Holy Bat-rimony!

Report by ANDREW McGILL A HUSBAND and wife team from Bury is preparing to lead England into World Cup action – in what may be a worldwide first. Barry and Alison McCormick are both managers of the England U19 indoor cricket sides – for boys and girls resp

Report by ANDREW McGILL

A HUSBAND and wife team from Bury is preparing to lead England into World Cup action - in what may be a worldwide first.

Barry and Alison McCormick are both managers of the England U19 indoor cricket sides - for boys and girls respectively.

Indoor cricket is a fast-paced game with similarities to the outdoor version and some obvious differences.


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The game is eight-a-side and each match features an innings of 16 overs per side. Every member of the team must bat, bowl and field - making all-rounders the top performers.

Batsmen play their innings in pairs, while every bowler fires down two overs each. The game is played in sports halls with specially-netted walls.

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Runs are scored by hitting the back or side walls and batters are not given out but five runs are deducted from their total. Sides can therefore record minus run totals if they lose enough wickets.

Barry, who was featured in The Hunts Post last year whilst representing England at senior level, said: "I think it could be a first anywhere in the world to have a husband and wife team managing two international sides."

Barry, 46, has been coaching England boys at U19 for a number of years but with the formation of a girls' team, Alison has taken on the responsibility of picking that side.

Both England managers will take their squads into battle at the indoor cricket World Cup, to be held in Bristol from September 20-October 1.

Alison, 47, said: "Picking my first squad was difficult because there are not that many girls who have any experience of playing indoors.

"In fact, there are only three established indoor players in the squad, so it will be a nervous time for some of the girls."

The World Cup will be contested by nine indoor cricketing nations from across the globe, including Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, India and South Africa. The event will be the biggest in the history of the sport and will see 400 players and officials attending.

The sport is incredibly popular in Australia, where it is among the top five sports in the country - outdoor cricket being the number one.

As well as preparing to lead their sides into battle, Barry and Alison are helping to organise the event.

Barry said: "The game has started to take over our lives but it is an extremely enjoyable sport and there is a real buzz involved in preparing for a World Cup event. There is a friendly rivalry between Alison and myself - but we are supporting each other all the way."

INFORMATION: For more on the indoor cricket World Cup visit www.ei8ca.co.uk

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