Simmons challenges cricketers to make most of opportunity
April 30th 2013 by Cricket Ireland | International
Phil Simmons has challenged every player in Ireland to use the RSA Inter-Provincial Series as a route into the international team when the revamped tournament gets underway at The Hills next week.
Speaking at the Series launch at College Park - which confirmed RSA Insurance as its sponsor, the Ireland coach said: “This is the perfect platform for all cricketers, young and old, to show the selectors exactly what they are capable of. We expect these games to be highly competitive, and will be looking for strong performances from all three teams.
“We’re looking for qualities and technique that prove that guys have what it takes to perform at a higher level and in the international arena. The beauty of this series of games is that it gives players a chance across three different formats.
“We’ve been to the finals of five ICC world tournaments in the past six years, with hopefully many more to come. We’re grateful to ICC for their support through TAPP funding which has made this series possible, and also to RSA for their continued sponsorship of Irish cricket at all levels.”
“There’s never been a better time to be an Irish cricketer with the profile of the game at an all-time high. I’m sure these games will be enjoyed by fans and players alike and I have a final message for the participants - Don’t fear failure and don’t die wondering!”
Philip Smith, CEO of RSA Ireland said of the forthcoming Series:” We’re delighted to expand our partnership with Cricket Ireland through our support for the inaugural RSA Inter-Provincial Series. This is an important new platform bridging the gap between the Club and International levels of the sport and importantly, provides the top players with added, highly competitive action throughout the season.
“RSA’s association with Cricket now straddles all levels, from National and Provincial, through to Club, Underage and Grass Roots. We’re very pleased to associate our Brand with the development of the game across the country.”
Leinster Lightning coach Trent Johnston is relishing the chance to pit his wits against the other two sides. He said: “It’s going to be a great series, and I’m expecting some tough action. For me these games give everyone a chance to shine, and maybe prove a point to selectors.”
Johnston, capped 180 times by Ireland, added: “More importantly though as far as I’m concerned is to provide the opportunity for young guys to improve their cricket and give them with a clear pathway to the international fold. I’ve seen it all before and I’m only too happy to pass on my experience to the Leinster Lightning squad.”
North West Warriors coach Bobby Rao said: “The whole of the North West is behind the Warriors squad and we’ve been preparing hard for the forthcoming games. We’ve gone primarily for youth in the squad but have a spine of experience as well.”
The former Indian Test star added: “I feel our main strength is our seam attack which has some very talented performers all keen to make a major impression. There’s no doubt in my mind we have what it takes to do well.
Northern Knights coach Eugene Moleon said: “I feel privileged to be given the chance to coach the Knights. These are exciting times in Irish cricket and we as players, coaches and administrators are all looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“Thanks to Cricket Ireland, players now have the chance to not only compete with the country’s best, but also to show what they have to play at a higher level. It’s up to players and coaches to lift the level and quality of cricketers in Ireland.
Moleon, with over 100 wickets in a first-class career with Western Province added: “We have a good blend of youth and experience in our squad. Everyone in the Knights camp is training hard and willing to go the extra mile to ensure that we are ready for this series. The Northern Knights will strive to play exciting cricket and raise the profile of cricket in Ireland and beyond.”
Admission will be free for all Three-Day and One-Day matches. A further release will be forthcoming regarding ticket prices for the Twenty20 matches.
All the fixtures for the RSA Inter-Provincial Series can be found here