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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Regan Morris West
  • Born 27 April 1979 New Plymouth, Taranki, New Zealand
  • Educated New Plymouth Boys High School
  • Occupation Professional Cricketer, Accountancy
  • Debut 25 August 2008 v Kenya at Nairobi
  • Cap Number 671
  • Style Left hand bat, left arm fast medium / slow left arm
  • Teams Central Districts, Wellington, New Zealand U 19, New Zealand Academy, Instonians, Bangor, Civil Service North

Regan West was a top class all round cricketer. A dual purpose bowler, he could use the new ball - as a seam rather than swing bowler - or bowl slow left arm giving the ball a real "rip." As a batsman, particularly at club level, he could change the course of a match in a few overs with his powerful stroke play. It is greatly to be regretted that the injury which ended his faster style of bowling eventually also resticted his spinning career.

He began in New Zealand as a player of great promise featuring not only in age group and first class sides for Central Districts and - very briefly - Wellington, but also for the national Academy and U19 teams. He was still only 17 when he played a leading part in helping Central Districts U19 defeat Auckland by 6 wickets in the 3 day match Powerdale Tournament. Auckland batted first and made 273, Regan opening the attack had 3-30, the other successful bowler being future test off spinner Peter Ingram who had 3-42. Then as CD replied with 364, Regan was second top scorer with 67, opener Jarond Englefield making an elegant 138. Regan, using the new ball once more, then had 3-58 as Auckland, again finding Ingram difficult as well, collapsed for 198. Regan was not required to bat again in the ensuing 6 wickets victory

He had several useful performances in the 1998 U19 World Cup, for example helping New Zealand to a 99 runs win over Bangladesh with figures of 3-33. He also did well in the Super League match with Sri Lanka in the same tournament, making a typically brisk 25 and then taking 1-32 in his 10 overs, economical enough to put the opponents under pressure and secure a 41 runs victory. However arguably his most satisfying match was for the Academy side against the Australian Academy at the Allan Border Oval, Brisbane in late August/early September 1998. The hosts led off with a score of 164 with Regan, somewhat expensive, taking 2-71 in 13 overs. New Zealand replied with 213 before bowling their fancied opponents out for 139. Opening the attack with Chris Martin, Regan returned figures of 18-5-52-5 including numbers 1, 2, and 3 in the order. New Zealand, not without a few alarms, won by 5 wickets.

His highest score and best bowling in New Zealand first class cricket both came in the 2003/04 season. He had established a reputation as a hard hitter in the lower order that season, usually coming in at 8. For example against Auckland he had smashed a first innings 39 off 30 balls with seven 4s and one six. His highest score a second innings 44 against Otago in January 2004 came off 32 balls, including five 4s and three 6s. This led to an impressive victory. His best bowling of 3-52 had come in the second innings of what ended in a tense draw with Canterbury just under three weeks earlier. His haul comprised one former and two future Test batsmen.

We cannot leave his New Zealand career without referring to a marathon bowling performance in an A team tournament match for Central Districts against Otago in January 2005. I have been unable to discover a full score of this match but Otago ran up a distinctly useful 369 with Regan taking 7-124.

He then made 32 third top score in the CD reply of 283 before the match ended in a draw. After a season in Scotland, Regan's career in NCU cricket began in 2003 when he appeared for Instonians, quickly making his mark with over 428 runs and 28 wickets. He never looked back and, until injury reduced his effectiveness and appearances, was one of the most formidable players of the decade. His whole hearted approach and determination sometimes brought disciplinary problems, causing him to say on one occasion that he never wanted to see the inside of a committee room again, but no one at Shaw's Bridge, Upritchard Park, Stormont - or elsewhere - ever doubted his commitment or tremendous value his side.

His two best seasons with the bat were those he spent at Upritchard Park, scoring 843 runs at 64.85 in 2004 and 905 at 82.45 in the following year. As he also took 33 wickets in the first season and 24 in the second his impact on Bangor cricket was clearly considerable, they carried off the Section 1 title with ease in 2004. Both seasons saw several outstanding performances with both bat and ball. In 2004, for example, his highest score of 119 came against Belfast Harlequins at Upritchard Park. Batting first Bangor lost 2 early wickets before Regan joined Mark Hutchinson. Together they put on 149 with Mark making 77. The hosts finished on 249-6, then bowled Harlequins out for 219.

In a low scoring match with North Down at The Green, Regan topscored with 42, before restricting North Down's batsmen to a mere 13 runs off his 9.2 overs while taking 2 wickets and thus playing a major part in a 16 runs victory. A 4-15 spell against Carrickfergus insured that the Co Antrim seasiders were defeated by 8 wickets. The following season, when Bangor entertained the same opposition at Upritchard Park, Regan hit a superb, undefeated 138 - his best score in NCU matches - to enable Bangor to reach 277-4 from their 50 overs. He then bowled tightly as ever to finish with 3-36 as Carrick ended one run short on 276-6.

Back with Instonians again in 2006, where he also assisted South African professional Eugene Moleon with coaching both the club and and RBAI, his 113* against Downpatrick at Osborne Park saw a 7 wicket victory as he and James Shannon added an unbroken 117 for the 3rd wicket. However later in the season at Shaw's Bridge his 103* - including a stand of 105 for the 3rd wicket with Eugene was not enough to prevent the visitors from chalking up a 5 wickets victory with Ralph Coetzee undefeated on 77. That season Regan had two fine performances in the Irish Senior Cup, though the second was in a losing cause. Against Pembroke at Shaw's Bridge he took 2-41 in the visitors' 254-7, then made exactly 100 as the Old Boys scrambled home by 2 wickets. However his efforts were in vain in the Second Round against Lurgan in another tight finish. He had 5-27 from 9 overs seeing the opposition off for 159. Unfortunately, however, Instonians could manage only 148 in reply, Regan falling for 3.

