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Northern Cricket Union South Africa Bound

Richard White
NCU PRO

Two Northern Cricket Union (NCU) Youth Squads will depart tomorrow (Wed 21st March) on a two week tour to the South African City of Cape Town, to combine competitive fixtures and a high performance camp, that will draw on local expertise, notably from the Gary Kirsten Academy. NCU Chairman Alan Waite will act as Tour Manger and will be accompanied by Vice-Chairman Sam Becket and Cricket Ireland president Brian Walsh, Director of NCU Representative Cricket. Neil Watson, Past Chairman of Western Province Cricket Club will accompany the party for the entire trip. This is the sixth trip he has organised for either the NCU or Grasshoppers.

Andrew White NCU Cricket Academy Tour Squad

Coaching of this group will be led by Northern Knights Head Coach Simon Johnston and Eugene Moleon. It has been selected with a mixed age profile, all of whom are seen as potential Senior Representative players of the future. Andrew White said, 'This amazing opportunity will be the end of the Academy programme for this year and there is no doubt that it is the best way for our players to prepare for our coming summer. The NCU and I are indebted to the coaching team and management group who have helped prepare the players and will challenge them in South Africa. Hopefully they come home with memories that last a long time.'

  • Luke Allison (Donacloney Mill)
  • Jack Burton (Carrickfergus)
  • Max Burton (Carrickfergus)
  • Matthew Foster (CSNI)
  • Alex Haggan (Carrickfergus)
  • James Hunter (Instonians)
  • Archie Johnston (CSNI)
  • James Magee (Instonians)
  • Jamie Magowan (Muckamore)
  • James Metcalfe (Instonians)
  • Oliver Metcalfe (Instonians)
  • Harry Warke (Carrickfergus)
  • Aaron Wright (CSNI)

The playing schedule for the Andrew White NCU Cricket Academy includes the following four fixtures:

  • Sunday 25th March - v Wynberg Boys High School, at The Oval, Newlands
  • Thursday 29th March - v Gary Kirsten Foundation Township, at Western Province CC
  • Saturday 31st March - v District North Cricket, at Durbanvile CC
  • Monday 2nd April - v Boland Invitational XI, at Distell Field, Stellenbosch

NCU Junior Tour Squad

The Junior squad will be managed by Andrew Rose, and coached by Callum Atkinson,
Uel Graham, and Andy McCrea.

  • Ben Beattie (Instonians)
  • Shane Burke (Waringstown)
  • Matthew Daly (Waringstown)
  • Cameron Doak (Lisburn)
  • Rory Ellerby (Instonians)
  • Ethan Hanna (Saintfield)
  • Matthew Humphreys (Instonians)
  • Adam Kennedy (Instonians)
  • James Lambert (Instonians)
  • Adam Ly (Instonians)
  • Carson McCullough (CIYMS)
  • James Rose (Instonians)
  • Sam Topping (Waringstown)
  • Michael Waite (Waringstown)

The playing schedule for the Junior Tour Squad includes the following six fixtures:

  • Saturday 24th March - v Newlands Cricket High School, Venue TBC
  • Sunday 25th March - v Wynberg Boys High School, at Cape Town CC, Plumbstead
  • Wednesday 28th March - v St Augustines, at Elfindale
  • Thursday 29th March - v Gary Kirsten Foundation Township, at Western Province CC
  • Saturday 31st March - v District North Cricket, at Durbanvile CC
  • Monday 2nd April - v Boland Invitational XI, at Van Der Stel CC, Stellenbosch

The NCU tourists will benefit from a one day coaching and performance clinic (Monday 26th March) at the Gary Kirsten High Performance Academy, where the young cricketers will be challenged practically and theoretically on different facets of cricket. Gary Kirsten is a former South African International cricketer, playing 101 test matches and 185 One Day Internationals, between 1993 and 2004. In 2011, he famously coached India to World Cup success, in Mumbai, with a six wicket victory over Sri Lanka.

In addition to the cricketing demands placed on the tour party there will be an opportunity to embrace the local culture, with excursions planned to the iconic Table Mountain, which provides the stunning natural backdrop to Cape Town, Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and to the Aquila Private Game Reserve. Cricketing memories will also be enhanced with a visit to Day 2 of the South Africa versus Australia Test Match at Sahara Park, Newlands.

NCU Chairman Alan Waite speaking about the tour said, 'This promises to be another fantastic experience for our young cricketers. South Africa is a wonderful country and offers up the opportunity for the boys to train and play in a completely different environment than at home. We will also spend time taking in the culture of the Western Cape, an important part of any tour. I have no doubt that it will be challenging but equally rewarding.'

Team photos © Ian Johnston/CricketEurope