Category: Up Close With…

UP CLOSE WITH…Ryan Haire

Since 2006, Ryan Haire is one of only three men to surpass the 7000 run mark in NCU cricket, racking up 8061 at an average of 40.10.

Haire was part of the North Down side that dominated the local cricket scene in the early-2000’s for a decade.

He also played in two One Day Internationals for Ireland, hitting a half-century against Scotland in 2008.

Here, he reveals the best player he has played with and against, favourite match and more.

First cricket memory?

Going to summer camp led by the late Raman Lamba around 1987/88 at The Green, putting his gloves on and never going near his kit again following the telling off I got!

Highest ever score?

157 for North Down.

Best figures?

7-21 on debut for NDCC 1sts.

Best player you’ve played with?

It would have to be Raman Lamba. A modern day bat in a past age. Should have played more Tests for India.

Best player you’ve played against?

Probably Brendon McCullum for NZ v Ireland. Such a clean ball striker.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever got?

Do your talking on the pitch.

Favourite match you’ve been involved in?

Selfishly my first Senior Cup final when I scored a 100 at the old Ormeau ground.

Favourite sport except cricket?

Rugby Union.

Favourite ground?

The Green, Comber.

UP CLOSE WITH…Albert van der Merwe

Albert van der Merwe played in nine ODI’s for Ireland, with his debut coming against the Netherlands in July 2010.

The 39-year-old is now head coach of the Leinster Lightning, where he has won five trophies, including the 2017 Inter-Provincial Championship.

Here, he reveals the best player he played with and against, favourite ground and much more.

First cricket memory?

Tagging along to the primary school with my dad around 5 or 6 years of age. He was a teacher and did some coaching at the school. Test matches in the garden with my brother Martin.

Highest ever score?

123 not out (The Hills CC v Leinster CC)

Best figures?

11/68 Ireland v Kenya in the ICup (5/41 and 6/27)

Best player you’ve played with?

Toss-up between Davy Jacobs and Paul Stirling

Best player you’ve played against?

AB de Villiers

Best piece of advice you’ve ever got?

If you are going to panic… panic slowly.

Favourite match you’ve been involved in?

If carrying drinks constitutes involvement then definitely the Ireland v England World Cup 2011 in Bangalore. Special memories.

Favourite sport except cricket?

Golf

Favourite ground? 

Newlands, Cape Town

UP CLOSE WITH…Jeremy Bray

Jeremy Bray is one of the best batsmen to ever represent Ireland, and hit the nation’s first World Cup century with his 116* in a famous tie against Zimbabwe in 2007.

In 15 ODI’s for Ireland, Bray scored 401 runs, ending his international career with two centuries.

Now in charge of Denmark, Bray reveals the best player he has played with and against, favourite ground and more.

First cricket memory?

Watching my father play

Highest score?

191 v UAE in Windhoek – Inter-continental cup semi final

Best figures?

5-1

Best player you’ve played with?

Adam Gilchrist

Best player you’ve played against?

Adam Gilchrist/Brian Lara

Best piece of advice you’ve got?

Good talent with bad attitude equals bad talent

Favourite match you’ve been involved in?

Probably as coach. Denmark beating Oman in World Cricket League Div 4 in Singapore 2014

Favourite sport apart from cricket?

Tennis

Favourite ground?

Hurstville Oval, Sydney

UP CLOSE WITH…Kyle McCallan

Kyle McCallan is one of the best players Ireland has ever produced, and he again played a major role in helping Waringstown pick up four trophies in 2018.

The 43-year-old picked up 28 wickets at an average of 21.21, and also hit 270 runs, with his highest score of 75 coming in the Irish Senior Cup semi-final win against Strabane.

Here, McCallan reveals the best player he played with and against, favourite match and much more.

First cricket memory?

Watching cricket with my dad at Cregagh Cricket Club.

Highest ever score?

146* vs North Down and Old Belvedere

Best figures?

