namibia and least said about the USA result and now a 6 match losing streak to UAE, but at least the T20 qualifiers in Oman got us through to Australia. The 50 Overs was brilliant and it so could have been 3-0 and was very impressed as I have been with the 50 over side with draws v South Africa and Zimbabwe here at home and what might have been in Holland losing match 1 by 1 run to lose there 2-1 was frustrating to say the least after another 3-0 whitewash v Afghans in March 2021. Roll on New Zealand, South Africa and Afghans this year
The Women were very unlucky in the qualifiers with the onset of another Covid variant but at least won a series v Zimbabwe with Amy Hunter impressing on the tour and now guaranteed 30 matches in the next 3 years for the ICC Championship and new and improved contracts should help aswell as the newly formed side in the Womens 50 and 20 overs series here at home. Roll on South Africa (3 ODIs + 3 T20s in Dublin) and a T20 Tri Series v Pakistan and Australia.
Lets hope Covid is now gone and a further jab to come my 4th is on the way and then we can get back to reality again.
Tipping will becoming again this year so look out.
Welcome back. Yes, plenty of things have happened in the past two years. One thing is certail-Covid will be with us for some time. We have to live with it!
Afghanistan Men's tour dates
The ‘Season of Stars’ continues to get bigger with the confirmation of the five-match men’s T20 International series against Afghanistan for August.
Following the recent announcement regarding Ireland Men’s home season (see story), the senior side will now line up for a T20I series against long-term rivals Afghanistan, to be played at Stormont. The series is set to be a key part of Ireland Men’s build-up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in October.
This series also represents the first T20Is that Afghanistan have played in Belfast.
Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“It’s a great rivalry that has developed over the years between Ireland and Afghanistan, and we warmly welcome the Afghan Men’s team here once again. With the context of both sides looking to bolster their T20I exposure in the lead-up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in October, it was agreed by the Cricket Ireland Board that the previously scheduled Test match and ODI series would be rescheduled to a later date – with both sides looking to maximise our T20I cricket instead.
“Our thanks to the Afghanistan Cricket Board for their support in getting this series approved.”
Ireland v Afghanistan men’s T20I series
9 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 1st T20I (Stormont)
11 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 2nd T20I (Stormont)
12 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 3rd T20I (Stormont)
15 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 4th T20I (Stormont)
17 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 5th T20I (Stormont)
Other fixtures in Ireland Men’s international schedule this summer
Ireland Men v India Men T20I series
Sunday 26 June: Ireland v India, 1st T20I (Malahide) *
Tuesday 28 June: Ireland v India, 2nd T20I (Malahide) *
* Subject to licence
Ireland Men v New Zealand Men series
Sunday 10 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 1st ODI (Malahide)
Tuesday 12 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 2nd ODI (Malahide)
Friday 15 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 3rd ODI (Malahide)
Monday 18 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 1st T20I (Stormont)
Wednesday 20 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 2nd T20I (Stormont)
Friday 22 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 3rd T20I (Stormont)
Ireland Men v South Africa Men T20I series
Wednesday 3 August: Ireland v South Africa, 1st T20I (Bristol)
Friday 5 August: Ireland v South Africa, 2nd T20I (Bristol)
Plenty of fixtures and at Stormont. Locals who don't want to travel to Malahide have the opportunity to support Ireland in their doorstep. Please support them!
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.”
Will it advance Irish cricket I wonder?
€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
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.
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 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:
Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andy McBrine, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
General Award Judging Panel:
Aideen Rice, Isobel Joyce, Ger Siggins, Ian Callender, Peter McCartney, Paddy Grimes, Philip Smith, Joe Moynihan