Statistics obtained by the News Letter show the worrying reliance of NCU Premier League clubs on players from outside the union.
Concern has already been expressed about the make-up of the Northern Knights interprovincial team, with up to six starting players not born in the NCU.
A club-by-club breakdown of batting and bowling statistics up to last Sunday show that pattern is being repeated in the Ulster Bank NCU Premier League.
Just one club, league leaders Waringstown, have more than half of their runs being made by home-grown players, with 62.4 per cent of runs made by players coming through the ranks. The Waringstown runs total rises to 88.1 per cent when it includes runs made by NCU-born players. However, just 36.4 per cent of their wickets have been taken by home-grown players, a figure that rises to 69.8 per cent when it includes NCU-born players.
Muckamore have 45.9 per cent of their runs and 78.2 per cent of wickets made by home-grown players, Ballymena’s figure is 45.5 per cent for runs and 60 per cent for wickets with North Down on 37.3 per cent of home-grown runs and 52.9 per of wickets.
CIYMS, who at least have given teenager John Matchett a run at the top of the order, have just 5.7 per cent of their runs made by home-grown players. That figure rises to 14.3 per cent when it considers CI’s NCU-grown players.
Civil Service North, the Challenge Cup winners, have just 13.7 per cent of their runs made by home-grown players although that figure rises sharply to 55.4 per cent when it includes their NCU-grown players. Just 17.2 per cent of their wickets were taken by club developed players with 55.4 per cent coming from NCU-grown.
Just 19.5 per cent of Instonians runs are ‘club-grown’, with the figure rising to 64.6 per cent when it includes their NCU-grown players. A total of 22.5 per cent of their wickets come from the ranks with 64.6 per cent coming from NCU-developed talent.
Lisburn’s home-grown players contribute 28.7 per cent of runs and 40.7 per cent of wickets with those figures rising to 36.7 per cent for runs and 61.6 per cent for wickets from NCU-grown players.
There are three Premier League games on Saturday, with Waringstown hosting CIYMS at The Lawn, Civil Service North entertaining Ballymena and Muckamore travelling to North Down. Lisburn have postponed their match with Instonians at Wallace Park following the death of Jim Simpson. Originally from the North West, Jim was affiliated to Eglinton.
He was the father of Dean, the former North cricketer and now Lisburn chairman, and grandfather of David, the Lisburn captain, and Richard.
Waringstown and North Down are involved in key matches on Sunday with the villagers facing Bready in the Ulster Cup final at Strabane and North Down hosting The Hills in the Irish Cup semi-finals at The Green.