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Craig Easdown-Cricket Ireland PRO

Dublin

1st Jan 2021

Ireland fixtures 2021
ABU DHABI – All of Ireland Men’s players and support staff have successfully completed their initial quarantine and testing protocols after their arrival in Abu Dhabi last Sunday, and have held their first outdoor training session at the Zayed Cricket Stadium complex ahead of next week’s one-day international series against the UAE.
The squad has been self-isolating in their hotel since arrival and were required to undertake three COVID-19 tests each – which have all come back negative. The 16-man squad will prepare for the four-match series against the UAE with daily training sessions and a warm-up match against a UAE XI on 4 January. The UAE series will then be followed by a three-match ODI series against Afghanistan which will be part of the World Cup Super League.
The international fixtures, which will be played at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, are:
UAE v Ireland – 1st ODI – 8 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
UAE v Ireland – 2nd ODI – 10 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
UAE v Ireland – 3rd ODI – 12 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
UAE v Ireland – 4th ODI – 14 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
Afghanistan v Ireland – 1st ODI – 18 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
Afghanistan v Ireland – 2nd ODI – 21 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
Afghanistan v Ireland – 3rd ODI – 23 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time
The matches against Afghanistan will be part of the World Cup Super League (see below for det
LIVESTREAM / BROADCAST
Matches will be livestreamed via Youtube in Ireland / UK, with further details made available closer to the match days. For the rest of the world, the series with either be shown on satellite television or livestreamed, so please check local guides.
SQUAD
The Ireland Men’s squad is:
Andrew Balbirnie (C), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, David Delany, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.

Andy Kennedy

snowy Buckna

28th Dec 2020

The feature on the late Bob Kerr reminds me of playing for Ballymena against North Fermanagh on a Sunday “tour”in the 70s - concrete pitch with coconut mat - when Bob opened the batting. Great crack with lots of rehydration post-match. The reverse fixture took place the next year and because of the “no Sunday” rule, we played at St. Patrick’s Barracks. They brought their West Indian pro Everton Mattis who hit a spectacular 74 including 5x6s and 10x4s so he didn’t do much running that day. One 6 off Alex McKee went over the wall on the assault course that adjoined the field. He went on to feature on the rebel tour to SA that led to so many changes in the cricket world. Great days and great memories!

Gilbert Alexander

Lurgan

24th Dec 2020

So sorry to hear of the passing of my former team member of donacloney cc,I refer to David Carson . superb all rounder and gentleman . sympathy to all the family

Response

Eds...
Very sad indeed Gilbert. A great stalwart of Donacloney CC and a fine cricketer with both bat and ball. Above all, a true sportsman. I remember when Ian Shields patted the ball to him after he saved the delivery and the Pro bellowed "that's out." Umpire Murray Power shrunk into his collar as he would have to give him out. However, David quietly defused the mayem when he said "We don't play like that at Donacloney." I never forgot it after 40 years. Wonderful sportmanship in the heat of battle! What a lovely man.
Rest in Peace David.
JCH
JK

Gilbert Alexander

Lurgan

10th Dec 2020

Sorry to hear sad news about Raymond Hunter . sympathy to all the family

Clarence Hiles

UC headquarters

10th Dec 2020

Raymond Hunter
It is a sad day for Irish cricket as one of our Legends Raymond Hunter has passed away on Wednesday. He had a long illness over the years, and was 82.
Big Hunter, as he was often called, was a dual International for cricket and rugby, and played in the British Lions in 1962. He won 28 caps for Ireland cricket and 10 for Ireland rugby. He played 12 matches for the British Lions in South Africa.
Ray was born at Dunmurry and after a short term at the local club, then moved to Lisburn and later Lurgan, when three sons Alan, Neil and Graeme joined him at Pollock Park. He was a fine attacking batsman, excellent pace bowler, and terrific in the field. He hit 133 for Lisburn against Woodvale in the 1957 NCU Cup Final, and scored two half-centuries for Lurgan when they beat Muckamore to win the final in 1972. His batting and bowling figures are legendary.
A dashing strong three-quarter at centre or wing, he played for CIYMS RFC and won 10 caps for Ireland in the 1960s. His brother Lawrence was also capped twice, playing for Civil Service RFC.
Raymond was always a forthright visionary at NCU AGMs, and Committees. Not everyone shared his views, and he 'ruffled a few feathers,' but perhaps he was right in many instances when discussing the controvverial Overseas Professions debate. Sadly, his ill health robbed the NCU from his debate, as the discussions have been rumbling for over 40 years.
Our sincere condolences to Maureen and the family.
Rest in Peace Ray.
JCH
JK

willy mcelroy

belfast

8th Dec 2020

You are right Clarence he was a lovely man but he was also much more than that. He stood up for everything that was good in cricket. I had the great privilege of playing for Ulster Town with him in 1971.
Sadly missed and I am sure Doc Crothers, Willy Kirk (what a talent), Johnty and everyone else remembers him with affection.

