Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Ulster pair land full Ireland deals

Stuart Thompson is on a full Ireland contract

Craig Young and Stuart Thompson have both been given Category A contracts by Cricket Ireland for 2014.

Young, who made his international debut only last September, is the fast bowling hope who will replace Trent Johnston and is currently on his first overseas tour in the West Indies where he is expected to play in the opening Super 50 game against Guyana on Friday.

The 23-year-old spent two years with Sussex but was released last summer and returns to play for Bready this year, although Ireland will have first call on his services.

Thompson (22) played in only three of Ireland's 24 games last year but national coach Phil Simmons has always shown tremendous faith in the Eglinton all-rounder and he is the other new player on a full contract, alongside Alex Cusack, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien and Max Sorensen.

Nine of the 10 county professionals are on Category B contracts, with Andrew Balbirnie the odd player out.

Although he has signed a one-year contract with Middlesex the Dubliner is listed as one of the five on Cricket Ireland's C contracts along with fringe players John Anderson and Andrew Poynter and the uncapped Peter Chase and Tyrone Kane.

Nine of the 24 players have been given two-year contracts.

Ireland contracts: Category A: A Cusack, J Mooney*, K O'Brien*, M Sorensen* S Thompson, C Young.

Category B: W Porterfield*, G Dockrell, E Joyce*, A McBrine, G McCarter, T Murtagh*, N O'Brien*, S Poynter, E Richardson, J Shannon, P Stirling*, A White, G Wilson*

Category C: J Anderson, A Balbirnie, P Chase, T Kane, A Poynter.

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