Cricket Ireland has announced a major double header of T20 international cricket featuring the Men’s and Women’s teams in action on the same day this summer.
One month after the historic first full test match against Pakistan, Malahide will host an international between the Irish and Bangladeshi Women’s teams at 11 AM on June 29th, followed at 4 PM by the Men’s teams from Ireland and India.
“Not only does this give fans a great cricket experience, but it gives a real boost in exposure for our women,” said Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director for Cricket Ireland.
“The team are currently ranked 10th in the world and are playing some great cricket at the moment, so it should be an occasion to savour.”
The Board of Cricket Ireland recently approved an almost 50% increase in investment relating to the women’s game.
“These funds allow us to put player agreements in place for the senior squad – an important step in increasing player availability by providing for loss of earnings throughout the summer.”
“We are additionally able to improve coaching staff hours, increase overseas player development opportunities, and facilitate greater access to support services such as physio and medical, strength and conditioning, psychology and nutrition education,” added Holdsworth.
“However, we recognise that all levels of the women’s game need attention, particularly with regard to succession planning and talent development, so I’m delighted with the improvements concurrently being made to our women’s academy under the leadership of national women’s Head Coach Aaron Hamilton.”
“We took a squad to Zimbabwe that was a balance of experience and youth,” said Hamilton.
“While we didn’t get the best weather overall, with a few games rained off, the tour was an opportunity to provide some of the youngsters international game time. Players like Anna Kerrison, Cara Murray and Vanessa Kelada all made their international debuts.”
“We’ve also been bolstered by several of the women’s team getting some top-level cricket in Australia over the winter. Kim Garth and Isobel Joyce have both starred in the Women’s Big Bash League, while Mary Waldron and Ciara Metcalfe had stints at top clubs in Adelaide and Brisbane respectively, thanks to the support of Devenish Nutrition.”
“Looking to the year ahead, we have also now finalised the Women’s Performance Squad and Shapoorji Pallonji Academy Squad for 2018. These are essentially the two pools of players that will not only make up our playing team this year, but are the future of women’s cricket.”
“It’s a big year for women’s cricket in Ireland, and one which the women’s senior squad are relishing,” said Women’s Team Captain Laura Delany.
“We’re currently ranked the 10th best team in the world, and looking forward to a big few months ahead playing against some top teams.”
The first international opponent will be New Zealand Women, the world’s 3rd ranked team, in four matches between June 6th and 13th.
Following New Zealand, Ireland Women will then meet the 9th ranked Bangladesh.
“Of course, no international sporting team can compete at the highest levels without support of sponsors,” added Delany. “We would like to acknowledge the ongoing support of Hanley Energy who are committed to ensuring women’s cricket continues to be a force in Irish sport.”
“Women’s sport is on the up in Ireland, and women’s cricket is no exception,” concluded Clive Gilmore, CEO and Co-Founder of Hanley Energy.
“In sport, as in business, you need to develop good partnerships to succeed and Hanley Energy’s partnership with Cricket Ireland is leading to success on the field and growth off it. We wish the team well for a big season ahead.”
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