North West can rise to International challenge – By Lawrence Moore
Ahead of the upcoming International T20 series in Bready on 12th and 14th July, local cricket correspondent and NWCU PRO, Lawrence Moore, offers his thoughts on the games.
NORTH WEST CAN RISE TO INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE
By Lawrence Moore
Ireland’s emphatic ODI series win over Zimbabwe will have done morale no harm at all as they prepare for the upcoming historic Test match against England at Lord’s. Despite several changes in personnel, Graham Ford’s charges will surely also be fancying their chances of adding to their tally when the T20 series against the same opponents begins at Stormont tomorrow.
In the grander scheme of things, these series hardly get the “yellow bar” treatment from Sky Sports, but certainly, from the Unions’ perspective there has been plenty of effort invested in their success.
The NWCU hasn’t as yet been able to break into the “glamour” end of Ireland fixtures, however the fact that Cricket Ireland are helping Bready to build up their hosting portfolio might suggest that things could change over the next year or two.
The Magheramason venue always seems to be dogged by poor weather when their limited opportunities have arisen in the past, however despite some early morning rain ahead of the recent ODI, there was clear evidence that the NWCU is more than capable.
There was a decent crowd to see the game, however with the weather set fair for the latter part of this weekend, a new opportunity arises.
At first glance you might wonder why anyone would plan an International game on 12 July, however it is a sign of the belief that exists in the Union that the North West put their hand up straight away to host it.
Despite the perceived drawbacks Friday is without doubt a decent opportunity to show that Bready is ready to go to the next level. With the forecast looking good and a ‘free day’ for local cricket, Sunday’s game represents an even bigger opportunity to see a big crowd in.
On a personal note I was asked to represent the North West and accompany Jeff Crowe to Magheramason when he carried out the initial ICC inspection some 7 years ago. He was back at Bready for the first Zimbabwe game recently and he was full of praise for how the whole facility has filled out since then.
Should these next couple of games go well, Jeff may well be a key figure again in the near future- possibly showing his fellow countrymen how to get here for a match.
A huge part of that now is how much the North West cricket public is prepared to buy into this programme. To that end it is vital that clubs do everything in their power to support the two games this weekend.
To be fair, the parent body has made it as easy as possible – tickets are a tenner and everyone under-16 goes free. Both the Union and Cricket Ireland have worked in partnership to ensure Sunday’s game is as family friendly as possible.
On top of that we have Boyd Rankin and Craig Young in the T20 squad and three more current Warriors joining them to make it 5 locals out of the 14-man panel for the England Test.
I have often complained about Cricket Ireland in the past and more often than not they made it very easy. For once however the ‘we get nothing’ argument holds no water. It’s now up to players, supporters and clubs to do our bit to ensure a place at the table is secured.
There is plenty riding on this opportunity for us.
Ticket and Match Info:
Friday 12th July – 4pm
Sunday 14th July – 4pm
Tickets are available at the gate: Adult £10 and Under 16’s free