Sunday, August 1, 2021

Cricket Ireland: Craig Young reveals secret to his form as Ireland eye an historic series win

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Ireland Men’s in-form paceman Craig Young revealed a simple change in his warm-up prior to games has made a positive change to his performances over the last year, as Captain Andrew Balbirnie looks ahead to the possibility of a historic series win in the DafaNews Cup.

Until Tuesday this week, Ireland Men had never beaten South Africa in One Day International cricket – having met five times previously. In fact, Ireland had never beaten a world-ranked top eight side in an ODI at home since their first home ODI in 2006.

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie revealed after the match on Tuesday that his elevation to opener was a decision that was made on the morning of the game, once William Porterfield was ruled out with a finger injury. Despite that last minute reshuffle of the batting order – which also saw Andy McBrine move to number 3 for the first time in his international career – Balbirnie was delighted with the team’s performance all-round, and indicated that the team was determined to continue that form into the final ODI on Friday.

Balbirnie said:

“The character we showed, we stuck in, we knew it was a tough wicket to take 10 wickets on but I thought the way our guys bowled well particularly in the middle and towards the death, it was a credit to them and a win we needed as a team and I’m just really proud of the lads. We’ll enjoy this, it’s our first time ever beating them in ODI cricket so it’s a huge day for cricket in Ireland.”

“At the same time you have to look at Friday, we could potentially win a series. We haven’t won a home ODI against a top eight team so that’s another thing to tick off the list, but I think the guys are eager and hungry to win a series.”

Meanwhile, in-form North West Warriors paceman Craig Young has revealed the small changes over the last 12 months that have led to improvements in his bowling and consistency of performance.

Speaking ahead of training, Young said:

“I’m always tinkering with my bowling – I wouldn’t say I changed anything massively, but at the start of our season I knew I needed to put work into getting my run up as close to perfect as possible. I’m a rhythm bowler and you can’t get rhythm when you’re battling getting your run up right. So as soon as we could get outside to train, I made that my focus.”

“I know that if I get that right then I give myself the best chance to do my job well for the team. I also realised that I bowl a lot better when I do that bit extra in the warm ups – not only getting loose and bowling a couple of overs, but I feel much better if I get loose and get my run up marked and bowl a few overs off that at full pace. I found that has helped massively.”

“Of course, it’s also been great to work with Ryan Eagleson and Stuart Barnes who are always there to offer their advice.”


Ireland has so far claimed a valuable 15 World Cup Super League points from the first two games of the series, with the side jumping from 11th to 5th place in the table as it stands. The third and final ODI of the series does not just represent a chance for national pride and another milestone achieved, but offers the chance of a further 10 points towards World Cup Qualification at the 2023 Cricket World Cup (see below for background on the WCSL).

WHERE TO WATCH THE SERIES

  – Ireland/UK: BT Sport
  – North America: Willow
  – Sub-Saharan Africa:  SuperSport
  – India: Fancode
  – Australia: Fox Sports
  – New Zealand: Sky NZ

FIXTURES

The series schedule is:

World Cup Super League ODI series

  • 11 July: Ireland v South Africa, 1st ODI (Malahide)
  • 13 July: Ireland v South Africa, 2nd ODI (Malahide)
  • 16 July: Ireland v South Africa, 3rd ODI (Malahide)

T20I series

  • 19 July: Ireland v South Africa, 1st T20I (Malahide)
  • 22 July: Ireland v South Africa, 2nd T20I (Stormont)
  • 24 July: Ireland v South Africa, 3rd T20I (Stormont)

IRELAND MEN’S SQUADS


ODI squad
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Graham Kennedy, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Graeme McCarter, Barry McCarthy, William Porterfield, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.

T20I squad
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, William McClintock, Kevin O’Brien, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.

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