It emerged last week that Ross McCollum, the current Cricket Ireland Chairman, will step down from the role in April 2022, having been there since 2010.

The former Lurgan and Ireland international has along with Warren Deutrom overseen the transition from Associate to Full Member. It’s been an upward path, although there have been a few bumps in the road, both on and off the field.

Alan Lewis presented with trophy by Frank Malin

Cricket Ireland have opted to promote from within, opting at this stage not to advertise the position, and there are at least three high calibre candidates in the running.

The most high profile of these is Alan Lewis (right), who like McCollum is a former international. ‘Lewie’ has a vast amount of experience in sport, as well as business, with plenty of contacts and the gift of the gab. His two daughters are also Irish internationals and would be keen to develop the game at all levels.

Brian ‘Bomber’ MacNeice is another international rugby referee, and while he may not have the international cricketing pedigree of Lewie, he was a more than useful swing bowler with Clontarf, taking nine wickets once in a senior match against YMCA, where among his victims was one Alan Lewis! He’s currently Managing Director of Teneo, and has carried out consultancy work for Cricket Ireland in the past.

The third candidate is NCU stalwart Alan Waite, who like the other two has an excellent business pedigree as a Director with Pallas Foods. The Waringstown man was a solid top order batsman in the all-conquering side of the 80s and 90s. He also is a former Board Member and has a vast amount of experience in the game at all levels.

It’s not going to be an easy choice for the interviewing panel, but we will know their deliberations soon enough with the successful appointee expected to take a vice-chairman role next month to ensure a seamless transition when McCollum goes next year.


It’s International Women’s Day and I fully expect by the time you read this that Ireland will have announced a series against Scotland in La Manga plus hopefully at least one tour to a Full Member.

They will of course be competing later this year in Sri Lanka and Scotland in qualifying tournaments for the 50 and 20 over World Cups, and the ICC announced this morning an expansion of both competitions which is good news for all concerned.

There has been no update on the likelihood of the inaugural U19 Women’s World Cup, which is pencilled in to be held in Bangladesh towards the end of the year. Let us hope it gets the green light as I believe Ireland will have a very strong squad at that age group given their resources.

Una Raymond-Hoey


Kim Garth has been in excellent form for Victoria in Australia, and there has been another superb display by Irish international Una Raymond-Hoey (right) over the weekend. The 24 year-old, capped 15 times by Ireland, scored a century for her club side Ringwood.

The Clontarf batter top scored on her home ground with 42 in Ireland’s last ODI, against New Zealand the small matter of 999 days ago. Let us hope that it isn’t too much longer for her to get a chance to build on that.


I’ve been asking about the progress of the new national stadium at Abbotstown over the past few weeks, and it seems that the grass pitches laid three years ago as part of phase one have run into problems.

So much so that they are having to be dug up at quite a considerable cost to make them fit for purpose.

However that renovation work has run into a major glitch as 100 tonnes of Surrey Loam earmarked for the task is currently stuck in England and can’t be imported to Ireland – North or South.

Another unintended consequence of Brexit which could have major implications for the standard and quality of Irish pitches unless resolved. It’s understood Cricket Ireland are aware of the problem and looking at solutions.

Cover of Do They Play Cricket in Ireland?


David Townsend’s book Do They Play Cricket in Ireland? is to be published next month by Pitch. It’s a hopefully entertaining account of a remarkable 25-year journey that saw Ireland progress from part-time amateurs to reach the top table of world cricket, and play a Test match at Lord’s. From worrying about Gibraltar to worrying Australia, as the blurb goes.

What you may not know is that Andy Patterson, one of the players who features early in the tale, has Spastic Paraplegia, a hereditary condition that will confine him to a wheelchair for the rest of his days.

On April 10, a few of his friends including Kyle McCallan and Adam Dennison are going to Pedal 4 Patto by cycling around the Belfast area to raise money that will help Andy and his family adapt to his new circumstances. It’s a great cause, please help if you can.

Better still, buy a pre-publication copy of the book for its cost price £16.99 (including postage within the UK) from David and will donate a fiver to Pedal4Patto for every order.

Please message David or myself (Barry Eunan Chambers) on Facebook for details.

Staying on a literary theme, Ger Siggins with the aid of a few of us in the Cricket Writers are currently compiling a tribute brochure on the late, great Roy Torrens, getting testimonies from a wide range of players, administrators, and other sporting celebrities who knew him.

We plan to have it out in time for the summer and it should be a fitting tribute for a real legend of the Irish game.


The various unions and Ireland released similar updates last week on their take of the latest government statements on the easing of lockdown restrictions and their implications for sport.

The NW are due to host a zoom meeting to talk to clubs this week. They have made plans for the leagues but as yet haven’t done any cup draws.

A start date of May 1st would seem a reasonable target to aim for, by northern based clubs especially. It may be later for southern unions, but it’s all speculation at the minute.

As seen last year, clubs and unions are pretty adaptable, so if it’s to be T20s or whatever for the first part of the campaign, then so be it.

The decent weather and brighter evenings of the past few weeks have certainly given me a spring in the step, and hopefully it will be seven or eight weeks until we get under way again.