New High Performance Hub in the North West and Emerging Warriors series
Cricket Ireland have today released details of their plans for a revamp of the men’s senior Interprovincial programme ahead of the 2021 season.
The changes are of course set against a backdrop of elements of uncertainty over coronavirus restrictions however hopes are high of a full ‘white ball’ programme this summer.
There’s big news for Munster in today’s announcement; the Reds will be fully integrated into the series going forward meaning they will play a full part in the 50-over competition for the first time. The 50-over cup will be played on a round robin basis, home and away, while the T20 Trophy will be contested over a series of 3-day festivals which are still to be finalised.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW PERFORMANCE COACHING HUBS
There was very good news for the NWCU too with the announcement of a High Performance Hub at Bready. This will replace the previous coaching regime with the only Hub in Dublin but now both of the Northern Ireland Unions will benefit from a similar facility. It means that Irish contracted players, interprovincial players and emerging players will all benefit from local and national coaching on their own doorstep. Further details on the Bready High Performance Hub will be announced later this month.
NEW EMERGING INTER-PROVINCIAL COMPETITION
Cricket Ireland and the Provincial Unions have agreed to create a new tournament that will be played by all four Provincial Union Emerging teams including the North West Warriors Emerging Squad.
SELECTION OF SQUADS
Under a new selection process the Chair of National Men’s Selectors and National Head Coach will work closely with the Provincial Union Head Coaches to select a core squad of 12 players for each team. Provincial Unions will then add four additional players to form an initial squad of 16 with flexibility to add in further players. Match day squads will continue to be selected by local Provincial Unions selectors.
The new selection criteria, however, is unlikely to result in massive personnel changes in the make-up of the Warriors squad but rather identify and address areas to strengthen in the squad.
Brian Dougherty, NWCU Chairman, applauded the new structure:
”The NW have a very proud history of international representation from youth to senior level. However, we felt as a Union that the High performance pathways and the inter-provincial set up was at something of a cross-roads. It was clear that re-structuring and additional resources were required in the area.
After months of discussion and negotiation we welcome this progress. It remains a work in progress but we look forward to being a further step down the line where our young players of the present can see a clear pathway from their clubs to first class and representative cricket.”
All in all it seems a positive statement of intent across the Interprovincial platform and the news was warmly welcomed by NW General Manager Peter McCartney
“The key for us in discussions with Cricket Ireland over the past few months has been the establishment of a High Performance Hub in the North West. We need to create a pathway for own players from our underage teams and clubs, into the Emerging and Senior Warriors squads, through to Ireland recognition. The hub will see a substantial investment in facilities and coaching. We are still finalising these plans but hope to confirm further details in the coming weeks especially once current Covid restrictions hopefully start to ease.
This will be a Hub that will not only benefit our current Ireland players but also our Warriors, emerging players and youth squads. It will cover both our male and female players, and it’s a resource that’s been badly needed in the North West in recent seasons. The involvement of senior Cricket Ireland coaches in this hub is a major step forward as well and we welcome the commitment shown from Cricket Ireland in creating these new hubs outside of Dublin.
The core of the North West Warriors team will still be made up of North West players and with the new Emerging Series, a better pathway is now in place for our players hoping to progress here in the NWCU.”