Worcestershire Academy have announced their 2019 fixture list – and it includes two blocks of action against Ireland amongst the many highlights of the summer.
The full Academy side have regularly hosted the Irish during the past few seasons and this year their Under-19 side will feature in three days of white ball cricket – two at Dumbleton and one at Barnt Green – in early July.
But in addition the County’s Under-17 squad will make a reciprocal trip to Dublin in early August to play four matches against Ireland Under-17s in a mixture of red ball and white ball action.
Worcestershire Academy Coach Elliot Wilson said: “Ireland keep wanting to come back and play us every year so we must be doing something right!
“It is a feather in our cap and it works very well for us.
“Ireland Under-19s are coming here as part of their preparations for the World Cup qualifiers.
“As a result we are going to play three games of white ball cricket, probably two 50 over games and a day of T20 cricket. In the past we’ve played a two-day game, 50 over and two T20s.
“We will take a similar side over to Ireland to play against their Under-17s for the first week in August.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed having Ireland over here and hopefully we will make a similar impression over there.
“The trip will be good for the development of players. To get guys away for a period of time, where you’ve got a captive audience for 24-7, is invaluable so to have them all for a week, and play four good games of cricket, is quite exciting.
“We will be based in and around Dublin and Malahide it will be a great experience for the lads.”
The Academy will also be competing in the Birmingham League Graham Williamson Trophy 50 over competition and in the first round have been drawn away to Shrewsbury.
They will then play Ombersley or Walsall away – either in the second round of the GWT if they defeat Shrewsbury or in the plate competition.
The County will again be part of the Tri-Series tournament also involving Northamptonshire and current holders Leicestershire.
This comprises of three-day and 50 over games against both counties plus a T20 day.
The Academy’s home three-day match will take place at Blackfinch New Road in late August prior to a Four Counties T20 Day involving Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire Seconds and the Academy also being held at the County’s headquarters.
Elliot Wilson said: “The Tri-Series works well – two good 50 over games, two good three-day games and a very enjoyable T20 day.
“It has worked very well for the first two years.
“We hope to make sure we get the right players playing on those dates to add value to their development and continue what this club has been very good at over a long period of time now which is to produce its own players and having a wealth of home grown players ready to play second team cricket, knocking on the door of the coaching team to get signed as professional cricketers, and making sure we fill our first team full of home grown Worcestershire players.”
The full Academy fixture list for 2019 is:
9 Worcestershire Seconds Kidderminster
13 Shrewsbury (GWT) Shrewsbury
14 Yorkshire Kidderminster
16,17,18 Shrewsbury School Festival Shrewsbury School
28 Northamptonshire (TS) Away VTBC
30 Malvern College Malvern College
5 Ombersley or Walsall (GWT or plate) Away VTBC
12 Nottinghamshire Lady Bay Sports Club
23 T20 Day (TS) Northampton
30 Leicestershire (TS) Barnt Green
2 Ireland Under-19s Dumbleton
3 Ireland Under-19s Dumbleton
4 Ireland Under-19s Barnt Green
4 North Staffs-South Cheshire League U-25s Away VTBC
12, 13, 14 Leicestershire (TS) Away VTBC
18 Four Counties T20 Blackfinch New Road
21-23 Northamptonshire (TS) Blackfinch New Road