Jones excited at Kwik cricket revolution
David Holmes (Total Cricket - News Letter)
The NCU Cricket Development Officer, Nigel Jones is a busy man these days. Last week I saw him walking the boundary as the Ireland U19 side played The Grasshoppers at Waringstown and I caught up with him at weekend as his club side took on Derriaghy in the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup at Stormont.
He was quick to tell me that another piece of history had been created at the ground earlier in the week as the first ever Northern Ireland all girl Asda Kwik Cricket Finals were held there. He explained to me about the event:
“Up until recently KWIK cricket has been very much played as a mixed event with girls and boys playing in the same team. When the rules were changed most teams took the option to turn it into an all boy’s affair, but I decided that we needed a girls’ competition as well.
The day really was not about numbers or results, it was about awareness and creating opportunity for our young girl cricketers - it’s all about having fun through participation. Having said that I was amazed by the response.
Asda’s support has been fantastic and they continue to be a real driving force behind increasing the exposure of the game both across boys and girls Kwik Cricket development stages.
At one point I thought I was going to have something like 12 schools playing which would have been fantastic, however we were up against it with the weather, schools timetables and Jubilee week. Thanks to Wallace Prep, Brooklands, Artigarvan and Newbuildings Primary for making it such a great success and the starting point from which we must build.”
The participating schools were competing for the chance to play in the RSA Kwik Cricket Challenge during the interval in the upcoming Ireland versus Australia ODI cricket match.
Newbuildings came out the eventual winners in an unbelievably close finish, pipping Artigarvan by just one run. Artigarvan made 244 runs and Newbuildings 245 runs. Both sides will meet again in the final on 23 June.
I will leave the last words to Jones:
“I have already had 6 primary schools interested in entering next year’s finals day that were unable to make this years, this type of response is very pleasing and I look forward to assisting schools in making the trip up to Stormont for 2013!"