Opinion: Another club confirm demise, Ireland lose and Leinster announce bumper deal

The Creevedonnell side which met Newbuildings in the final of the Sammy Jeffrey Memorial Shield at Eglinton in 2015.
The Creevedonnell side which met Newbuildings in the final of the Sammy Jeffrey Memorial Shield at Eglinton in 2015.

Friday was a particularly grim day for Irish cricket, both at international and at club level where another long-established club announced it is pulling out of the North West game.

Firstly, to Ireland and William Porterfield’s team who are in serious danger of missing out on the 2019 World Cup following yesterday’s comprehensive defeat by Zimbabwe.

Paul Stirling

Paul Stirling

If the worst should happen, and Ireland need to win their last two Super Six matches and hope other results go their way to have a chance of qualifying, it will renew calls for a changing of the guard at international level.

At least half of Friday’s starting 11 are beyond their peak and won’t, in all probability, be around when Ireland are bidding to get to the next World Cup.

While that 107-run defeat in Harare prompted plenty of gnashing of teeth on social media the news that Creevedonnell have withdrawn from the North West Cricket Union is, if anything, more concerning because it continues a pattern of clubs having to effectively give up in both the North West and Northern Cricket Union (NCU).

Ireland might have been awarded Test match status last year to considerable fanfare but what use is that if grassroots cricket is barely keeping its head above water?

According to well-placed sources, at least one other North West club is in danger and where, ask many people with some justification, is Cricket Ireland at the clubs’ time of desperate need?

It also contrasts so sharply with the game continuing to prospert in Dublin, with the Leinster Union announcing what is understood to be a bumper sponsorship earlier this week.