IRELAND fans will have plenty of interest in this year’s T20 Blast in England with at least two more internationals joining Paul Stirling in the four-week tournament, which starts tomorrow week.
Stirling was snapped up by Northamptonshire even before the competition was officially confirmed and yesterday his opening partner in last week’s World Cup Super League games against England, Gareth Delany, was signed by Leicestershire Foxes.
Captain Andrew Balbirnie has also signed for Glamorgan and is expected to be announced today, while there are also reports that Curtis Campher, the 21-year-old South African who made such an impressive ODI debut in Southampton, could also be involved.
Glamorgan and Northants are in the same six-team group so Balbirnie and Stirling will face each other on September 3 and 13, while Leicestershire are in the Northern Group, along with Derbyshire, Durham, Lancashire, the Notts Outlaws and Yorkshire.
Another player who has been plying his trade in the NCU this season, George Munsey, has been signed by Hampshire and that explained his absence from the Carrickfergus team last Saturday.
Munsey has been flying in and out from Scotland every weekend and the south coast county did not want that to continue during the pandemic so the whirlwind 80 against Civil Service North 11 days ago proved to be his farewell appearance for Carrick.
The Blast’s gain is, of course the Irish T20 Trophy’s loss with Stirling saying goodbye to the Northern Knights after their opening game against the North West Warriors at Bready tomorrow and Delany and Balbirnie doing likewise with Leinster Lightning after their game against Munster Reds.
However, Lightning have two 50-over games, against the Warriors, on September 22 and 28, so unless Leicestershire and Glamorgan reach finals day on October 3, and Delany and Balbirnie do not have to self isolate on their return, both would be available for the last two inter-provincial Cup games.