Barry Chambers (CricketEurope)
Andy McBrine is looking for a response from his North West Warriors side as they prepare to face debutants Munster Reds at Eglinton today.
The Warriors were well beaten by defending champions Leinster Lightning in the weekend opener and McBrine admits the batting unit could have done better.
“A lot of the guys including myself got starts but couldn’t kick on. That was the difference with Lightning, as Jamie Grassi made 82, and that’s the sort of substantial innings we needed if we were to get 240 or 250, which would have been a challenge for them.
NW captain Andy McBrine
“I gave myself the best chance to get in and having done the hard work it was frustrating to get out the way I did. I’m taking a wee bit more extra responsibility with my batting this year moving up to number three having been at five or six in the past.
“Gary talked to me about it and he was very positive, so I jumped at the chance. I’ve felt in good touch with the bat. It’s a good opportunity for me to give the Ireland selectors a headache if I’m scoring runs too as well as my bowling.”
Graham Hume was the stand-out performer for the Warriors in Dublin with bat and ball, and the skipper is happy to have a player of his quality in the ranks.
“You know what you’re getting from Graham with bat and ball. He always gives 100% in both aspects. He’s ‘Mr Reliable’ with the ball, and a very handy man to have coming in at 7 or 8.
“He was probably our best batsman last year so we’ve promoted up the order a spot or two. He could bat anywhere he wants in the top six really, so he gives us options.
Graham Hume gets his Warriors cap from Andy McBrine
"He’s a very experienced cricketer, and has played a lot of first-class games. He’s great around the team and has been brilliant with the young lads in the squad too.”
There’s a new sheriff in town with Gary Wilson taking over the reins from Ian McGregor, and Andy is pleased how things are progressing in the new era.
“I’ve known Gary for a long time, and played a lot of cricket with him. He has an incredible work ethic in what at times for a coach isn’t the easiest job for him, with many of our guys having work commitments. He’s proven himself to be flexible with training and has gone above and beyond the call of duty to come up with solutions.
“He hasn’t been rigid and has been willing to go to Donemana or Bready to have a hit with guys after they finish work at 5 o’clock. He has been really good in that regard.”
"The new interprovincial set-up has seen a few new faces arrive in the North West, and the Donemana man is happy to welcome them into the fold with open arms.
Gary Wilson and Andy McBrine at training
“I’ve known Shane Getkate for a long time, and he knows most of our squad so there’s been no problem settling. You know what you’re getting with him. He can be very dangerous with the bat once he gets his eye in and can really take a team apart.
“I haven’t seen a lot of Stephen Doheny, but on Saturday you got a glimpse of what he’s about with a very quick 30. There’s class there and no doubt he has a big summer ahead of him with us.”
Today, it’s the challenge of new kids on the block Munster, and he knows just how much quality they possess.
“They’re a good side no question, with a lot of very talented cricketers. They’ve also a few faces we wouldn’t be familiar with so it’s a challenge for me to sum them up quickly as we don’t have much analysis on them.
Andy McBrine bowling for the NW Warriors against Munster Reds at Eglinton
“It’s going to be a very tough contest. The new format means there won’t be any easy games this year and that’s great for the competition and Irish cricket to have that. I’m all for the new system, with the standard only going to get better by having the best 44 players in the country competing.”
The game at Eglinton today gets under way at 10:45am and as usual Ian Callender will be on the ball-by-ball coverage at www.cricketeurope.com