Brigade centenary match called off

The unique cricket match to celebrate the centenary of Brigade’s ground and pay tribute to the club’s former chairman Roy Torrens has been called off because of the COVID pandemic and the increasing risks posed by the new variant.
Former Ireland coach Phil Simmons pictured alongside the late great Roy Torrens.Former Ireland coach Phil Simmons pictured alongside the late great Roy Torrens.
Former Ireland coach Phil Simmons pictured alongside the late great Roy Torrens.

Six current Ireland players were to have lined up in the T20 challenge at Beechgrove between an Ireland XI and Brigade Select on Sunday (July 4) and are in the squad for the forthcoming series against South Africa.

Former Ireland captain William Porterfield was to have led the Ireland X1 which consisted entirely of players who had each played at least 100 internationals. Other players in the squad against South Africa are current captain Andrew Balbirnie, Paul Stirling and George Dockrell. Fellow squad members Andy McBrine and Craig Young were to have played for Brigade Select.

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Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said: “We are greatly disappointed by having to reluctantly make this decision, but an unavoidable one which we have done in consultation with the Brigade Cricket Club and event organisers. Our hearts go out to all in Brigade and to Roy's family but we will work with the Club and the Irish Cricketers Association on alternative plans, and continue to provide our support where we can.

“With less than two weeks until a major international series, and the combination of players not fully vaccinated and a major spike in COVID infection numbers in the region driven by the Delta variant, the risk was considered too high for players, volunteers and attendees.

"We all remained hopeful about the match being able to proceed and had looked at additional measures to keep the national players as safe as possible within the club environment but Tuesday's infection numbers showing the highest rate since January meant we had to make this difficult call.

"We are all aware of the heightened emotions around the occasion and desire to properly celebrate Brigade’s ground centenary and the life of Roy Torrens, but we all want to do so in safe and healthy circumstances without the need to put a cordon around our players

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“We look forward to helping celebrate these occasions at a later date, and would like to thank the Club and event organisers for acting so quickly and cooperatively.”

The Brigade club committee will meet tonight (Wednesday) to consider alternative plans later in the season.