Cricket Ireland to review Inter-Provincial Series

North-West Warriors' William Porterfield
North-West Warriors' William Porterfield

The Board of Cricket Ireland has called for an immediate review of the Inter-Provincial Series.

The Board discussed the Inter-Provincial competition, and supported a proposal for the Inter-Provincial Structure Working Group to convene in order to undertake a review of all aspects of the competition.

Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland Performance Director, said: “The Board endorsed the recommendation to begin an immediate review and ensure the competition adapts to our changing circumstances.

“Much has changed since the revival of the Inter-Pros in 2013, most notably the granting of first class status, the achievement of full membership, the introduction of our first Inter-Pro contracts, and, perhaps most significantly, the door all-but-closing on the English County system as a development/finishing school for Irish players.”

“All major cricket nations have strong, competitive domestic first-class systems that feed talent into their senior international team.

“While the Inter-Pros has shown the potential, time is against us given the age-profile of our senior squad and the disappearance of the County pathway, so there is consensus that we need to further increase the standard and professionalism of the competition.

“The competition is where our best young players need to be gaining regular, competitive cricket experience.

“The Working Group will examine ways in which we can ensure the competition is facilitating best v best, and make recommendations around the volume of matches played and whether or not a fourth team may be required in the 50-over and 3-day cricket competitions.

“While there was some speculation within cricket circles that there was a proposal to reduce Munster Reds involvement in the IP20s, the Board made it clear that this was not envisaged, however it would await the outcome of the Working Group review before any definitive decisions were made.”