Darren ‘absolutely buzzing’ to be back

April 21, 2024

DARREN Ironside is ‘absolutely buzzing’ at the prospect of playing for Suffolk again this season.

The 29-year-old all-rounder tore ankle ligaments while playing football warming up ahead of Mildenhall’s East Anglian Premier League match at home to Swardeston last June.

He spent five weeks in a ‘Moon Boot’ and missed a total of 14 weeks of the season, returning to play the last four matches for Mildenhall, even though he admitted he was not fully fit.

But after spending the winter in Australia, Ironside is eager to return to playing for his adopted county once more.

He has spent the last six months in Australia playing for South Australia Cricket Association A Grade side Tea Tree Gully District CC just outside Adelaide.

Ironside said: “Joe Gatting, the former Suffolk professional, is head coach there and it was my fourth season with the club.

“I first went out in the winter of 2019-20, missed the next year due to Covid but have been back each year since.

“I broke a finger in only my second game, so I didn’t bowl before Christmas. We finished fifth in the league which meant we just missed out on the play-offs.”

Ironside, who scored one century for Tea Tree Gully, is aiming to make up for lost time this summer.

His injury was untimely in that it came ahead of the NCCA Eastern Division One season following his performances in the three-day format the previous summer.

Ironside (pictured above) enjoyed a rich vein of form, scoring 455 runs in his last four innings, after scoring an undefeated 53 in the Showcase match versus Kent Spitfires at Woolpit.

He posted scored of 146 and 81 in Suffolk’s memorable five-wicket win against Staffordshire at Checkley CC.

The opening bat then followed that up with knocks of 152 and 76 as Suffolk beat Bedfordshire by 136 runs at Flitwick CC.

It was on the same ground that Ironside, who received his county cap after passing the qualifying mark of 1,000 Championship runs, had made his only previous century – an undefeated 125 – in August 2017.

He admitted: “It was extremely frustrating last season to sit there and watch the lads playing, either at the ground or via the live stream. I was just itching to be out there. It was difficult, but these things happen.

“But I am now fully fit and I am absolutely buzzing. Going away in the winter has probably helped me even more.

“I am looking forward to the season for both Mildenhall and Suffolk and can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Ironside put his outstanding form in the second half of the 2022 campaign down to self-confidence, starting with that undefeated half-century in the Showcase fixture.

He said: “That innings kick-started my run of form. It is always nice to do well, but especially against first-class opposition.

“I am a confidence player, whether that is batting or bowling. With anything in life, self-belief is key for me and I just tried to cash in as much as I could, so it would be nice if I can continue that this season.

“The three-day format is my strength, but I try to contribute as much as I can in whatever format I am playing.

“Fingers cross that 2024 is a good season for me personally and also team-wise for Suffolk.”

Tags: , ,

Categorised in: