Please click here to leave a message.
The Ulster Cricketer reserves the right not to publish submissions written under pseudonyms or which make gratuitous personal attacks.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – An unbeaten century by Player of the Match Joshua Cox and a four-wicket haul from Matthew Humphreys headlined Ireland Under-19s Men’s victory over Uganda by 39 runs in their first ICC Under-19s Men’s Cricket World Cup match today.
The South African-born Cox, 18, looked sparkling in his square of the wicket shots today (see video). He brought up his half-century off 61 balls, then blasted a pull shot to the boundary for his century off 111 balls – which was also the third-last ball of the innings.
Cox, who holds an Irish passport as a dual citizen and has Irish great-grandparents on both sides of his family, hit scores of 44* against Sri Lanka and 28* against Scotland in the two official tournament warm-up matches, with today continuing his run of ‘red-inkers’ in the last three matches for the Irish Under-19s. His innings today featured 8 fours and a six – he is only the fourth Ireland Under-19s batter to have scored a century at an Under-19s World Cup after Eoin Morgan, Paul Stirling and Harry Tector.
The Irish side batted solidly for their 236-9 from 50 overs, albeit with two key partnerships that drove the scoring forward – a 99-run 5th wicket stand between Cox and Philippe le Roux (32) and a 47-run sixth-wicket stand between Cox and Scott Macbeth (22).
With 237 the target, the Irish bowlers struck early and always kept the Ugandan run chase in check. The left-arm spinner Matthew Humphreys, who plays club cricket for Lisburn, impressed taking 4-25 from 10 overs, while Rush’s spinning all-rounder Nathan McGuire finished with an economical 2-29 from his 10 overs
Ugandan captain Pascal Murungi hit a well-compiled 63, but his side were eventually bowled out for 197 in the 49th over.
Ireland Under-19s will next face India and South Africa in their remaining Group Stage matches, with both fixtures to be shown live on Sky Sports in Ireland / UK.
After the match, Josh Cox said about the century:
“It’s an amazing feeling, first game of the World Cup, it’s a dream come true. I always felt I had enough time to do it, and I just trusted the batters up the other end they could help me get there.”
About the bowling performance:
“Our spinners are our strength, and I thought they bowled well today – if they keep putting in performances like that then we’ll get the results.”
About facing South Africa next week:
“I’m extremely excited, I know a lot of the guys – I’ve known them a long time and played against them. I can’t wait to play them, it should be a really fantastic occasion.”
Ireland Under-19s Men v Uganda Under-19s Men, U19 World Cup Group Stage, Guyana, 15 January 2022
Ireland 236-9 (50 overs: J Cox 111*, P le Roux 32; J Baguma 2-34)
Uganda 197 (48.1 overs: P Murunga 63; M Humphreys 4-25, N McGuire 2-29)
Ireland Under-19s won by 39 runs
Terrific lads. Roll on South Africa!
Ireland and West Indies are back for the third World Cup Super League match on Sunday at the same ground.
West Indies Men v Ireland Men, 2nd ODI, Sabina Park, Jamaica, 13 January 2022
West Indies 229 (48 overs: R Shepherd 50, O Smith 46; A McBrine 4-36, C Young 3-42)
Ireland 168-5 (32.3 overs: H Tector 54*, A McBrine 35; A Hosein 2-51)
Ireland won by 5 wickets
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Cricket Ireland (CI) have announced the changes to the match schedule for the ongoing CG Insurance One-Day International Series.
The second CG Insurance ODI will now be played on Thursday 13 January, with the third and final CG Insurance ODI on Sunday 16 January at Sabina Park. First ball is 9.30am local time (2.30pm Irish time).
The rescheduling occurred following five COVID-19 positive cases, as well as injuries in the Ireland camp leaving the Ireland squad depleted ahead of the 2nd CG Insurance ODI which was originally was scheduled for Tuesday, 11 January. As a consequence the one-off CG Insurance T20 International has been cancelled to allow for this revised schedule and to avoid impact on the West Indies team’s travel plans and subsequent fixtures.
These ODI matches form part of the ICC World Cup Super League with both teams having the opportunity to win points to be one of the top seven teams, excluding hosts India, to gain automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
West Indies lead the three-match series 1-0 following their 24-run victory in the first CG Insurance ODI on Saturday.
