New ground at Waterford opens
Munster Cricket Union
“Today our long-cherished dream comes true!”These were the opening words of Waterford Institute of Technology Cricket Club’s President,Mr. Ali Naseer, as he welcomed the assembled guests and cricketers of WIT and Midleton cricket clubs to the official opening of WIT’s new cricket pitch at Carriganore, Waterford on Saturday last.
Among those attending were guest of honour, the Mayor of Waterford, Cllr, John Halligan; Dr. Venie Martin, former Head of Development at WIT who was accompanied by her husband, Mr. Eric Martin, a benefactor of the WIT club; Mr. Tony McFeely, WIT Secretary and Financial Controller; Mr. Douglas Baxter and his wife Mary, Dr. Abdul Bulbullia and Mr. Sheikh Ahmed - all benefactors of the WIT club; Mrs. Amanda Lanigan, Hon. Life Vice-President of the Munster Cricket Union and Mr. James Doran, Cricket Ireland’s Munster CDO.
Continuing his opening address, Ali Naseer paid tribute to the initiative and determination of Dr. Venie Martin saying, “that without her commitment I do not think we would be gathered here today to celebrate the opening of our very own ground”.
Mr. Naseer went on to thank Mr. Tony McFeely for the Institute’s financial support of the cricket pitch project and the club’s activities and extended similar thanks to the club’s benefactors, principally Mr. Eric Martin, Mr. Douglas and Mrs. Mary Baxter, Dr. Abdul and Mrs. Katherine Bulbullia and Mr. Sheikh Ahmed and also to Mr. James Doran, Cricket Ireland’s Munster CDO for his support and assistance..
The Mayor of Waterford, Cllr. John Halligan said that he was delighted to attend the opening of what he was sure would be a highly significant addition to the register of Waterford’s sporting facilities. “It was important”, he said, “that cricket was enabled to become part of and remain part of Waterford’s rich sporting tradition”.
Representing Cricket Ireland and the Munster Cricket Union, Mr. James Doran echoed Ali Naseer’s sentiments stating that, “Cricket Ireland and the Munster Cricket Union wished to commend Dr. Martin for her foresight and initiative, the Governing body of WIT for its enlightened support and Mr. Paul Quirke, Senior Project Manager, and Mr. Michael Evans, WIT Sport and Recreation Manager and their respective staffs for their diligence and dedication”.
He went on to pay particular tribute to Mr. Ali Naseer and Mr. Adeel Mohammad who had played key roles in the development of the WIT cricket club and also to Mr. Tom O’Regan of Waterford District CC for his significant contribution both to the development at Carriganore and the ongoing revival of Waterford cricket.
Mr. Doran continued by saying that, “I am certain that in the years to come the opening of the WIT cricket pitch will be seen as a crucial milestone in the promotion of cricket in Waterford and Munster. From the advent of the project, Dr. Venie Martin and Mr. Michael Evans have been very supportive of the idea of opening the ground to the wider Waterford cricket community - an imaginative gesture on their part and a fine example of the benefit a community derives from having a progressive third-level institution at its heart”.
Following the speeches the guests and the two teams joined Mayor Halligan in the middle for the official cutting of the tape and the toss which was won by Midleton skipper Andy Whittaker who elected to bat.
A special day in the annals of WIT CC was capped by a 5 wicket win for the home side over an injury-depleted Midleton XI.