IRELAND pace bowler Graeme McCarter is en route to Brisbane to work with Australian Test legend Craig McDermott this winter.
The Irish international, who turned 21 earlier this month, will play grade cricket and train with Wynnum CC, as well as attending twice weekly sessions with McDermott.
There will be two further Irish pace bowling prospects joining McCarter later this winter on a programme funded by Cricket Ireland, with the 2015 World Cup very much in mind.
“We have worked with Graeme’s coaches at Gloucestershire CCC and determined the right programme for him,” said Richard Holdsworth, the Cricket Ireland Performance Director.
“We all feel that a winter away working with Craig will progress Graeme and help him towards reaching his goal of a place in the 2015 World Cup.
“With Trent Johnston retiring and Boyd Rankin now with England, it is critical we develop our most promising young fast bowlers with a world-class programme.
“Working with Craig who is also coaching Australia’s Test bowlers and some tough club cricket in Brisbane is an important part of our succession planning.”
McDermott linked up with Cricket Ireland last year as fast bowling consultant coach with Cricket Ireland at the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka and remembers it as “a great experience”.
“This is a certainly a fantastic opportunity for three of Ireland’s next generation of pace bowlers to come and hone their skills in a different environment and put those skills into practice playing tough club cricket,” he said.
“The intention is to send Graeme and the others home a lot tougher, fitter and more skilled. There is of course the added benefit of getting valuable exposure and experience of Antipodean conditions, which will hopefully ensure plenty of competition in the Irish fast bowling ranks ahead of the 2015 World Cup.”
McCarter himself is relishing the prospect of playing in Australia, but he is also a little apprehensive. He said: “I’m obviously excited by the challenge although to be truthful I’m a bit nervous as well – it’s not as simple as flying back and forward to England.
“There’s a bit of an unknown factor although I have been told it’s a great experience. The Irish players I’ve spoken to have been fulsome in their praise of Craig, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to help with my development.
“There are several Gloucestershire players scattered about Australia and more Irish bowlers coming out in December, and I know we’ll be meeting up at Christmas so I’ll look forward to that.”
The former Killyclooney and Fox Lodge player was delighted with his conclusion to the season, when he earned his second cap for Ireland having the excellent match analysis of 5-30 in the InterContinental Cup hammering of Scotland.