Cricket Ireland have named the 48 players who will form the core squads for Leinster Lightning, Munster Reds, Northern Knights and NW Warriors.

It's an attempt to share the talent pool more evenly while retaining union identity as much as possible.

Leinster Lightning have dominated the series since it was revamped in 2013, winning 19 of the 23 trophies on offer - six Championships, six T20 Trophies, and seven 50-over Cups.

Nigel Jones, Brian O'Rourke and George Dockrell: Pic Rodney Smythe

As reported last week, they have lost three internationals from their double winning side, with Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany and Tyrone Kane joining Munster Reds.

The Ford brothers, sons of Ireland Head Coach Graham, are also going to Cork, alongside South African Murray Commins and Indian born spinner Amish Sidhu.

It's in reality a Dublin-centric side with only former Ireland U19 international Aaron Cawley having any sort of link to the region.

Matt and Greg Ford: Pic Joe Curtis

While Leinster have lost three quality players, as they showed last year they have quality in depth and their 12 players include eight senior internationals, and the remaining four have represented Ireland Under 19s.

They still look to be a formidable outfit and will be odds-on favourites to capture more success in 2021.

Northern Knights also have eight senior internationals to call upon, with the other four being new Ireland Wolves players Jeremy Lawlor, Ben White and Ruhan Pretorius.

The one wild card in their ranks is 21 year-old Kiwi Luke Georgeson who played in the 2018 Under 19 World Cup for New Zealand.

Luke Georgeson: Pic ICC

The left-hander had signed last year for Merrion but covid restrictions meant he never made it.

He's an Irish passport holder who would be eligible for senior selection in early 2022, and who has signed to play his club cricket at Stormont alongside Knights skipper Gary Wilson for CSNI.

Only four of the NW Warriors 12 will be playing their cricket in the region, in a major departure from their policy of recent years.

One notable absence is former Eglinton all-rounder Stuart Thompson who lost his Irish central contract for this year, while there is also no place yet for David Rankin.

New faces are Ireland Wolves batter/keeper Stephen Doheny from Rush, and Shane Getkate makes the trip down the Glenshane, with the Instonians man joining after being an almost ever present face in the Knight squads of former times.

There's the experienced spine of William Porterfield and William Porterfield, two of the five senior internationals, alongside Getkate, skipper Andy McBrine and paceman Craig Young.

Coaches have been named as last year, with Nigel Jones, Simon Johnston, Ted Williamson and Ian McGregor at the helm. Whether all four will be there at the end of the season, or indeed the start remains to be seen with talk of change in the air, especially in the NW.

The interprovincial season has been pencilled in to start on Tuesday May 4th with Leinster Lightning facing Northern Knights in the 50-over Cup, followed two days later by a clash between NW Warriors and 50-over debutants Munster Reds.

A quick tot up shows that of the 48 players named they learned their cricket in their formative years - up to 18 year of age - in the following regions and countries.



Leinster Lightning George Dockrell (capt) (Phoenix), Rory Anders (YMCA), Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke), Peter Chase (Malahide), JJ Garth (Pembroke), Josh Little (Pembroke), Barry McCarthy (Pembroke), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union), Simi Singh (YMCA), Jack Tector (YMCA), Tim Tector (YMCA), Lorcan Tucker (Pembroke).

Munster Reds Curtis Campher (YMCA), Aaron Cawley (Phoenix), Murray Commins (CIYMS), Gareth Delany (Leinster), Greg Ford (Balbriggan), Matt Ford (Malahide), Fionn Hand, Tyrone Kane (Merrion), Seamus Lynch (Terenure), Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin (The Hills), Neil Rock (Rush), Amish Sidhu (Merrion).

North West Warriors Andy McBrine (capt) (Donemana), Ross Allen (Brigade), Stephen Doheny (Rush), Shane Getkate (Instonians), Graham Hume (Waringstown), Graham Kennedy (CIYMS), Nathan McGuire (Rush), Conor Olphert (Bready), William Porterfield (Formby), Boyd Rankin (Lisburn), Will Smale (Coleraine), Craig Young (North Down).

Northern Knights Gary Wilson (capt) (CSNI), Mark Adair (CIYMS), James Cameron-Dow (CIYMS), David Delany (Clontarf), Luke Georgeson (CSNI), Jeremy Lawlor (Carrickfergus), Graeme McCarter (Carrickfergus), James McCollum (Waringstown), Ruhan Pretorius (Woodvale), Paul Stirling (North Down), Harry Tector (YMCA), Ben White (CSNI).