It’s a new era in Interprovincial cricket with the Irish selectors choosing core squads for the provinces, plus the introduction of Munster in the 50-over cup.
Leinster based players dominate the squads with 28 of the 48 learning their trade in the Dublin region, a source of great pride for Lightning Head Coach Nigel Jones.
“It’s a credit to the development work being done in the province,” said Jones. “We do have a lot of regulars who’ve played a lot of Lightning games still with us and we can look to build on that now.”
Leinster Lightning Head Coach Nigel Jones
A bulging trophy cabinet – 19 of the 23 cups have been won by Lightning – led to the reshuffle of resources, and despite having three Irish internationals transferred to Cork, Jones still has a formidable squad at his disposal, including eight senior Irish players.
“We will look back on the past experiences and the success, but with a few new guys getting an opportunity to make their own stamp. The previous seasons are the previous seasons, we can only control what’s ahead of us and write our own story now, and the boys are excited about the challenges ahead.
“We’ve talked about resetting the button due to the changes in structure but we’re still keen to live up to and add to the legacy of the Leinster Lightning. If we can manage to stay really focused within our group and train hard on the things we believe will make the difference, then hopefully with seeing each other more regularly and creating that culture it will give us a chance to sharpen our skills.”
Jones and his Lightning charges haven’t lost any of their appetite for success, hungry for more silverware in the season ahead.
“Then, when we get out on the park, we’re very ambitious about lifting as much silverware as we can and keeping the legacy going. We’re certainly very keen to go and lift two trophies this season.”
It’s a busy start to the campaign for the defending champions who play all six 50-over cup games in May.
“From a Lightning perspective it’s quite condensed but getting that regular time together as a group will be brilliant. Any player likes to get volumes up and they like to get into cricket so they’re going to get a great opportunity through May and June.”
Lightning start their defence on Saturday with a home match against North West Warriors at Sydney Parade (10:45am).
Leinster Lightning Squad
George Dockrell (capt) (Phoenix), Lorcan Tucker (v/c) (Pembroke), Rory Anders (YMCA), Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke), Peter Chase (Malahide), JJ Garth (Pembroke), Josh Little (Pembroke), Barry McCarthy (Pembroke), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union), Simi Singh (YMCA), Jack Tector (YMCA), Tim Tector (YMCA). Head Coach: Nigel Jones.