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Rain in Spain forces delay to opening round of inter-pros


On board: Boyd Rankin
On board: Boyd Rankin

By Ian Callender in La Manga

They say the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain; but for the last couple of days it has been hammering down in La Manga and it has forced a 24-hour delay to the start of this season's Test Triangle Inter-provincial Cup.

Cricket Ireland invoked an extra round of 50-overs matches this season, to give their international squad match practice ahead of the first one-day international of the season against England at Malahide on Friday week, and to 'guarantee' good weather they have sent the three teams to their new cricket centre in Spain.

The best laid plans... but the good news is that the weather is to improve this week and the opening match between North West Warriors and one-day champions Leinster Lightning will now be played tomorrow (9.45 BST), with the Northern Knights, who don't fly out until tomorrow, then playing the Warriors and Lightning on Wednesday and Thursday.

For the Warriors, who have Boyd Rankin on board for the whole season, plus six other internationals including Ireland skipper William Porterfield, it is a format where success has proved frustratingly elusive. Indeed, in the six years since the competition was revamped, they have won just three of 17 completed games!

"It's surprising, given that this is our bread and butter, but hopefully if we get a bit of sun on our backs, we might be able to turn things around a touch," says head coach Ian McGregor.

""There's also a good opportunity for the squad to bond over the four days. That was an area of real strength for us last season (when they won the three-day Championship). This is a really good group and they enjoy each other's success. We're looking forward to it."

Tomorrow's squads: Lightning: G Dockrell (capt), A Balbirnie, P Chase, S Doheny, G Delany, F Hand, T Kane, J Little, B McCarthy, K O'Brien, S Singh, J Tector, L Tucker.

Warriors: A McBrine (capt), B Rankin, S Thompson, W Porterfield, C Young, D Rankin, A Britton, M Poskitt, A Austin, W McClintock, R Allen, A Gillespie, G Kennedy.

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