Caen Healy, a Senior at Napa High School and a member of Merrion Cricket Club in Dublin and the Napa Valley Cricket Club, has been invited to the ICC America’s Cricket combine in Indianapolis.
The invitation to Indianapolis will see Healy, and 82 other cricketers, from across the America’s – from Canada to Argentina – take part in three days of intensive fitness and skills testing by ICC (International Cricket Council) coach’s, West Indian legend Courtney Walsh and internationally renowned fielding coach Mike Young. The combine is set for 18 – 21 September at the Indianapolis World Sports Park, which features international standard cricketing facilities. Healy applied online to attend the combine earlier this summer producing this skills video –https://youtu.be/ImGXuTmRlIc – to highlight his wicket-keeping skills.
“It’s and incredible opportunity for me” says Healy who has been playing cricket since 2006 “and I’m excited to test my skills in what I’m sure will be a challenging environment. To work with some top-notch coaches will help me to fine-tune my game and give me exposure. With America being such a large country I wanted to get exposure for my wicket-keeping skills and this ICC combine will allow me to do just that.”
Healy was born in London (England) and holds dual American – Irish nationality, as his mother is American and his father Irish. Healy lived in England for four years in West London and Haslemere, Surrey before moving to Ireland in 2001. He attended St. Patrick’s National School in Greystones, Co. Wicklow from 2001 to 2008 and moved to Napa, California in late 2008 where he attended Alta Heights Elementary and subsequently Silverado Middle School. In addition to cricket Healy has played soccer at Napa High School at both JV and Varsity levels, rugby at JV level for the Napa Stormers and plays football for the Napa High Varsity team where in 2014 he kicked 29 of 32 PAT’s, four field-goals and 417 yards from kick-off.
Healy represented Northern California in 2009 in a national tournament of sorts in the South Bay area but since then due to the distance from Napa and other commitments – to his books and other sports – hasn’t played much competitive cricket in the Bay Area. That will all change in the run up to the ICC Combine as Healy will again be part of a Nor Cal team competing in the Owen Graham U19 Memorial tournament over the Labor Day weekend. This tournament will include teams from Northern and Southern California in addition to a team from Texas.
If Healy makes it through the initial weekend he will be invited back to Indianapolis as part of smaller group for more intensive training and from there he could be selected as part of an ICC America’s team to compete in the Caribbean in January of 2016.
“That would be a incredible dream come true” said Healy who has always dreamed of playing cricket at the highest level. “In the meantime I just need to buckle down and do the hard work over the next few weeks in the lead up to the combine”
Inspired by the famous and thrilling Ashes series of 2005 while holidaying in England Healy first started playing cricket at Merrion CC in Dublin in 2006 and has played there every season since.
Healy travels back to Ireland every summer to spend time with his paternal grandparents and plays cricket for the club’s u-19’s in addition to the seniors 3rd’s and 4th’s. With Merrion CC being the largest the cricket club in all of Ireland there is plenty of opportunity for Healy to play in his favored role of wicket-keeper. For those not in-the-know the wicket keeper is the cricket equivalent of a catcher in baseball and is at the heart of the fielding teams efforts to get the respective batsmen from the batting team out.
“All of us at Merrion CC are excited that Caen has been invited to the ICC America’s combine” said Isobel Joyce, Irish International cricketer and Youth Development Officer at the club. “Caen has been part of the Merrion family for almost a decade now and has risen through the under-age ranks from the under 9’s to where he is now, a fixture for the men’s “fourths” when he’s with us in Ireland for his summers” continues Joyce “We know he’ll impress with his sharp wicket-keeping skills and we look forward to hearing all about his adventure when he’s back in Ireland next summer, assuming of course he isn’t playing for the USA by then!”
Merrion fields eight senior men’s teams, two senior women’s team and a number of social teams. In addition they have a full youth structure from U9 through U19 for both boys and girls. Some of the most famous players to emerge from Merrion CC include Irish international players Ed Joyce, who captains Sussex CC in England, John Anderson, Joyce’s twin sisters Isobel and Cecelia and a contemporary of Healy’s, Elena Tice, who in 2011 became the second youngest person in the history of cricket to play international cricket, at the age 13 years and 272 days
Healy practices regularly with the Napa Valley Cricket Club (NVCC) at their weekly nets practice and has played a number of games for them, including their annual World Series of Cricket, when his schedule allows. The local club are generously contributing to Healy’s expenses for the Indianapolis weekend as a gesture of support for the talented local cricketer.
“We are thrilled that a Napa Valley local is getting the opportunity to try-out with the best of American cricketers.” said Phil Bourke president of the NVCC “as a club, we are very much about the social aspects of cricket, but we will always look to support those who can take the step to a more competitive competition, and we are proud that Caen has earned this opportunity.” continued Bourke “We are excited to support Caen in his endeavors and hope he is the first of many Napa Valley locals to take their cricket to a higher level. I’m sure I join all in the cricket community in Napa Valley in wishing him all the best”