Response

Ed...
I could add a lot of other names too. Yes, he was much more.
Rest in Peace Billy.

Willy McElroy

belfast

8th Dec 2020

Billy Smith, the Creaghy great, passed away a few months back. He had a wonderful ability to knock batsmen's leg stump back and say goodbye with his wicked smile.

Response

Ed...
Sad to hear. Billy was a legend at Cregagh. Good Captain as well, and starred in 1975 when they won the league. Lovely man.
JCH

Craig Easdown Cricket Ireland

Dublin

23rd Nov 2020

Cricket Ireland agrees new Ground Rights deal with ITW Consulting
Cricket Ireland has today announced ITW Consulting Pvt Ltd, a Global consulting and management agency with expertise in international cricket rights and sports media, as Ground Rights Holder for international home matches until 2022.
The agreement covers five home series that are expected to be played from 2021 to 2022, and will see ITW responsible for negotiating sponsor deals covering in-ground signage, 3D mats and boundary ropes. Brands will be able to leverage the exposure created through the global broadcast of men’s internationals, with an estimated reach in the hundreds of millions of viewers.
In July 2020, ITW was announced as the new Ireland Men’s shirt sponsorship rights holder and Official Sponsorship Consultancy Partner, and have previously held the ground rights in Ireland in 2018 for the men’s Test match against Pakistan and the T20I series against India.
Bhairav Shanth, Co-founder, ITW Consulting Pvt. Ltd., said
“ITW has been at the forefront of a lot of opportunities in cricket and this is one of our most exciting because we believe in the potential that the sport has globally. It is rich with possibilities not just in the major cricket playing countries but beyond them too.”
“We are delighted with Cricket Ireland’s paradigm-shifting progress both on and off the field and their well thought out vision for the future is something we are thrilled to be a part of. Through this association, we are committed to enabling Cricket Ireland to realise that vision and grow further as a brand.”
Dennis Cousins, Commercial Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“It is a demonstration of confidence in the strength and growth of Irish cricket to see this deal agreed during what is still an uncertain time for live sport around the world. Bhairav and the team at ITW have proven to be engaged and supportive partners, helping to drive commercial activity that is necessary to see Cricket Ireland and the sport in general to move forward through these difficult times.”
“Saying that, the strength and attractiveness of Irish cricket shouldn’t be under-estimated – the broadcast reach of our men’s home internationals in 2019 alone was approximately 429 million viewers - and with World Cup runners-up New Zealand and South Africa amongst sides visiting our shores in the next two years, this is an exciting time for cricket in Ireland.”
“We look forward to working closely with ITW over this time and seeing some high-level international cricket return to Ireland in coming seasons.”

Andy Kennedy

needing something to do on grey days!!

17th Nov 2020

I don't know any of the issues behind the Downpatrick situation but I remember playing against clubs that folded such as Crossbows, Cloughfern, Crossgar & YMCA to name a few. Players will move clubs to play with their mates but some, to be honest, will move because of an over-inflated opinion of their ability. However the decline appears to me to be more pronounced in recent times. I used to post about the lessons to be learned from the decline in club rugby and others used to moan about my negativity. What is happening in NCU cricket is mirroring Ulster rugby with Leinster players on Ulster & the Northern Knights. Why is there such a gulf between Leinster at all levels and the rest? I watched the Emerging Knights against Leinster this year and there is a wide gulf between the two. I used to read about the number of youngsters at coaching nights. What has happened to them. Another organisation to which I belong is looking at "recruitment & retention". Sadly I think it is too late and the decline will continue. A lot of players during the truncated season just past expressed their preference for the 20 overs games so it might be difficult to enthuse them about a return to 50 over matches. I recall some fantastic days at Strangford Road and one in particular was meeting Colin Cowdrey during the Touche Ross sponsorship of the Senior Cup. Another was the day of the conversation between Ian Houston & Flossie in 1974 that he still reminds me of! Yes it is sad to see how things have turned - but I wish DCC well.

