Craig Young is planning on playing a major role for Ireland in front of his home fans in the T20 International Series against Scotland at Bready next week.
The 25-year-old pace bowler, who took seven wickets in Ireland’s InterContinental Cup win against the UAE, can’t wait to get the new ball in his hands when international cricket returns to the North West of Ireland after an 11-year absence.
“It’s great to play for your country anywhere but it’ll be extra special to do it at Bready,” said Young, who plays his club cricket on the ground.
“I know everyone is looking forward to getting the games underway and we’re expecting some good crowds to support us.”
Bangladesh were the last international visitors to the region in 2003, and for Young, it’s a welcome return for the passionate support in the area.
“It’s certainly been a while since the North-West public have seen full international cricket so it will be good to give the supporters something they’ve been missing. Hopefully it might prove a catalyst for the next generation of players up here, too. In the North West we pride ourselves on having the best support, so hopefully the weather stays good and we get the chance to show that off.”
Scotland have been happy opponents for Young, who has 18 of his 37 international wickets to date against them, including his best ODI figures of 5-46 at Malahide last year.
“I’ve had success in the past but I know the past counts for nothing so I’ll not be relying on that,” he added.
“We, as a team, love playing against Scotland as there is that added sense of rivalry and it adds to the excitement of it. Every time I pull on my Irish jersey I try my best, regardless of what’s gone before.
“But also it’s important to enjoy it, enjoy the chance to play in front of a home crowd with family and friends, and I can’t wait to get it started.”
New Ireland coach John Bracewell is looking forward to the matches saying: “The series should be really competitive given the shared cricket history between the two countries and old rivalry. It’s also ideal preparation for the co-hosts of the World T20 Qualifiers.
“I’ve heard a lot about the fervent support in the North West and I’m sure they will enjoy watching two very exciting teams over the three games.”
North West Chairman Andrew Fleming was clearly pleased to have international cricket back in the region.
“I am obviously delighted that the Union will be staging international cricket for the first time in 11 years this summer.
“Cricket Ireland have shown great faith in us and I have no doubt that we can justify that faith and that we will have the full support of the North West over what will be an exciting event for the region.
“It is up to us to put on an action-filled event that shows our capabilities of handling the big occasion which will allow us to be considered for more internationals in the future.”
Tickets for the game are priced at just £5 for adults, £4 for OAPs and U16s are free.
Cricket Ireland also have a Special three-match package for £12. There is plenty of entertainment on each day with food and drink offers on each night.
Thursday June 18 sees history being made with Bready hosting their first international fixture, while Friday June 19 is being pitched as the perfect alternative night out for groups and corporates.
Sunday June 21st sees an entertaining family fun-day with a special competition for dads. Further details available on www.cricketireland.ie.