NORTH West and Irish cricket received a welcome boost this week with the news that Bready Cricket Club has been officially accredited by ICC to host T20 and one-day international cricket.
The County Tyrone venue will make its hosting debut in a three-game T20I series against traditional rivals Scotland, with the games to held on June 18, 19 and 21.
Harry Rutherford, Chairman of Bready CC was understandably upbeat at the ICC’s accreditation decision, which was the culmination of over a decade’s hard work by the club.
“Since the design stage of our new facility back in 2005, it was the club’s plans to develop a new ground and facility which would see international cricket return to the North West region, “ said the chairman.
“The entire club are delighted, after the ICC inspection at the beginning of May, that our ground has now been approved by the ICC to host One Day and T20 International fixtures.
“It has been a long 10 years from the design stage until now, and I would like to publicly thank the clubs committee, membership and sponsors for the hard work they’ve put in over the past decade to get us to this stage.
“Also a big thanks to Sport NI who believed in our project and who provided the majority (£1.7 million) of the funding back in 2008, which was added to the £1.4 million the club had to provide towards this project.
“I personally would like to thank the NWCU and Cricket Ireland and especially Simon Dyke (CI Cricket Operations Manager) who has provided us with support and advice over the past few years, which has helped us get over the line.
“Looking ahead, not only the club but the local and wider community can look forward to hosting international cricket and showcasing the region to the various international teams from around the world.”
NW Chairman Andrew Fleming welcomed the fact international cricket was returning to the North West following an absence of 11 years.
He said the development was an acknowledgement of all the hard work and determination that went in to securing the wonderful facilities at Bready and the sustained efforts of all involved in maintaining and developing those facilities.
“Cricket Ireland have shown great faith in us and I wish to thank them sincerely for that,” he said.
For the Scotland series, there is a special three-match package costing just £12 for adults.
Tickets for individual matches are priced at £5 adult, £4 OAP’s, while under 16s are free. Further details on www.cricketireland.ie and TicketMaster outlets nationwide.
The games will take place on Thursday June 18 (5.30pm), Friday June 19 (5.30pm), and Sunday June 21 (2pm).
FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK’S STRABANE CHRONICLE