Monday, May 27, 2024

Inter-Pros 2024: All you need to know – Cricket Ireland

Must read

DUBLIN – The 2024 Inter-Provincial Series begins tomorrow with a three-day T20 Festival in Dublin to kick-off the season – the four Head Coaches have opened up about their off-seasons and expectations for the season ahead.

In further news:

  • fans will be able to tune into Cricket Ireland Live on Youtube to watch the match livestreams; and
  • spectators attending Inter-Provincial Series matches will be able to access new Digital Match Programmes that feature Playing XIs, squad news, stories and videos

Speaking ahead of the start of the season, the head coaches were speaking about preparations and expectations for 2024.

Jeremy Bray, Munster Reds Head Coach, said:

“It has been a quiet pre-season for the Reds as most of the players have been either away overseas playing, injured or training with Irish senior squad. However, this has enabled me to work closely with the few players that have been around all winter.

“While the loss of Murray Commins from the squad is a big one for us, given his consistent performances over the last few years, at full strength we will be a tough side to beat this year. However, like most of the other teams, when the Irish contracted boys are away, it will be a case of seeing how new faces fit into the side and perform. One thing that is exciting is that we have two Ireland under-19s players in Jordan Neil and Ryan Hunter this season. I am very interested to see how they get on when opportunities arise for them.”

Simon Johnston, Northern Knights Head Coach, said:

“The preparations for this season have been different, but in a good way. There has been so much cricket over the winter – between the senior Ireland side, Wolves and Academy – that we haven’t trained together an awful lot. While it sounds odd, this can be seen as a real positive for the NCU because it means we have had so many of our players selected for various representative squads. The flip side, of course, is that my coaching team haven’t had as much contact time with many of our players. But again, looking at the positives, this has given us the opportunity to put a real focus on our next group of younger players, and that has been exciting to be able to focus on them over the winter months.

“While last year was obviously very successful for us in terms of winning trophies, which was great, I think the most rewarding thing was – as I said – seeing the number of Knights players getting selected for Irish squads as to us, as a Provincial Union, that is always the benchmark.

“This year our primary focus will be on planning for the future. We have identified 6 or 7 players under the age of 21 that we feel need to get exposed to Inter-Pro level this year. Strategically we are going to see when we can get these lads as much game time as we can.  It may be difficult trying to get the balance right at times, but for both the Knights, and the national set-up, we have identified these guys as players of interest, so have to take every opportunity to accelerate their learning when we can.

“We must also continue to increase our strength in depth for longer-term success. Something we have been big on these past three years is understanding the process and not being focused on results. Results, you hope, will look after themselves if we continue to do the right things.”

Andre Botha, Leinster Lightning Head Coach, said:

“Pre-season was a bit of a struggle given the weather, with a very wet March and April meaning we were pretty much confined to indoor sessions – in fact, we have only managed to get out on grass once as a squad to date. Luckily, we had most of the squad playing some games in the last couple of months in different representative teams which will hopefully help them adjust quickly to the outdoor conditions quickly.

“We have a bit of a mixed season coming up regarding our expectations. When we have our internationals available, we will be expecting to compete well in a strong competition. But we are well aware of the international schedule for the season and that we will have limited access to the selected players.

“On the whole, we have a young squad outside our international players. While we are still expecting to compete, it is a great opportunity for these young player to put their hands up and put some pressure on the national selectors.”

Boyd Rankin, North West Warriors Head Coach, said:

“Preparations have been pretty good, however, we’ve had a lot of the guys away over winter with senior tours, the Emerging Ireland Caribbean trip or the Under-19 World Cup. In addition, some of our lads have spent the winter playing club cricket abroad as well. So, all of the lads have either been playing or training at the indoor centre in Bready.

“Most lads would have had a regular programme of training or gym sessions each week, so the prep has been pretty good. The weather hasn’t been the best for getting grass wickets, but everyone is ready to get underway. There’s a lot to play for, between international, Wolves and Emerging Ireland fixtures and tours, so now it’s up to the players to get out there and put in performances in order to catch the eye of selectors.

