Rush Cricket Club’s Neil Rock continued his progression from Cricket Leinster Youth to become a remarkable ninth alumnus selected in Cricket Ireland’s Senior National squad for their tour to the UAE in January.
20-year-old Neil, better known as ‘Pebbles’, is a former Leinster youth captain, Catholic University School and Glenwood High School student in South Africa. He has made a rapid rise through the cricket ranks of Irish teams featuring for the u15, u17, u19s, Academy, and A-teams. He had a most successful u19 World Cup campaign in 2018, held in New Zealand, scoring 235 runs in six games joining former Leinster batsmen Eoin Morgan, Kevin O’Brien, Lorcan Tucker, Harry Tector & Jamie Grassi who returned similar impressive batting statistics at previous World Cups.
He already has 38 appearances in Ireland Inter-Provincial cricket, if ironic, almost all against his teammates in Leinster, coming as they have for Munster and Northern Knights, such has been Ireland’s desire to find him games and the talent available to Leinster in the wicketkeeping department.
Indeed, his selection has been met with great warmth by his former teammates and coaches at Glenwood High School, who knew they had a star on their hands in 2017 when he played a strong part in the school’s run to the prestigious Cricket South Africa T20 schools finals series held in Stellenbosch.
Current Leinster CC coach and former Glenwood Director of Cricket, Jarryd Chetty, added “Congratulations to Neil from all at Glenwood High School. We are proud of all our students, follow you wherever cricket takes you, and hope you will take the opportunity to return to us in Durban, next time you are in South Africa”.
A modest Neil was quick to thank everyone who has been contacting him and sending their congratulations “It is at these times you appreciate how many people have helped you along the way. I am really looking forward to being part of this trip to the UAE and hope the experience gained will help further develop my game.”
If people are right, then Neil may well shed his nickname ‘Pebbles’, and soon become known as the “Irish Rock” for the strength he adds to the Irish batting line up for the decade to come.
All Ireland cricket fans would be thankful for that.
The fixtures over the coming weeks are as follows:
January 8th UAE v Ireland 1st ODI Abu Dhabi
January 10th UAE v Ireland 2nd ODI Abu Dhabi
January 12th UAE v Ireland 3rd ODI Abu Dhabi
January 14th UAE v Ireland 4th ODI Abu Dhabi
January 18th Afghanistan v Ireland 1st ODI Abu Dhabi
January 21th Afghanistan v Ireland 2nd ODI Abu Dhabi
January 23rd Afghanistan v Ireland 3rd ODI Abu Dhabi