Live coverage is available on ESPN Caribbean in the West Indies and BT Sport in Ireland as well as with CWI’s broadcast partners around the world.
REVISED MATCH SCHEDULE (at Sabina Park)
January 8: 1st CG Insurance ODI – West Indies won by 24 runs
January 13: 2nd CG Insurance ODI (9.30am local time / 2.30pm Irish time)
January 16: 3rd CG Insurance ODI (9.30am local time / 2.30pm Irish time)
Joint statement by Cricket West Indies and Cricket Ireland on postponement of 2nd CG Insurance ODI
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Cricket Ireland (CI) issued a joint statement after two further positive COVID-19 cases were reported in the Ireland camp following recent testing, and two players being ruled out due to injury, resulting in Ireland having a severely depleted squad.
The second CG Insurance One-Day International scheduled for Sabina Park on Tuesday, January 11 has therefore been postponed.
CWI and CI are in discussions to review the match schedule and are working to explore all possibilities for the series to be completed.
The five members of the Ireland team who have returned positive COVID-19 results remain in isolation under the care and supervision of the medical teams.
Further updates will be provided as soon as possible.
West Indies Men v Ireland Men, 1st ODI, Sabina Park, Jamaica, 8 January 2022
West Indies 269 (48.5 overs: S Brooks 93, K Pollard 69; M Adair 3-38, C Young 3-56)
Ireland 245 (49.1 overs: A Balbirnie 71, H Tector 53; R Shepherd 3-50)
West Indies won by 24 runs
Ireland Men v Jamaica Scorpions, Warm-up match, Sabina Park, Jamaica, 5 January 2022
Ireland 234 (48.3 overs: G Dockrell 82, S Singh 29; N Gordon 5-34)
Jamaica 235-5 (38.4 overs: R Powell 82*, A McCarthy 48; J Little 3-21)
Jamaica Scorpions won by 5 wickets
Wishing you a happy and peaceful 2022. Above all stay safe in this strange world.
Clarence Hiles and John Kerstens
Ireland Men's USA tour cut short after remaining matches cancelled
USA Cricket and Cricket Ireland have jointly agreed to the cancellation of the one-day international leg of the Dafabet USA v Ireland Men’s International Series over COVID-related concerns that have emerged today.
In the meantime the Ireland Under 19 squad has arrived in Barbados and trained at Police CC, Weymouth, this afternoon. A pep talk was given by the famous Barbados cricketer Henderson 'Hendy' Wallace who played in Ireland for over 22 years.
FORT LAUDERDALE, USA – A fluent 84 from Lorcan Tucker and an inspired 4-25 from Curtis Campher have led Ireland to victory in the second T20I of the Dafabet USA v Ireland Men’s International Series.
Tucker posted his second half-century of the series in an innings of eye-catching quality – he struck nine fours and three sixes in a 56-ball stay that held together the Irish innings and helped post a defendable target. This was Tucker’s highest international score, passing his 83 against Afghanistan in an ODI in January.
Campher, meanwhile, bowled an aggressive spell, effecting a run out from his own bowling to claim the first wicket before capturing four wickets – three of the wickets coming from his last over, the 18th over of the innings.
After losing the toss and being sent in to bat under the lights, Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie and opening partner Paul Stirling looked to try and set a more positive tone for the Irish batting unit, with Stirling striking the first ball to the boundary. However, just five balls later Ireland’s talisman was adjudged LBW, out for 5.
Balbirnie clattered two boundaries through the off-side from the next two balls from Saurabh Netravalkar, but fell hooking a short ball for the second match in a row, out for 10.
Tucker, batting at No.3 for only the second time, then took the reins of the innings. Where his last innings was one of tentative shot play and accumulation of runs, today Tucker was more fluent in his strokeplay. Resuming his battle with the US paceman Muhammad Ali Khan from the last match, Tucker struck Khan for a lofted six over mid-on and a chipped shot off his pads over square leg for four from Khan’s first over to show his clear intent.
The Pembroke and Leinster Lightning batter brought up his second half-century in consecutive matches from 32 balls, and looked comfortable throughout.
Less, though, his teammates with Ireland beginning to lose wickets at regular intervals. Where Tucker timed the ball well, and scored at a strike rate of 150 over his innings, the rest of the Irish batters seemed to struggle with their timing, only Curtis Campher (17) and Simi Singh (13) registered double figures in the remainder of the innings.
