Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Cricket Ireland’s fear for the future

Andre Botha faces a delivery against Kenya but the three-game series has been a damp squib at Stormont.

Cricket Ireland is to discuss at board level if any more could have been done to prevent a second abandoned match in the three-game series against Kenya at Stormont.

Despite a dry day in Belfast yesterday, not a ball was bowled in the final ODI of the summer because the run-ups were still wet from Monday’s rain which caused the second game to be called off after just eight overs.

It was 11am when umpires ruled the approaches, at both ends, too “soft and dangerous” for any hope of play yesterday and yet spectators were still coming through the gates up to an hour later with no information that the game had been abandoned

Once the match referee, Mike Proctor, and the umpires complete their reports of the abbreviated series, Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom has promised to address any issues that are raised.

“Because of the amount of rain this month, the water table is too high (at Stormont) but if it is identified that the facilities are not good enough then it something we will have to address,” he said.

“The management of the venue is looked after by the venue itself and unless they come to us and say they are anticipating a problem because they have not received sufficient funding then there is not much we can do about that," said Deutrom.

“We are very sorry for the spectators and disappointed there was no play. We are disappointed at the small crowds and the lack of information for them and that is something we are going to have to look at.

“For the moment we have two international venues (Clontarf is the other) and the marketing of matches and interest, or lack of interest, among spectators is something we are going to have to discuss at board level and work out our strategy.

“We are hopeful that there will be sufficient government funding to bring Malahide on stream as another international venue in the next couple of years and Bready are aware of the (ODI) facilities required.

“They had the opportunity to host some of our matches this year but they felt their pitches weren’t quite ready but we are ready to assist as and when they ready to take up that opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Deutrom confirmed yesterday that Adrian Birrell will be returning to the Ireland set up.

The coach who took Ireland to the World Cup Super Eights stage last year is one of a “number of individuals” who are assisting Cricket Ireland in producing a High Performance plan for 2009-15. Birrell has been asked to write a paper on Talent Identification and Talent Development, “a subject close to his heart.”

Birrell is currently in a coaching role with Cricket Scotland who have given him permission to help with the Cricket Ireland plan.

Meanwhile, Ireland enjoyed another easy win in the European 'A' Championships in Holland yesterday, bowling out Denmark for 167 to win by 126 runs.

Following Kenny Carroll's unbeaten 81 in Tuesday's win against the hosts, it was John Mooney, the other World Cup player in the squad, who was yesterday's star.

He hit 115 not out and shared a partnership of 222 with Thinus Fourie who finished 88 not out as Ireland finished on 293 for three.

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