Ireland Women’s Cricket has received a couple of major boosts with the announcement of three doubleheader international matches on home soil in July and the appointment of Maeve Buckley of Leading Sport to assist with the development of a new strategic plan.
The team will face West Indies, Zimbabwe and Scotland as they build towards the T20 World Cup Qualifier campaign in late summer.
The West Indies games will take place at YMCA and Pembroke Cricket Clubs in May.
The Doubleheaders will be against Zimbabwe Men’s and Women’s in Stormont and Bready on the 10th, 12th and 14th July.
The release of the 2019 fixtures comes off the back of the commencement of the development of a new Girl’s and Women’s cricket strategy and the recent announcement of the first-ever women’s part-time contracts to be offered in 2019
“2018 was a significant year for women’s cricket in many ways – we played 19 fixtures home and away, which culminated in an appearance in the Women’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean, saw top-class fixtures at home, and a tour to Zimbabwe,” said Women’s Team Head Coach Aaron Hamilton.
“It was also a period of generational change as we bade farewell to our four longest-serving team members, but ushered in a new era of professionalism of the sport by announcing that we would be offering the first-ever women’s part-time contracts in 2019.”
“This season we are to take women’s international fixtures around Ireland and the schedule has allowed us to create three double-header events, where men’s and women’s T20 Internationals will share the bill.”
“The larger goal for the squad at this point is twofold – to qualify for the next T20 World Cup in Australia in February 2020, and to ensure our world ranking is maintained so we are part of the new Women’s Championship post-2021.”
“Last year almost 600-caps worth of experience retired – it will be a challenge to go into this next phase without those players, but when I look at the talent and potential coming through, I believe we are well placed to achieve those objectives.”
The development of a new strategic plan looking at all aspects of Women’s and Girl’s participation, administration and development is also to be advanced following a Board decision in December reported here on Sport for Business.
“Female cricketers make up around 19 per cent of regular players across Ireland, up from nine per cent in 2013,” said Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom.
“Our women’s international team is ranked 10th in the world, and we are increasing the representation of women across our administrative and governance functions – but there is much more to do.”
“We are delighted then to announce that Maeve Buckley has agreed to become involved in the development of our new strategy.”
“Maeve has 20 years experience in strategic planning, international top-level sports administration and marketing, and has worked on a number of recent strategic plans, both within Irish sport including for the Camogie Association and the IRFU, and internationally with FIFA.”
Buckley’s Leading Sport Agency is an active member of the Sport for Business Community with whom we recently hosted a very positive Sport for Business Breakfast in Cork, from which we will be announcing more developments in the coming weeks.