Tucker’s lone hand had its moments of good fortune – being dropped twice – but he rode his luck and even looked set to threaten a possible century before falling in the penultimate over of the innings trying to reverse sweep a yorker from Netravalkar.
Ireland’s 150 was looking 10-15 runs below on this high-scoring ground, and would require a disciplined bowling effort.
Ryan Scott was promoted to open the US innings and immediately set to work striking two boundaries in the first Mark Adair over. However, a brilliant piece of fielding off his own bowling saw Campher run Scott out for 11 and the Irish side visibly seemed to lift in response.
Ritwik Behera was caught by Shane Getkate at fine leg off Adair for 16, and captain Monank Patel – after a quick flourish – fell for 26 to give Ben White his first wicket, Adair with the outfield catch.
Gajanand Singh, who hit a Player of the Match-winning 64 yesterday, again looked confident in compiling 23 from 20 balls, but fell leg before to Campher just when he was looking set to launch another late innings attack.
With the run rate required climbing steadily towards two runs-a-ball, Adair delivered an excellent display of death overs bowling, taking the pace off the ball and conceding just four runs from the 16th over.
The 18th over by Campher was a true rollercoaster – a no-ball six, a second six, and then three wickets in five balls separated by a wide saw USA needing 28 from the last two overs. Barry McCarthy and Adair held their nerve to bowl out the final 12 balls, and Ireland were victorious by 9 runs. The series finished level at 1-1.
Tucker, named Player of the Match and Player of the Series for his 141 runs across the two matches.
USA Men v Ireland Men, 2nd T20I, Broward County Stadium, Florida, 23 December 2021
Ireland 150 (18.5 overs: L Tucker 84; S Netravalkar 3-33)
USA 141-7 (20 overs: S Modani 27; C Campher 4-25)
Ireland Men won by 9 runs
Gutsy performance but well short of what we had hoped. USA could have won as Ireland only clinched it 2 ball on the last over. Tucker saved our bacon!
Go easy on the turkey.
The USA stunned Ireland by 26 runs in the first Twenty20 international between the sides in Florida.
It was the first time an International Cricket Council (ICC) full member had faced the USA on American soil.
After slumping to 16-4 inside five overs in Lauderhill, the USA rallied as Sushant Modani (50) and Gajanand Singh (65) helped them post a mammoth 188-6.
Ireland, 17 places higher in the ICC rankings, fell well short with the bat despite Lorcan Tucker's unbeaten 57.
The defeat comes only two months after Ireland were dumped out of the T20 World Cup group stages after defeats by Sri Lanka and Namibia.
"It started really well but from there it was pretty brutal stuff from us and not good enough," said Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie.
"We knew it was a good wicket and we would have to work hard for the 10 wickets if we were to get them. We didn't create enough chances and we didn't bowl well enough.
Oh dear! Ugh!
The 15-player Ireland Under-19s Men’s squad has been named for the upcoming ICC Under-19s Men’s World Cup to be held in the Caribbean in January. Head Coach Peter Johnston spoke about the squad, preparations and the importance of participation in under-age world cups for emerging cricketers hoping to make their mark on the world stage.
Ireland secured qualification to the event by winning the ICC Under-19s Men’s World Cup European Qualifier in September.
Tim Tector will once more captain the side – he is the third Tector brother to captain his country at this event with Jack (Bangladesh 2016) and Harry (New Zealand 2018) leading the last two Irish sides to feature at the Under-19s Men’s World Cup.
Ryan Eagleson, who was Head Coach for the Qualifier tournament, has moved into Ireland Men’s national bowling coach role on an interim basis. Replacing Eagleson is Peter Johnston, the current Academy and Performance Manager and Wolves Head Coach. Johnston has more than a decade’s experience with the Irish Senior Men’s Squad and brings a wealth of experience to the touring party.
The tournament will be held between 14 January and 5 February 2022, with 16 teams competing for the title that is considered the pinnacle for youth cricketers across the world. The competition features four groups of four teams, with the top two from each group progressing to the Super League stage of the tournament to decide the tournament winner. Teams finishing in third and fourth place in each group enter a Plate play-off.