“We have high expectations this year. We had a reasonable season in 2023, we were in with a shout in both competitions at various stages. Obviously we’d like to go out there and win games and trophies, but for us it’s as much about getting those small wins in games and seeing players progress.

“We see part of our job as producing players that go on and play for Ireland – and to do that we want to develop players, and expose them to as much competitive cricket as possible. That includes allowing players the freedom to make mistakes at times, and to learn from those mistakes.

“So, to win trophies is our goal, but to push players on in their development as they try to achieve higher honours is just as much a priority.”

THE SQUADS

Each Provincial Union will name a competition squad, however, due to a number of players being unavailable at various times due to international and franchise cricket, a wider pool of players will be called upon at times.

Leinster Lightning

  • George Dockrell (Phoenix) (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke), Chris DeFreitas (Balbriggan), David Delany (Clontarf), Fionn Hand (Clontarf), Sam Harbinson (Merrion), Gavin Hoey (Dublin University/Pembroke), Philippe Le Roux (Railway Union), Josh Little (Pembroke), Seamus Lynch (Terenure), Barry McCarthy (Pembroke), Byron McDonagh (Pembroke), John McNally (Clontarf), Mikey O’Reilly (Dublin University/YMCA), Olly Riley (YMCA*), Adam Rosslee (YMCA*), Amish Sidhu (Phoenix), Harry Tector (YMCA*), Tim Tector (YMCA*), Lorcan Tucker (Pembroke), Reuben Wilson (YMCA*)

Munster Reds

  • PJ Moor (Clontarf) (Captain), Curtis Campher (Clontarf), Gareth Delany (Leinster), Matt Ford (Malahide), Alistair Frost (Malahide), Mike Frost (Malahide), Ryan Hunter (CSNI), Ryan Joyce (Cork Harlequins), Tyrone Kane (Merrion), Zubair Khan (Cork Harlequins), Brandon Kruger (The Hills), Josh Manley (Lisburn), Liam McCarthy (Railway Union), Sean McNicholl (The Hills), Matthew Weldon (The Hills), Ben White (Phoenix).

North West Warriors

  • Andy McBrine (Donemana) (Captain), Liam Doherty (Eglinton), Stephen Doheny (Merrion), Shane Getkate (Phoenix), Graham Hume (Waringstown), Ryan Macbeth (Lisburn), Scott Macbeth (Bready), William McClintock (Donemana), Trent McKeegan (Newbuildings), Cameron Melley (Brigade), Robbie Millar (Eglinton), Conor Olphert (Bready), Gavin Roulston (Bready), Jared Wilson (Cliftonville Academy), Craig Young (North Down), Harry Zimmermann (Ardmore).

Northern Knights

  • Mark Adair (Lisburn), Ross Adair (CIYMS), Ben Calitz (Muckamore), Cade Carmichael (Instonians), Jake Egan (Carrickfergus), Matthew Foster (CSNI), Matthew Humphreys (Lisburn), Tyron Koen (CIYMS), Tom Mayes (Waringstown), James McCollum (Waringstown), Ruhan Pretorious (Woodvale), Cian Robertson (Instonians), Neil Rock (Instonians), Paul Stirling (North Down), Morgan Topping (Waringstown), Sam Topping (Sussex), Theo Van Woekrom (CIYMS).

NB : the club names in brackets relate to where players played in 2023 or reflect off-season club movements as accurately as possible.

* YMCA will not feature in the Leinster leagues in 2024 – players marked YMCA will move or have moved clubs

THE SERIES

The 2024 Inter-Provincial Series will feature four provincial teams competing across two white-ball fomats:

  • Inter-Provincial Cup (50-overs competition)
  • Inter-Provincial Trophy (T20 competition)

The fixture schedule is as follows.

Latest article