This article first appeared in June 2017 - if it seemed relevant then arguably it is even more relevant at the end of the 2019 season.

And so the day draws near when all will be revealed - the "Will they or won't they?" question will finally be answered and a new dawn for Irish Cricket will brighten the horizon.

But what will it mean for the Average Joe? That's Joe who plays for his club and has little interest in much else.

'How parochial is that' I hear you ask, but remember he is who he is, the Average Joe.

The Average Joe doesn't take much of an interest in anything beyond his club boundary but is fiercely protective of anything within it. And if charges of parochialism and self-interest are regularly brought against him, Joe will reply that it is this strong, nay at times fanatical support for cricket at its most basic level that has enabled the game itself and a number of clubs within it to weather hard times and carry on when others have fallen by the wayside.

What will the new dawn bring Joe?

If reports are to believed there will be an expansion of the interprovincial programme. The addition of a fourth or even fifth side has been mooted. More matches for Joe not to go and watch.

More commitment from the players to this shining example of Ireland's progress within the cricketing world. Commitment such that the interprovincial players will be contracted and to a programme of matches that means their clubs will see precious little of them.

So what's the problem with that - it's what the big boys do isn't it? When did Eoin Morgan or Joe Root last play for the counties that 'reared' them?

The worry for Joe is that he has seen it all before, and he didn't like what he saw - first it was hockey which became a 12 month of the year sport, remember the indoor hockey that the newly built leisure centres embraced? Players with aspirations moved to a small number of 'big' clubs and the 'small', presumably less ambitious ones, withered.

He has witnessed the rise of Club Leinster, Club Ulster, and Club Munster - the contracted player allocated to various clubs at the whim of the governing body and with no real 'connection' there.

Joe finds it hard to find anyone who will say that club rugby is better now just because Ravenhill is bulging on a Friday night. Joe's fear is that with the 'removal' of the best local players to the interprovincial sides it will be open season on the next tier who will become the targets of the money men in the big, in terms of spending at least, clubs.

One of the first things noted by Adi Birrell when he came to Ireland was the strength of the club structure, the generational influence of family and an affinity for all things local - in that regard nothing has changed in the fifteen years since that observation was made.

So Joe will be watching closely as the sun rises on that new day and wondering what it will bring to old timers like him who don't accept the rewriting of history that asserts that Football in England only started with the arrival of the Premier League and Sky Sports nor indeed that Cricket in Ireland began in 2007.

What is certain is that there are a lot of average Joes out there whose judgement of the strength of our local game will be made from just outside a rope in 'their' club rather than on the view from over the horizon in Dubai.