Ireland Under-19s Group Stage fixtures are:
15 January: Ireland Under-19s v Uganda Under-19s (Everest Cricket Club, Guyana)
19 January: Ireland Under-19s v India Under-19s (Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago)
21 January: Ireland Under-19s v South Africa Under-19s (Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago)
A warm-up programme preceding the tournament will be announced shortly.
A full fixture schedule for the event can be found here: https://www.icc-cricket.com/u19-world-cup/fixtures
The core World Cup squad consists of 15 players, while one travelling reserve and two non-travelling reserves have also been named in line with Covid-19 protocols.
The Ireland Under-19s Men’s squad is:
Tim Tector (captain) (YMCA), Diarmuid Burke (Malahide), Joshua Cox (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Jack Dickson (Instonians), Liam Doherty (St. Andrew’s School), Jamie Forbes (YMCA), Daniel Forkin (Merrion), Matthew Humphreys (Lisburn), Philippe le Roux (Railway Union), Scott Macbeth (St. Johnston), Nathan McGuire (Rush), Muzamil Sherzad (North Kildare), David Vincent (Clontarf), Luke Whelan (North County), Reuben Wilson (YMCA).
Travelling reserve: Robbie Millar (Eglinton)
Non-travelling reserves: Ryan Hunter (CSNI), Ewan Wilson (Muckamore)
The coach and support staff are:
Peter Johnston (Head Coach), Beth Healy (Team Manager), Jay Shelat (Performance Analyst), Darren Nicol (Physiotherapist), Simon Johnston (Assistant Coach), Albert van der Merwe (Assistant Coach).
Good luck lads!
World Cup Qualifier abandoned; positive outcome for Ireland Women amidst the disappointment
HARARE, Zimbabwe – The International Cricket Council has this morning confirmed that the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe has been abandoned as a result of the introduction of travel restrictions from a number of countries, including Zimbabwe.
The ICC has further advised that qualification for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 and next ICC Women’s Championship will be determined by world rankings.
As a result:
The teams who have qualified for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 to be held in New Zealand from 4 March to 3 April are Australia, England, India, South Africa, New Zealand (hosts), Pakistan, West Indies and Bangladesh.
The number of teams in the third cycle of the ICC Women’s Championship (from 2022-2025) has been increased from eight to ten, and these teams will be Australia, England, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ireland.
Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“We are disappointed for all the players and teams who are in Zimbabwe at the moment, but from a health and safety perspective this is the correct decision. We will now concentrate on working with the ICC in getting our squad home as soon as practicable.
“While it’s never the manner in which you hope to qualify for a competition, it is a big result for Ed Joyce and his squad to be part of the 2022-2025 Women’s Championship. It’s not an understatement to say it should see a fundamental change in women’s cricket in Ireland.
“However, today is a time not for celebrations, rather to concentrate on our team’s safe and timely repatriation home.”
Sad to learn that the great Lisburn stalwart Cecil Walker has passed away earlier this morning. He was a giant in Ulster and Irish cricket reaching the highest level bar international, although I'm certain he would have distinguished himself as well. He was Chairman and President of NCU and Irish Cricket, Lisburn 1st Eleven captain in the halcyon years of 1950s, Chairman and President, sponsor, fundraiser, and chaired the 1986 NCU Centenary celebrations after Ferguson Grainger sadly suddenly died. He was an outstanding President at every level and travelled widely with his good friends Alfie and Mary Linehan. He was a fine batsman and featured in the 1957 Senior Cup against Woodvale with a dashing 53 alongside Raymond Hunter, who hit 133, one of the greatest innings in NCU cricket. Cecil was 'Mr Cricket' at Lisburn and further afield, as he had wonderful charisma and diplomacy. He was an exceptional leader and much loved throughout Ulster and Irish cricket.
Cricket will be sad today but his legacy will last forever.
Rest in Peace, Cecil Walker.
Cricket Ireland and Provincial Unions launch first-ever national survey to help drive the future of the sport.
Cricket Ireland, in partnership with the five Provincial Unions around Ireland, is today launching its first-ever national survey that will help drive forward the future of cricket across Ireland – from grassroots to representative, as well as the fans perspective on the game. We would also like to hear from those not connected to the sport to get their views on cricket and any barriers to participation or interest that exist.
