The Northern Cricket Union is pleased to announce its pathway playing groups for the 2023 summer schedule.
Pathway Manager, Callum Atkinson commented “From September 2022 we expanded our player pathway indoor and outdoor programme to provide more training and playing opportunities for more people. Previously we had a system involving players in our programme from September to March with most of them not receiving playing opportunities due to a final squad selection. Due to the strength in depth across multiple age groups and the general interest in more cricket, we have expanded our groups. From Under 13 to Under 17 we now deliver three groups of players at each age level who will all benefit from their appropriate playing programme.
We have squads at each age level playing Interprovincial fixtures competing in the Cricket Ireland Interpros however, we also have various series taking place in conjunction with the North West Cricket Union and Cricket Leinster.
Former NCU Professionals Indrajeet Kamtekar and Niranjan Godbole are once again bringing two touring sides over from India who will be playing against our pathway squads.
With more groups at each age level, this has allowed our Challenge Series to expand and for squads to play more internal fixtures against each other. This initiative allows players to develop in match scenarios.
Alongside our pathway programme, our Development Team are delivering open club summer camps at clubs for 8 weeks in July and August.
Our pathway programme lives off the support we receive from clubs and schools. We rely heavily on club and school facilities to deliver this programme, but we are now also seeing the great development work clubs have put into their youth structures by having more players come into our pathway.
It’s not always easy getting the right balance, however, the key objectives of our staff team and coaches are to develop cricketers at their appropriate stage of development and enable them to enjoy the game but also to retain kids by offering more opportunities to more people, as well ensuring our talent groups academy players receive the highest level of coaching available.