New Horizons for Irish Women’s Cricket.

The Irish Cricketers’ Association were very happy to be in attendance with members and players, alongside Cricket Ireland for the announcement of this landmark moment in the history of not only women’s cricket in Ireland, but also women’s sport in this country.

It is fitting that this announcement of full time contracts for the Irish Women’s Cricket Team is made in the same week as International Women’s Day.  This real investment into professionalising women’s cricket shows growing support and respect for women in cricket, which we think reflects growth in all areas of our society. It sends women and girls the message that there is a future for them in sport and in cricket in Ireland. We hope it also tells other sports governing bodies that this is what is required to keep up with cricket. 

The ICA has worked closely with Cricket Ireland over the past few months in agreeing this new contract structure which we hope is just the beginning in rewarding those athletes who are at the top of their sport, and in enabling them to focus on their cricket. Continued investment in the players will allow Irish women’s cricket to grow, improve and compete with the world’s best.

This is a significant investment in the players and a watershed moment in Irish women’s sport. It’s great to be a part of it. Is the contract structure perfect? No: but it is a good start! And with genuine buy-in from the players with continued support from the ICA and a good working relationship with Cricket Ireland, I am excited about this next phase for the Irish Women’s Cricket Team.” Cecelia Joyce Vice President ICA

Cricket is setting the standard for women’s sport in this country, but it is clear that this is just the beginning. The ICA will continue to advocate for more investment in players and in the women’s game to ensure not only that the sport we love continues to grow and thrive, but that those key people in the game, the players, are valued, rewarded and given the opportunities they deserve, to flourish and drive the game onwards to their benefit and to the benefit of the sport.

“It’s a great occasion for women’s sport and in particular women’s cricket here in Ireland to have these contracts for the International Team.  The team’s performance over the last 12 – 18 months has been brilliant and hopefully these contracts will help improve the team further going forward into a pivotal 24 months.  Looking back to when the men got their contracts in 2009, professionalising the game helped it grow here in Ireland, pushing the team to achieve unforeseen heights which allows Cricket Ireland to be in the position where it is today. We hope these contracts will do the same for the women’s team and help bring the performances of the team to new levels to achieve things things on the world stage. It is great for women’s sport and in particular cricket, that these contracts will help increase the awareness of the women’s game, make it more visible to the public, inspire more and more young girls to play cricket and in turn see cricket as a way of earning a living going forward.” Kevin O’Brien ICA President.

O’Brien joins ICA ranks

Kevin O’Brien was confirmed as the next President at the recent ICA (Irish Cricketers’ Association) AGM. The position had been temporarily filled by Cecelia Joyce as Vice President, following William Porterfield stepping down after 4 years at the helm. Porterfield served in the role between 2017 and 2021. 

Since its inception in 2017, O’Brien has been a big supporter of the players’ association and the benefits of supporting players during and after their careers. Speaking on the announcement, O’Brien said: “I am delighted to take on the role of President of the ICA and take the Association forward; to keep helping the current crop and to get more past players involved. There are generations of players we can engage with to either support or to benefit from their life experiences after cricket and keep them involved in the community some way.”

The ICA President has already been busy, working closely with the ICA board and Cricket Ireland on developing the pathway for full-time women’s contracts along with player welfare workshops which are in the pipeline.

Speaking about the appointment, Ireland Captain Laura Delany said: “It is great to see Kevin has been appointed President of the ICA. He has a wealth of experience both on and off the pitch and to have such a high profile player in this position with his experience and knowledge is fantastic. I have no doubt it will be invaluable in helping the ICA represent their players this year.“

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