The Big Irish Cricket Survey is an initiative of Cricket Ireland, in conjunction with Cricket Leinster, Munster Cricket, North West Cricket Union, Northern Cricket Union and Connacht Cricket Union – with a range of questions tailored to capture the views, interests and data that will underpin future growth plans for the sport.
In April 2021, Cricket Ireland released its new Strategic Plan 2021-2023 that identified the need to collate more nationally-focussed data to support both the work of sourcing funding and distributing limited resources in an effective way to grow the game.
The survey is now live and available at: https://bit.ly/IrishCricketSurvey
It will remain open until 5pm, Friday 10 December 2021.
Andrew Fleming, Chair of Cricket Ireland’s Grassroots Cricket Committee, said:
“The Grassroots Cricket Committee is keen to ensure that every cricket voice from every cricket club, school or organisation on the island is heard. Players, coaches, umpires, fans and volunteers from every level are asked to contribute to help us better understand the needs on the ground and ensure our game can flourish in the years ahead – that is why it is so important that we undertake a survey like this.
If you have a view about Cricket on this island please take a few moments to help Irish cricket by completing this survey.”
Elaine Nolan, Participation Director at Cricket Ireland, said:
“The Big Irish Cricket Survey is part of Cricket Ireland’s current strategic objectives that aim to consolidate the gains of recent years, invest in grassroots, grow the women’s game and ensure we are as diverse, inclusive and welcoming a sport as any.
“A call-out within our strategy is to find that much-needed balance between grassroots and elite cricket, to ensure we can continue to drive forward on solid foundations. The survey encourages the cricket community to actively input on aspects of the recreational game and have an influence on its future development. It's vital that our recreational game continues to grow so we have healthy clubs who can nurture the next generation of players, coaches and volunteers.
"That's why we want to hear from players of all ages and people actively involved in local cricket clubs including coaches, umpires, scorers and volunteers, and we want to hear from the fans of our game - and people with a passing interest in cricket - about how we can make our game stronger.”
Time to voice our opinions!
Be constructive and not belly ache. This is an opportunity to reach grass-roots and we often complain that Cricket Ireland is not interested in grass-roots.
USA Cricket to host Ireland in historic men's tour
Ireland to become the first Full Member of the ICC to play against the United States on American soil, with a five-match series set for Florida next month
The 2 T20I & 3 ODI matches will be played from 22-30 December, set to be the biggest series of international matches for USA ever held on home soil
Agreement for Ireland to host USA for a reciprocal tour in the next three years
Men’s Under-19s sides will also face off in Florida as Ireland’s Under-19s squad prepares for the ICC Under-19s Cricket World Cup in early 2022
DUBLIN & LOS ALTOS, USA – Ireland Men’s cricket team is set to become the first Full Member nation to tour the United States to play against the USA Men’s national team in Florida this December. The tour will be played over the Christmas period and is the first-ever multi-format white-ball series between the two sides.
In addition, the Ireland Men’s Under-19s World Cup squad will accompany the senior squad for a preparation camp and white-ball series against USA Men’s Under-19s, ahead of the Irish team’s participation in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in January being held in the West Indies.
The five-match series between the two senior teams will feature two T20 Internationals and three One-Day Internationals, all of which will be played at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Florida.
The series precedes Ireland’s scheduled World Cup Super League Series with the West Indies in January in the Caribbean (venues and match dates to be announced shortly).
The fixture schedule
20 December: T20 Warm-up match (details TBC)
22 December: USA Men v Ireland Men – 1st T20I (Florida; start 2pm local time)
23 December: USA Men v Ireland Men – 2nd T20I (Florida; start 7pm local time)
26 December: USA Men v Ireland Men – 1st ODI (Florida; start 10am local time)
28 December: USA Men v Ireland Men – 2nd ODI (Florida; start 2.30pm local time)
30 December: USA Men v Ireland Men – 3rd ODI (Florida; start 2.30pm local time)
The dates for the additional training camp and three Men’s Under-19s matches will be finalised and announced shortly.
The Irish men’s squad will depart from Dublin on 16 December, landing in Miami. Following the series, the squad will depart on 31 December for the Caribbean to prepare for the West Indies series.
As part of the agreement, Cricket Ireland is also pleased to announce their hosting of a reciprocal tour by the USA Men’s team to visit Ireland for a series of international matches in the next three years.