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|Postal Address:||Parella, Maitland Terrace, Main Road, Union Mills, Isle of Man|
|Main switchboard:||00 44 (0)1624 851277|
|General enquiry email:||email@example.com|
The Isle of Man lies in the middle of the Irish Sea, between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Almost diamond shaped, it is 33 miles long, 13 miles across at its widest and covers 227 square miles. The country is not part of the United Kingdom (nor the European Union) and has its own parliament, laws and currency, which is tied to sterling.
Cricket has been played since the 19th century. The Isle of Man Cricket Club (now the IOM Cricket Association) was formed in 1930 to foster the interests of the sport and assist the existing clubs such as Ramsey, Fencibles and Castletown. One of the founder members of the IOMCC was the late T.W. Cain, who held the post of Secretary from 1930 to 1946 and then Chairman from 1946 to 1971. The Cain Cup is still the premier weekday trophy.
During 1946, a cricket festival was organised and the Island played against a joint Lancashire & Cheshire County XI at Belle Vue Park (later King George V Park in Douglas) which is now the location of the splendid National Sports Centre. The festival was repeated in 1947 with a Yorkshire League side playing a Lancashire League team followed by a Manx team taking on a joint Lancashire and Yorkshire side.
Similar festivals were held in the 1980s with Lancashire 2nd XI a regular visitor as well as international sides featuring such stars as Brian Close, Farokh Engineer, Clive Lloyd, Neil Fairbrother, Graeme Fowler, Mike Atherton, David Gower, Paul Allott, Richard Hadlee and Allan Lamb.
Over the decades, many teams from the UK and Ireland have toured. Each year, the MCC sends a side to play against the Island, King William's College and the Fencibles.
In 1990, the Isle of Man Cricket Club ventured abroad for the first time when a side led by Graham Wilson of Cronkbourne travelled to Victoria in British Columbia for the Visas International Sixes Competition. Against the odds, the Manx team brought home the trophy when Martin Webb's astonishing innings of 73 not out in a team total of 105 brought victory against Australian side Qantas. Martin hit a six off the penultimate ball to secure victory.
The Island participated in the Four Islands Tournament with Guernsey, Isle of Wight & Jersey in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Its most successful effort was in 2000 when it beat Jersey comprehensively and finished as runners up to Guernsey in a very competitive final.
In July 2004, the Isle of Man Cricket Association took a giant step when it was elected as the 90th member of the ICC and in 2005 competed in the ICC European Championship Division Two in Belgium, finishing a creditable eighth with a very young side. The Isle of Man's first international win came when the side skippered by Rob Webber of Ramsey beat Finland by three wickets at the Antwerp Indians Ground.
The Manx U15s played in the ICC Europe Affiliates Division Two in Rome during 2005 and, to the delight of all concerned, brought home the trophy after defeating Belgium by 11 runs in the final. Max Stokoe of Cronkbourne was voted Player of the Tournament.
The Island won the ICC Development Programme's 'Spirit of Cricket' Award for the Europe region in 2005 through youth initiatives run by its Coaches Association. The following year the Isle of Man defeated Spain twice at La Manga.
In 2007, the country came third in the ICC European Championship Division Three with three victories, a tie and one rained-off match (it only failed to make the final on run-rate). The U19s finished third in the ICC Europe U19 Division Two Championships and the U15 team took the bronze medal in the Division Two matches in Spain. During 2008, three games were won and two lost in the U17 championships.
In the 2009 European Championship Division Three, held La Manga, Spain, the Isle of Man narrowly failed to qualify for the following year's Division Two event after losing out on net run-rate to Israel.
The main competition is at the weekend with two leagues. The Premiership has six clubs playing each other three times with 50-overs-per-innings. The Championship (or second division) consists of five other teams. There are three Twenty20 evening leagues featuring 24 sides and junior divisions covering the U15s, U13s, U11s and U9s.
Two cup competitions are held - the Tinker is 40-overs-per-side and the Blincoe is for teams not in the top division. The format is 16 eight-ball overs per innings with a maximum of two-overs-per-bowler.
A comprehensive development plan is regularly updated and aims at improving facilities on the Island and encouraging juniors to join the sport. A Chief Development Officer oversees the development of coaches, cricket at grassroots level, including the reintroduction of cricket into The Manx Youth Games and preparation for sides competing at international level from U15s level up to senior level. An Umpires Association is also in place and there are plans in place to introduce a Coaches Association.