Next month will see the welcome return of Interprovincial youth cricket at U15 and U17 levels, while there will be a girls U17 tournament for the first time.

Ireland U19s will participate in the Emerging Interpros to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers, which were to be held at the end of July in Scotland, but have been switched to Spain in September.

That will disrupt the preparation plans for Ryan Eagleson's side, who had eight games in the series plus fixtures against MCC lined up leading into the tournament.

Cillian McDonnell appeals for Leinster U17s against Munster

It remains to be seen what additional fixtures can now be found.

They are due to play three games next week, starting with T20 games against Lightning Bolts at Oak Hill on Monday, then a trip to the NW to face the Emerging Warriors at Eglinton on Tuesday, before a 45-over clash with Munster Heat down in Cork - certainly chalking up the miles on the buses!

In the U15 and U17 domestic interpros, here is a change to the traditional festival-type tournaments 'as we are still cautious in terms of the ongoing pandemic' according to Albert van der Merwe.

While there are a full round-robin of 40 overs matches for the four provinces at both U15 and U17 level, there are only two matches each in the T20 format for some reason.

It's particularly strange that Leinster and NCU won't be playing head-to-head in T20s at these levels, given as they are traditionally the strongest two Unions in this age group.

Given that Cricket Ireland reported a 1.34 million Euros surplus, it surely wouldn't be a financial consideration, especially given the entire youth interprovincial programme was wiped out in 2020.

In the new Under 17 girls series, they will have two teams from Leinster playing against the NW and NCU.

“I am particularly excited about the new girls’ series. It is a welcome addition, and I am hoping it will go some way in creating excitement and a pathway for girls in all the provinces," said Van Der Merwe.