After two seasons at Shaw's Bridge he decided, in his own words that it was "time for a change." One reason why it was time may well have been the disciplinary problems referred to above, which had hardly made him the favourite of umpires and opposition players another was that by moving to Civil Service North he was able to renew acquaintance with fellow Kiwi exile Nigel Jones, captain at Stormont. The two had played together in Scotland and were old adversaries from age group cricket back home.

In 2008 his first season with CSN, where he was also assistant coach, he contributed much to their capture of the NCU Challenge Cup. Starting against Laurelvale, he took 3-10 as, despite a half century from the evergreen Charlie McCrum, CSN disposed of their challengers for 155 after themselves posting 271-7. Against Carrick Regan led the way to victory with a strong all round performance, being mainly responsible for the one wicket victory that ensued. He began by taking 4-46 as Carrick struggled to reach 143 all out. However Service also found conditions difficult and would have been knocked out of the competition, but for a remarkable undefeated 70 from Regan which saw them squeeze past the target with one wicket standing.

The semi final, against North Down, was eagerly awaited with both teams at he top of the League also. Played at The Green, it saw the hosts lead off with a useful looking 253-7, though their batting had rather fallen away after a good start. The visitors lost two wickets before Regan joined Gary Wilson and together they destroyed the Comber attack. Regan, who reached 50 in 30 balls, finished undefeated on 93, while the man of the match Surrey player was on 122. A notable 8 wickets victory had been secured. In the Final against Waringstown Regan failed with the bat, making only 5, as CSN were restricted to 150-9 but a timely bowling spell of 10-2-23-3 had much to do with the eventual 4 runs victory. After this season, however, international calls were to reduce his availability and injury also began to take its toll.

He played 38 times for Ireland before being reluctantly forced to retire early in 2011. His batting aggregate and average at international level may seem somewhat disappointing for one who had spent much of the previous five seasons destroying much of what was served up to him by perspiring Ulster bowlers. However it should be remembered that he invaribly batted down the order, occupying Nos 9 to 11 and that as a consequence, he only batted 24 times. His bowling was always testing and useful, once being completely destructive.

Probably his best all round match for Ireland was the Intercontinental Cup match against Kenya at Eglinton in July 2009, a game which the weather denied Ireland of a probable, and Kenya of a possible victory. Ireland had raced away at he start of the match, reaching 229 before the second wicket fell. Then, however, the middle order foundered against he off spin of the inevitable Steve Tikolo and the board read 338-8 when Regan came in. In partnership first with Kyle McCallan and then Peter Connell, he took the score to a very respectable 404, the New Zealand last wicket combination being ended by Connell running himself out. Regan, with a strike rate of 88.00 hit nine 4s while facing 50 balls to finish on an undefeated 44. Then in a mammoth spell of bowling he returned the analysis of 38-8-94-4 to see the visitors concede a 74 runs lead.

Eventually Kenya, chasing 298 finished on 245-8, Regan was again economical, his 25 overs costing only 59 runs, but he took only one wicket. His best match with the ball came later in the same season against Scotland at Aberdeen, when the elements once more deprived Ireland of a win and thus put their retention of the Cup in extreme doubt. They again began well but fell away to 202 all out. Regan, at 11 was 0*. Incidentally McCallan was at 10 making this one of the strongest batting sides - on paper - that Ireland had fielded for some time. On the second day he bowled extremely well, even if the umpires did not agree with his interpretation of the lbw law. Varying his pace well, and turning the ball sharply at limes, he finished with an Ireland and first class career best of 29.4-8-88-7 to bowl Scotland out for 208. A fine second innings hundred from William Porterfield saw the hosts set 298. They were 72-5 at close on the third day but rain and poor covering deprived Ireland of victory on the fourth.

Regan's best one day figures were achieved against Oman in a World Cup Qualifier in April 2009. Ireland, with Kevin O'Brien on song stormed to 285-4 in 50 overs then dismissed their outclassed opponents for 169. Regan was mainly responsible for the scale of the victory. Maintaining an impeccable length and always testing the batsman, he finished with figures of 10-2-26-5. However many would claim that his most outstanding one day bowling came against Scotland at Aberdeen hosts captain and top scorer later in the same season. Batting first Ireland ran up a none too formidable 205-9 off their 50 overs, owing much to a 3rd wicket stand between Porterfield and Paul Stirling. However they were struggling on 164-7 when Regan came to the wicket. Last man out his 24, included four 4s and came off 19 balls. He then took 4-26 in 8.3 overs including the wicket of Gavin Hamilton, former England "one cap wonder, Scotland's top scorer and captain. Ireland won by 96 runs.

The injury to his left shoulder which forced him to retire from international cricket because he would be unable to bowl again was, as he himself said " disappointing but not surprising." He was highly praised by Ireland's coach Phil Simmons, and there can be no doubt that Regan Morris West will long be remembered in Irish Cricket circles. Injury restricted Regan's club performances since 2011 but he was able to play 15 matches in 2015 mostly as a batsman scoring over 400 runs at an average of 31.77, recording two unbeaten centuries. Both were against Ballymena at Stormont the first 117* off 110 balls and the second in his penultimate game 100 exactly off 95 balls.

In his final season in 2015 he bowled over 88 overs with a best of 2-11 v Muckamore in the Challenge Cup. Unfortunately his last bowl was wicketless but commendable (8.3-0-44-0) in the Semi final of the Bob Kerr Irish Cup against a strong Merrion side at Anglesea Road.