A select number of players on the Ireland Women’s Senior Cricket Squad will be the first to be offered professional contracts. On 12 December 2018, a recommendation was approved by the Board of Cricket Ireland to begin offering part-time contracts to female athletes. The change will begin with a small number of athletes given part-time contracts for 2019 with a vision to expand the contract process in the future.
The change follows the Women’s National Team’s appearance in the 2018 Women’s World T20 tournament in the West Indies in November. #10 ranked Ireland found themselves in a tough Group Stage that included Australia (ranked 1st), New Zealand (ranked 3rd) and Pakistan (ranked 7th). Following the team’s loss to Pakistan – nearly foreshadowing coming change – captain Laura Delany remarked, “It’s so incredibly frustrating, because if we were professionals, I wonder what the score would have been out there today.” This was the third straight World T20 tournament Ireland had qualified for. During Qualifiers, Ireland’s Clare Shillington was named Player of the Tournament. Gaby Lewis and Kim Garth were later named in the Wisden Top 25 Best Young Women Cricketers in the World.
Along with the investment in the women’s national team contracts, Cricket Ireland endorsed funding to increase involvement of women and girls in Irish cricket across all levels. According to Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director of Cricket Ireland, “the Board agreed that the engagement of an independent, experienced consultant to develop a framework for the future of this area of our sport was essential”.”
For the full report on the Cricket Ireland Board Meeting click here
To stay up to date with all Cricket Ireland news click here