Just over 12 months ago Craig Young was hoping to force his way into Phil Simmons’ Ireland squad, well after a year of good cricket in the North West he certainly has done that.
The Bready pace bowler looks set to open the bowling for Ireland in their opening ICC World Cup encounter against the West Indies, at Saxton Oval, in New Zealand, on Sunday evening.
In fact the 24-year-old was in good form during the recent warm-up tour in Dubai and he’s hoping to carry that form onto the world stage.
“Things have gone well since then, to be honest it doesn’t feel like that long ago, but it has been a bit of a snowball effect and I have tried to ride the wave,” he stated.
“Back then I think it was on the West Indies trip and I only played one game, but I had two caps under my belt at that stage and I didn’t take a wicket in that game and since then I can’t remember how many caps or wickets I have taken but yeah I have hit a bit of good form.
“Hopefully touch wood it stays like that and I can take it into the World Cup.”
The North West Warrior along with his Irish team-mates feels like they need to win at least three games if they hope to reach the super eight stage.
“We feel we need to win at least three games,” he said.
“We have our plans, where we want to attack teams and have to try and stick to the best that we can to those plans, field as well as we can and hopefully it all comes off for us.”
The former Sussex man has played in Australia a number of times and he’s hoping the wickets will be to his liking.
“This will be my fifth time in Australia and when I played down there I have found the wickets quite nice to bowl on,” he added.
“Obviously if you put the ball in the right places then you’ll get your rewards, but some tracks are quite slow and some are abrasive, but generally they are quite good wickets, which obviously also means it’s good for batsmen.
“You have to be smart at what you are doing but generally I enjoyed bowling on the wickets Down Under.”
Young is the first to admit that hard work and playing for the Warriors has meant he has had a good year and he believes the future is bright for Bobby Rao’s side.
“I really, really enjoyed playing with the Warriors last year and yes I know people expect me to say that, but I genuinely mean it, as it was really good to play with them, they were a great bunch of fellas, who gave a lot of energy and I would like to think that I gave them a lot of energy back.
“When Bobby (Rao) called me up to play it was great as it gave me that stepping stone to put myself out there and I owe the Warriors everything.
“It was good that we got that win in the three day game towards the end as that lifted our spirits, it was like the first win the previous year in the 50 overs cup and we really took that form on.
“We were delighted to have won the T/20 Cup last year, but I felt we gave a good account of ourselves in all three forms of the game and things are on the up for us and this year will be a big year for us.
“You look at Thommo (Stuart Thompson) and Scra (Andy McBrine) they are big players in the squad, we also have Graeme McCarter back from England and he will be another fella who will be massive for us and if Purdy (William Porterfield) has a day off and finds himself at home, maybe we could give him a call and get him roped in,” he joked.
Young also admits that with four players from the North West in the Ireland squad, younger players from the area will aspire to try and do the same in years to come.
“It’s not something we ever had when we were kids growing up, Peter Gillespie was the only guy in the team.
“Then Purdy (Porterfield) broke into the team and then that was it for a long, long time.
“I don’t really know now how it feels as a fan, but that’s how I felt back then and it’s bizarre that I’m actually in the squad.”