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Irish chiefs in discussions for Pakistan games

On location: Cricket Ireland chief Warren Deutrom
On location: Cricket Ireland chief Warren Deutrom

By Ian Callender

Cricket Ireland officials have arrived in Pakistan to discuss future games between the teams in the country.

Chief executive Warren Deutrom and chairman Ross McCollum, along with officials from the England and Wales Cricket Board, were met at Islamabad Airport on Monday night by the Pakistan Cricket Board's chief executive Wasim Khan and will attend today's T20 international against Sri Lanka in Lahore.

The T20 series is the first time Pakistan have hosted a fellow Full Member nation since the gun attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 and Pakistan officials are keen to bring back international cricket on a regular basis.

Deutrom and McCollum will also be briefed about the security situation in the country by the Interior Ministry and will visit the British High Commission.

Since Ireland's famous victory against Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup, the teams have played each other at the 2009 World T20 and ODIs in Dublin. They will meet again at Malahide in July in two T20 internationals before Pakistan travel to England for a three-match Test series.

Meanwhile, a few hours before the game in Lahore, Ireland will play their final match of the five-nation tournament in Oman. They must beat Nepal, ranked three places above them in the world rankings, to have any chance of winning the tournament.

Elsewhere, the structure of next season's North West Premiership is up in the air after Ballyspallen won an appeal against the abandonment of their final game of the season and the awarding of the match to Glendermott.

The appeals committee ruled that the umpires had not followed the correct procedure before awarding the match to Glendermott, a result which left Ballyspallen in the automatic relegation spot.

Although the committee made no recommendation that the relegation should not stand, the Board of Control in the North West now has to decide whether to keep an eight-team league in 2020 with Championship winners Ardmore taking Ballyspallen's place in the Premiership, to have a nine-team league, including Ballyspallen and Ardmore, or a 10-team league with Championship runners-up Burndennett also promoted.

That scenario, however, would leave only five teams in the Championship and a further possibility is for the next available 1st XI to be promoted to the Championship, namely The Nedd from Qualifying League 2.

A decision is expected by the end of the week.

In the NCU, CIYMS opening batsman Chris Dougherty has been named Premier League Player of the Year. The one-time Ireland international was the leading local batsman with 916 runs at an average of 38 as he helped the side to four trophies including the Premier League.

List of winners

Players of Year - Premier League: Chris Dougherty (CIYMS). Section One: Stephen Bunting (Woodvale). Section Two: Johnny Terrett (Cliftonville Academy). Young: Rory Ellerby (Instonians). Larry Warke Trophy (Top batsman): Marc Ellison. Sonny Hool Trophy (Top bowler): Peter Eakin. Jack Bowden Trophy: (Top all-rounder): CJ van der Walt. Dai Jones Trophy (Top wicket-keeper): Dougherty, David Miller, Marcus McClean (joint). John Solanky Trophy (Top coach): Steven Crothers (Instonians).

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