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Confident Kidd set to dish out revenge against Villagers

 

By Ian Callender

Everything comes to those who wait, they say, and it all came right for Gary Kidd on Sunday. The Waringstown slow left armer has not appeared in Ireland colours since 2010 but he is bowling better than ever and against North Down in the NCU Premier League finished with the best figures of the season.

They will take some beating because Kidd's seven wickets for nine runs are the best ever in the Premier League, which was renamed in 2006.

Indeed, only six other bowlers have taken seven in a Premier League innings in the last 12 seasons and no-one has come close to Kidd's economy - he conceded only two twos and five singles from his 60 balls.

But ask Kidd if he still has ambitions to get back into the Ireland team and he is indifferent.

"I haven't really thought about it, I'm enjoying playing inter-pro and club cricket," he says. And in this new era for Irish cricket, Kidd knows he will probably have to take a "seven-for" for the Northern Knights before the Ireland selectors even consider him again.

Ironically, his last season of international cricket was when he was bowling "at my worst", as he admits.

"Regan (West) took my spot in 2009 and when I came back I had a few technical issues," he stated.

"I really struggled in club cricket as well in 2010 and that did it for me, the end of my international career."

It had started in 2004, a three-day game at Limavady against MCC but it was the wrong time for the 18-year-old and he didn't do himself justice.

"I had just finished my A levels so had taken the previous three weeks off to study, so went into my debut undercooked, with only a couple of club games and definitely no training.

"I was also probably too young, I could have waited another year or two."

He had to wait three more years for his second cap, coming off a good Under-19 World Cup but "I had limited opportunities with Kyle (McCallan) being the front line spinner and it was always weather-dictated whether I got a match," he recalls.

Although he missed out on Ireland's busy 2009 summer (20 matches!) Kidd still produced the best international figures of the season, taking eight for 15 for Ireland A against Netherlands A, but it proved one of his last hurrahs before those "technical issues" surfaced.

But once those were sorted, he is enjoying a second career and at 31 years old many spinners are only reaching their peak "ability-wise, maybe but not emotionally or mentally," he laughs.

"Everything started to click in 2012 and since then I have got more consistent.

"Sunday was just one of those days. I have been bowling quite well all year without a whole lot of luck and there were times when we (Waringstown) were on the back foot and teams got away from us and I had to bowl more of a containing spell.

"I was able to attack right away on Sunday because we had got off to a pretty good start with a couple of wickets in the first few overs, but that hasn't been the case all year."

His magnificent seven came via four slip catches, one by the wicket-keeper, one lbw and one bowled, "no nothing caught at long-on", he says proudly.

Waringstown's eight-wicket victory put them joint top of the table and "in a decent position", but the Villagers are also targeting revenge in the Irish Cup quarter-finals this Sunday, at The Lawn against holders Merrion.

"Really looking forward to that one, we owe them one for last year," says Kidd.

"In the final we let them get too many on that (Clontarf) pitch and didn't bat well. It was an off-day all round, so you can't put your finger on one reason, but 250 was too many in a Cup final, 220 we would have been happy but John (Anderson) batted well and didn't give a chance.

"Home advantage will help this time but they are still a good side and we will have to play very well to beat them."

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