The bigwigs in the ICC may be doing their utmost to stunt the growth of cricket outside their elitist club of 10 countries, but some hard-working volunteers – ably assisted in their endeavours by Leinster Development Manager Brian O’Rourke – are showing that you can’t keep a cricket-lover down.
Some of our newest clubs are leading the way in expanding the playing base in Ireland.
The members of recently amalgamated North Wicklow Cricket Club and Avondale Cricket Club, now Wicklow County Cricket Club, are zealously seeking new talent.
One area that the club is focusing on is the underage section and one team each in the under-11 and under-13 sections made up of both boys and girls this summer will be the fruits of that labour. The club has had great interest in the Easter camp they are holding from 18th-22nd of April. For the first two days it will just be 6-9 year-olds while three days will be devoted to the 10-16 age-group from the Wednesday to the Friday.
David Drane has been tirelessly leading the search for new players and thinks outside the box. In an effort to find new ways to raise the awareness of cricket in Ireland, Wicklow County CC entered an interactive float in the Greystones St Patrick’s Day Parade. Miniature autograph bats and flyers promoting the club were distributed to the crowd along the route inviting people to come and give cricket a try.
If you are interested in playing cricket in Wicklow, please contact David Drane at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 086 629 6056.
Adamstown Cricket Club hope their recently laid artificial wicket at Corkagh Park in Clondalkin will coincide with a successful 2011 season.
In addition to the men’s team the club have entered into the Leinster league, Adamstown have entered a boys’ U15 side. Two enthusiastic members, Paul O’Boyle and Olag Sivanantham, completed their Level 1 coaching courses over the winter and will provide some expertise for the U15 team as well as for the U11 boys and girls whose training takes place on Sunday mornings.
South Dublin County Council have made funds available to provide coaching for several primary schools in Adamstown and Balgaddy and it is hoped that some children from these schools will get hooked on the sport and join the club’s youth teams.
The next project for the ambitious Adamstown members is to start work on a new clubhouse at the ground.
Clonee Cricket Club will also have the use of a new artificial wicket for the coming season as a pitch was installed in the field they share with Metro St Brigid’s Athletics Club. Castleknock Community College will also have use of the new facility. The new mat is just the boost cricket needs in West Dublin.
The pitch was officially opened by World Cup star Kevin O’Brien in the first week in April. The opening was also attended by members of Fingal County Council, Cricket Ireland, Leinster Cricket Union, Clonee CC, Castleknock CC and several primary schools.
Already playing in cup competitions in 2011, it is hoped that Clonee CC will enter the 2012 Leinster Leagues.
At first look in early April it was feared that soccer posts erected on the grounds where Tyrrelstown Cricket Club played their cricket in 2010 would seriously affect their 2011 season, but Ruairi O’Dulaing from Fingal County Council quickly put those fears to rest – cricket can still be played on the grounds as the soccer pitch is for training purposes only.
The services of a heavy roller will soon be enlisted to flatten the cricket square, but in the long term it is envisaged that cricket will be included in the plans for a new leisure area currently being planned for Tyrrelstown.
There is also hope of a women’s team being formed after a number of local women approached club member Kumar Varma expressing an interest in playing cricket.
The future is looking bright for Tallaght Cricket Club as well. The teams have been playing in Rathcoole Park where there are two GAA pitches. The club has cut a strip on the main GAA pitch, but there is potential – in time – to lay an artificial wicket between the two pitches. The head of Rathcoole Park, Paul Allen, is very supportive for the project to be carried out.
In addition to funding coaching in Adamstown, South Dublin County Council has also agreed to fund a coaching programme for several schools in the Tallaght area. Interest in cricket in Tallaght has grown so much that there is even the possibility that another club may be formed in the area.
These clubs are showing us that it’s not the door to World Cup 2015 that was slammed in our faces that we should be focusing on, but the one that is being opened by enthusiastic volunteers and players.