THERE are fears that CIYMS could be without their Irish-qualifying South African Murray Commins for the foreseeable future.

Commins arrived in Northern Ireland with the “wrong visa” to play cricket and the NCU are awaiting Home Office approval for special dispensation which would allow them to approve his registration and give him the go-ahead to turn out for the defending Premier League champions.

If the Home Office say ‘no’ the only alternative would be for Commins to fast track an alternative visa but he is ineligible for a Tier 5 visa – the common visa for overseas players – because he has played only four first class matches in the last three years; the requirement is five matches.

CIYMS are insisting that Commins is not being paid by the club to either coach or play for them this season but anyone who has played professional cricket in the last four years remains ‘a professional’ and needs a Tier 5 visa to play cricket in Northern Ireland.

An NCU spokesman said “We have never come across this type of visa (Commins was admitted as a dependent on a dependent’s visa) before so while we are not refusing it, we need clarification from the Home Office.”

Commins has not missed a CIYMS match yet because the Belmont side’s first match in the Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup on Saturday was one of two which was rained off. Their next scheduled match is against Civil Service North at Stormont on Thursday evening.

Thanks to Stuart Thompson, CSN enjoyed a winning start in double quick time, beating Instonians by nine wickets.

The out-of-favour Ireland international hit a stunning 73 not out from 37 balls, with half a dozen sixes and fours as CSN passed the home side’s 104 for five in just 10.5 overs.

Admittedly it was an under-strength Instonians side, missing both Andrew White and Shane Getkate, but Thompson and debutant Luke Georgeson, who finished 22 not out and took two for 16, took full advantage so they did not even miss their captain, Gary Wilson, who was also an absentee as he on the coaching staff for the first part of the Ireland Wolves series.

There was a thrilling opening day game at The Lawn, where Lisburn shocked Waringstown with a last ball victory.
Glenn Halliday was the Lisburn hero, hitting Kyle McCallan’s penultimate ball for six to reach the DLS par score of 118 – rain having reduced the Lisburn innings to 18 overs - before pushing the winning single to claim a five wickets win.

Waringstown had totalled 127 for five in their 20 overs with Graham Hume making an impressive debut. The new signing from Coleraine, batting at No 5, top scored with 41 off 46 balls, with three fours and two sixes and then bowled his four overs for just 16 runs, albeit without a wicket.

Hume also took the catch which dismissed Lisburn’s top scorer Robert Rankin, after hitting 46 from just 32 balls, and ran out Mark Berry in the final over which left the visitors needing nine off the last four balls.

The Lisburn debutant, one Boyd Rankin, was somewhere near his best, forcing all the home batsman to jump around the crease and after dismissing Adam Dennison with his first legitimate ball, returned to end Hume’s innings.