Many meetings, both throughout the summer and in recent weeks have brought about some very interesting developments for the Union for season 2012 and beyond.
Firstly, the NCU Board have agreed, in principal, to support the introduction of an All Ireland Junior Cup. This new initiative was proposed at the Irish Cricket Committee meeting last Wednesday in Dublin, and the Unions have been asked for their opinions.
The composition for this tournament in terms of teams competing will be the next ten teams below the 10 that qualify for the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup. The intentions of Cricket Ireland are for the competition to have 32 teams and for all the games to be played on the same day as the main BKISC fixtures. The Union are hopeful that this new and exciting tournament will begin in 2012.
With the Premier League moving to an 8 team tournament in 2012, and the NCU having to provide 10 teams for this competition, the Union have yet to decide who the final two teams will be competing within the main BKISC. One of the proposals on the table at this early stage, is to possibly utilise a Bank Holiday at the beginning of the season to decide the final two teams to participate in the main tournament.
Secondly, in a very positive development, the NCU have agreed with Cricket Ireland after many months of discussions, a job description and financing for an NCU Cricket Development Officer. This person will report to Tim Simmonite, Cricket Ireland National Development Officer, and the NCU. The Union hope to have this post advertised within the next month.
The other “HOT TOPIC” that the NCU have on the radar is Discipline. There was a very clear increase in the number of “reporting” and “Suspensions” of players in 2011, in comparison to 2010. The Union alongside the Umpires Association are determined to eradicate poor behaviour on the field of play, moving forward into the 2012 season and beyond. The Union feel that Captains of competing teams must lead from the front in helping with this growing issue in ensuring good behaviour on the field of play, at all times.
A total of 15 reports were submitted by umpires during the current season compared with 9 in the 2010 season. The breakdown for the 15 was 6 Premier league clubs, 5 Section 1 clubs, 2 Section 2 clubs and 2 from Junior 1 clubs. The penalties awarded were 1 suspension for 4 weeks, 2 suspensions for 3 weeks, 4 suspensions for 2 weeks and the remainder received reprimands.