Ian Young thought he was never play cricket again after a freak on-field accident in 2012 but on Saturday he will replace club legend Davy Scanlon as Bready captain for their opening NW Premiership game against Killyclooney.

Scanlon has led Bready for the last 12 years, the majority without the services of Young, older brother of Ireland international Craig.

It was on June 23, 2012 in a Senior Cup game against Burndennett that Young collided with team-mate Mark Fleming when going for a catch and the result was catastrophic.

Young, who remembers the incident ‘as if it was yesterday’ takes up the story: “It was just one of those things. We were both going for the catch and Mark ran into me. For the first five seconds I was asking ‘what made you do this’ and then, when I saw up and looked down, I said something is not right here. The pain suddenly went from 0-100. I’d never felt anything like it.

Young had broken two bones in his right leg halfway up his shin.

“Fortunately an ambulance was just passing so arrived pretty quickly, so I was lucky that way. I was in hospital for 14-16 days, needed three operations and another one a year later.

“I didn’t think I’d ever play cricket again. I did try around four years later but the more I did on it the leg was sore for a week so it wasn’t’ worth it. I was mainly a batsmen back then and that was ok but on uneven grounds I couldn’t even run around, there was just no strength in the leg. I’d resigned myself that my cricket career was over.”

However, when the shortened season after the first wave of Covid began in July 2020, a conversation with Scanlon tempted Young back to action.

“Davy said ‘can you not come back even for one match, it’s only 20-over games this year’? So one turned into two and so on and here we are now. I’ve been playing for the last four years.”

The year after his accident, Craig made his debut for Ireland and big brother has been looking on proudly while Young junior, now a first choice in the international line-up, has won 119 caps.

“I’ll take some of the credit for teaching him everything he knows! He was probably in my shadow until he got to about 6ft 2, that was when he was 17-18 and his cricket took off as well.”

For Ian, captaincy, though, at the age of 37, will be a new experience. “I suppose I always wanted to do it at some point, so it’s now or never.”

He has the same squad as last year apart from the arrival of new professional Parth Palawat, an Indian who has been playing his cricket in Sri Lanka and Young has high hopes for the new season.

“Parth has looked good in the nets. It will be a hard task to replace Irosh Samarasooriya but he will probably bat in the same position at three or four and he can also bowl off spin so I’ve no problem calling him an all-rounder,” added the new captain.

Young also has Ireland international Conor Olphert as virtually a new player this year, having been “injured for 99 per cent of last season. But he is fit and raring to go again. He has been bowling very fast in the nets and no batters are queueing up to face him. He could take five or six wickets in every match if we can keep him fit.

“I’m also hoping for a big season from Gavin Roulston. If he plays to his potential he has the ability to score as many runs as he wants.

“And our aim is to win the league. I don’t take part to come second or third.”