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The ICC European Men's academy, Europe's flagship performance event heads to India this month, as Europe's finest players join together for an intensive academy programme to help develop their skills for the upcoming season and their player development.
For Ireland's Graeme McCarter this is his second Men's Academy, born in Londonderry, McCarter is an exciting new talent for Ireland and has come through the ranks after choosing cricket over badminton.
McCarter is delighted to be back again at a European Men's Academy, "I was at the academy last year in Dubai and it was an incredible experience with top class facilities and great coaches, I'm very excited to be heading to India as I'm sure it will be a very different experience," says McCarter.
The 19-year-old is also an avid Badminton fan and has represented Ireland, "A lot of my badminton experience has helped my cricket for example for speed off the mark and quick reaction times. It was a tough decision, but I chose cricket because I felt I was better at it and had a better chance of "making it". I was getting offers from Warwickshire and Gloucestershire which I could never turn down as a young lad whose dream was to play cricket for a living and being a part of a growing game," says McCarter.
The all rounder has performed well for Ireland in recent years, "A couple of years ago I was 16 playing in the U19 championships and realised early what level I had to be playing at therefore I worked extremely hard on my game and now I feel I am a consistently good performer with the current U19 squad.
"I started off playing for Ireland at U15 level and also for Ulster up to the U19 level, this was a tough experience fitness wise as the competitions were being played with higher intensity, it was a great learning curve," adds McCarter.
The Academy is to be held back in Pune, with a highly experienced and talented coaching team including ex- Cricket Ireland Performance Director Mark Garraway, "Working with Mark again will be fantastic he is responsible for a lot of my development and hopefully he can help me develop my skills further. I am excited about playing in the sub continent in completely different conditions than I have before to see how I will have to change my game," says McCarter.
After a successful year for Ireland, McCarter is excited about the prospects ahead, "For Irish cricket I feel the future is bright if we can keep beating test nations at major events then I feel it's only a matter of time until we get test match status and my aim is to be a part of these exciting times for the Irish senior team," concludes McCarter.