Cricket Ireland received a major boost on Friday when a letter from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht Sport and Media gave the go-ahead to Sport Ireland to start planning for the creation of a permanent home for Irish Cricket at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus.

The project was included in the Campus Master Plan published last year but without any timeframe. The clock is ticking on a joint bid from Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland to host the 2030 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, one of the most-watched sporting events on the global calendar.

Speaking on the Sport for Business Leadership Podcast Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom made an impassioned plea the Cricket deserved the same level of significant infrastructure as other major sports.

“It is incredibly frustrating. We are the world’s second-largest sport and we are one of the Top 12 nations.”

“We had to train last year in a school in England because they were better than anything we have here.”

“Nearly 200 million people watched our matches against India but we have not yet been able to persuade Government that we are worth investing in.”

It was a bold statement and it may have done enough to raise the level of urgency in getting things moving.

Listen to the segment at 43:20 on the podcast below…

The letter from Minister Catherine Martin and Minister of State Thomas Byrne said that Sport Ireland could “Commence the procedures required under the Public Spending Code to allow us to consider a proposal for the development of a permanent home for Irish Cricket at the Sport Ireland Campus.”

It remains a long and winding road but the next steps were dependent on the first step and that has now been taken.

Cricket pitches take time to bed in and in order to be ready for a qualifying event in 2028, that international cricket would need to be played in 2027 and domestic cricket in 2026 which means work would need to start inside the next 12 months.

We will speak directly to Warren Deutrom again this week to determine how important this first step is and how things can now be moved forward at the required pace.