7-12 vs Ballymena

Best player you’ve played with?

I’ve been very lucky to play with some amazing players but Steve Waugh was phenomenal on and off the pitch.

Best player you’ve played against?

Brian Lara. Ability to hit the ball wherever he wanted.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever got?

‘If you put it in, you’ll get it out’ – Steve Waugh.

Favourite match you’ve been involved in?

Without doubt Ireland v Pakistan at Sabina Park, March 17th 2007.

Favourite sport except cricket?

I enjoy watching and coaching rugby. Playing wise, I would love to get the time to play more golf.

Favourite ground?

Lords, with the Wanderers, Johannesburg, a close second.

UP CLOSE WITH…James Shannon

James Shannon registered his highest Twenty20 international score for Ireland over the summer when he hit 60 from 35 balls against India in June.

The 28-year-old has proven to be one of the very best players in the Interprovincial system over the past few years, and is the Northern Knights captain.

Here, Shannon reveals the best player he has played with and against, favourite ground and much more.

UP CLOSE WITH…Adam Dennison

Waringstown opening batsman Adam Dennison was the standout performer this year, hitting a NCU-high 1335 runs at an average of 51.35.

He hit a record 145* to help his side win their first Challenge Cup trophy since 2013 – one of four competitions won by the Villager’s in 2018.

The 21-year-old has formed a magnificent opening partnership with James Hall, who also surpassed the 1000-run mark (1247).

Dennison and Andre Malan were the only two players to hit four centuries, with Dennison’s highest score of 147 coming against North Down a week after his Challenge Cup heroics.

Here, he reveals the best player he has played with and against, favourite ground and much more.

First cricket memory?

Watching my dad play cricket at Millpark at a very young age.

Highest ever score?

206 (Northern Knights vs North West Warriors)

Best figures?

1-1 off 1 against North Down. Got Ruhan out then Greg took me off.

Best player you’ve played with?

Pat Cummins (NCU academy game against MCC)

Best player you’ve played against?

Rashid Khan (U19 World Cup warm up)

Best piece of advice you’ve ever got?

Jonty (Simon Johnston) always told us to just relax and express yourself, and have some fun..

Favourite match you’ve been involved in?

Game that stands out was 2015 Irish Cup quarter-final at Clontarf. We got 320ish and they very nearly chased it..

Favourite sport except cricket?

Has to be football. Enjoy winters off watching Big Andy Mitchell at Glenavon.

Favourite ground?

I’ll be biased and say The Lawn, however Comber is a close second.

UP CLOSE WITH… Jacob Mulder

Jacob Mulder played a big part in helping CIYMS win their first Premier League title since 2012 this season.

The Irish international hit 296 runs in the middle order and collected 22 wickets with best figures of 5-22.

Remarkably, Mulder has taken three hat-tricks for CIYMS, and was the only player to achieve the feat in the top-flight in 2018.

Here, the 23-year-old reveals the best player he has played with and against, his favourite ground and more.

First cricket memory?

Playing backyard cricket with the cousins, probably about 9 or 10.

Highest ever score?

101 vs Waringstown (2nd XI)

Best figures?

6/91 off 33 vs North West Warriors

Best player you’ve played with?

Rassie van der Dussen

Best player you’ve played against?

Rashid Khan

Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

After being hit for five consecutive 6s, Christopher Dougherty said “just toss one up here”.

Favorite match you’ve been involved in?

2017 Challenge Cup final

Favorite sport apart from cricket?

AFL

Favourite ground?

Richardson Park (home of South Perth)

UP CLOSE WITH…Nigel Jones

CIYMS captain Nigel Jones is on the verge of leading his side to the 2018 Robinson Services Premier League title after a seven wicket win over Waringstown on Saturday.

They have now won 10 league games in a row to sit 12 points clear with only three games to go.

It’s been an exceptional run, so get to know the man who has led them to this point.