Nigel Jones backs John Matchett to shine as he takes over CIYMS reins
CIYMS captain Nigel Jones has handed the reins over to John Matchett this weekend and he’s backing him to do a stellar job in his absence.
Jones is head coach of Inter-Provincial side Leinster Lightning and with their game on Saturday against Munster Reds clashing with CIYMS’ home fixture with North Down, he will be at Pembroke instead of Belmont.
That means vice-captain Matchett will step up to lead in the standout LVS T20 Cup match of the weekend and it’s perhaps an early look into the future.
The 23-year-old has been a crucial member of the squad that has dominated local cricket in recent years and scored 82* in their 102-run victory over Instonians last weekend.
He also represented the Northern Knights earlier this week and Jones believes he deserves every chance he gets at a higher level.
“He deserves that opportunity,” he said.
“He’s working hard on getting rid of the flick that he has been guilty of over the years and he’s trying to hit it straighter.
“When the ball is on off or middle stump, he is hitting it a bit straighter and his confidence is growing from being another year older and knowing his game a bit more.
“He’s a key player for us and he has played some really important knocks for us over the years. I think he is going to have another big year for us.
“It’s a big push for me this year to keep promoting him and pushing him.
“It isn’t going to be too far in the future where I’ll be handing him the reins altogether so we need to keep him developing as much as we can.”
CIYMS were dealt a bitter blow before the season even got underway with the news that Murray Commins won’t be able to play this season due to visa issues.
Commins is currently playing in the Inter-Provincial Series for Munster as different rules apply in the Republic of Ireland but he won’t he able to represent CIYMS in club cricket.
The 24-year-old is in the process of qualifying for Ireland and Jones admitted his disappointment for both Commins and the club.
“His situation is a very unique one and unfortunately it’s not going to allow him to play cricket for us this season” he said.
“I feel for him greatly because he wants to commit a lot to Irish cricket.
“We are bitterly disappointed as a club that it hasn’t worked out for him and that we won’t be able to see the benefits of him playing for us this year.
“We may end up just sticking with what we’ve got for the season.
“We have a strong squad so we will be pushing as hard as we can and who knows, maybe something will fall into our lap but there’s nothing confirmed at the moment that’s for sure.”
Elsewhere in the LVS Cup, semi-final chasing duo Carrickfergus and CSNI will clash at Middle Road while Instonians host Lisburn and Waringstown travel to Woodvale.
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