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Young: It was a lonely time before my Irish recall


Working hard: Craig Young is back in side
Working hard: Craig Young is back in side

By Ian Callender in Dubai

Craig Young has spoken about the frustrations of being out of the side and then the satisfaction of being recalled to play a match-winning role as Ireland qualified for the T20 World Cup.

The 29-year-old, from Londonderry, made his international debut in 2013, but in the next five years, Young played in only a third of Ireland's 130 matches.

At the start of this year, he took the decision to leave the North West and sign for North Down in the NCU, and after a stellar season on the faster pitches at Comber he was brought back into the Ireland side for the T20 against Zimbabwe, ironically at his former club Bready.

Figures of 2-20 in his first Ireland game for 13 months kept him in the squad for this autumn, but Young had to wait his turn in the UAE and it wasn't until the fifth match of the T20 World Cup qualifiers, when he replaced Warriors team-mate Stuart Thompson, that he got his chance.

"It's nice to be involved again, it's a lonely place when you are watching the lads on television or following them on social media, so hopefully I can kick on from here," said Young.

"(Coach) Graham Ford and Willo (captain Gary Wilson) have always said they are really confident in the bench, that if anyone drops out the team will not be weakened. So it was a nice carrot to get career best figures (4-13) in my second match, but it was all about qualification."

Young admits it was just a case of working hard in the nets but, as he puts it, "you don't really get much choice".

"The coaches make sure you are as sharp as can be, everything is in place, so you have no real excuse not to be ready," he adds. "You have to keep working hard, but it's nice to do well."

Young signs off with a sentence that only a bowler can utter: "Batsmen can get all the runs they want, but it's the bowlers that win the games, especially in this heat, it's been a huge effort from everyone. All have worked hard, batters and bowlers."

The Ireland squad arrived in Dubai yesterday but have been given two days off ahead of their semi-final on Friday against the winners of today's first play-off between Netherlands and UAE.

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