John T

East Belfast

17th Nov 2020

RE: Downpatrick
Having been following Section 1 cricket for a number of years - the demise of cricket in Downpatrick has been a long time coming. The side had a core group of players - The Boultwood brothers, Yeates, Smyth to name a few.. However there hasn't been like previous years of any home grown talent through the youth set up since Thomas Magowan (who hasn't played the last 2 years). I also heard that Smyth during the summer had announced he had played his last game for Downpatrick (reasons unknown). You get to look at why. The club has not had any youth sides - how can you expect to maintain as a club never mind grow. The players mentioned above all came from other clubs. You get to wonder where the club may be now if those players did not sign for Downpatrick when they did. From an outsiders view they gave Downpatrick good years of their playing careers. One can understand the want to move on due to the clubs lack of future. My view is that this demise is not due to the above departures but a lack of Youth for the last 5 or so years.
I hope the club can bounce back from this as it is a fantastic club and one of the best venues in Northern Ireland for cricket. A place I have always loved visiting!

Clarence Hiles

UC Headquarters

11th Nov 2020

Downpatrick CC
What is happening at Downpatrick?
We understand a number of senior players have left the club, and the NCU has been asked, and agreed, to drop to another level. The club has also said, a 2nd XI will not be fielded in 2021, as the club is struggling to field the 1st XI.
We are not acquainted with the details, but obviously something is wrong at the Meadow. Very sad for a variety of reasons, as the club had recent success, and a shame that the Strangford Road ground might fold. And a shame that former stalwarts Alfie Linehan, Noel Ferguson, Bob Law, George Lennon, Dr Billy Ritchie, Eddie Malone, Hugh Linehan and many others, have built this club to the pinnacle of Irish cricket. And what a beautiful clubhouse and ground that hosted many international matches and Senior Cup finals?
Thankfully the NCU has been helpful during this crisis, but we appeal to former players and officials to answer the call.
Downpatrick need help or the town's cricket might be lost forever!

WILLIAM DALE

Belfast

11th Nov 2020

Cyril Venn ard.
There was a time when the most eagerly anticipated fixture was the North Down v Laurel Vale game.
Not because they were the top teams but the after match entertainment.
Players often did not return home until Sunday afternoon.
Cyril was a fierce competitor on the field and then the heart and soul of the fun afterwards.
I loved meeting up with when he umpired our games.
A few years ago I had a plum lbw and Cyril raised the finger. The batsman, one of those I'm never out guys , delayed, gave both of us dirty looks before trudging off .
We both looked at each other agreeing he was out before Cyril said
Let's put that one down to the bowlers union
RIP my friend

Response

Ed...
LBW from Cyril? Nah. can'y believe that! LOL
We had some great days at the 'Vale.

Andy Kennedy

Buckna

10th Nov 2020

All we seem to hear is about deaths in the wider cricket community but it is with real shock that I learned of the death of a real doyen of cricket - Lexie Millar. I first got to know Lexie while working in the North-West in the late 70s and it wasn't long before we established our mutual love of cricket. He has given a life-time of service in the NW, especially in the Mid-Week League and I am really saddened by his passing. My sincere sympathy goes to his son and family circle.

Response

Ed...
Yes Andy, sad to hear about Lexie. Lovely man and and a terrific fund-raiser for charity, and in particulr the Derry Midweek League where he was Treasurer for many years. He always had a big broad smile and it was great to see him when we met. Sadly, no longer now. RIP Lexie.
JCH

Gilbert Alexander

lurgan

5th Nov 2020

Sorry to hear about the passing of Cyril Vennard. Also the passing of former Lurgan player. Victor Malcomson

Response

Ed...
Yes, Gilbert. I heard about Victor last night. Another fine cricketer.

Andy Kennedy

Buckna

4th Nov 2020

Really saddened to learn of the death of Cyril Vennard - a feisty character in his playing days - and not the only one back in those days! Stories from his umpiring days are equally legendary. His passing is particularly poignant as we move into Remembrance weekend. Deepest sympathy to his family and wider family circle at this time.

Response

Sad to hear this Andy.
Cyril was certainly feisty in play, but very congenial in the Laurelvale bar! We had many happy nights with his brother Eddie. Even his dad Bothwell was in the middle of the fun and revellry that followed. It didn't really matter who won in those days.
Cyril was a real character and a good umpire.
Sincere condolences to the family circle and the Laurelvale club.
JCH
JK