In the light of recent developments in Ireland’s women cricket, it looks like that cricket playing nations are finally batting for a better infrastructure in women’s cricket.
Recently, Cricket Ireland announced that for the first time, women cricketers would be offered professional contracts in the early 2019. The contracts will be part-time for the time being with a plan to expand the process in the coming years. This is a major encouragement for Irish women’s team. Not only will it make things better for the existing players but this is also a stimulus for the potential upcoming women players to take up cricket as a profession and look at it as a career.
Cricket Ireland chief executive, Warren Deutrom went on to praise the women’s team for their professionalism displayed in World T20 which was held in November and rewarded them for the same. The team had qualified to play the world T20 after beating Thailand women along with Bangladesh women in July this year.
Ireland women also received a funding of 40000 euros by the Government of Ireland just ahead of the start of World T20 in November. The finance was provided for the team to prepare better for the T20 world cup.
Interestingly, Ireland women’s cricket team entered the international space way before the Irish men’s team when they played a 3 match ODI series against Australia in 1987. That makes them 19 years ahead of their male counterparts in One Day International form of cricket. Ireland men’s cricket team were offered contracts for the first time in 2009.
Cricket Ireland confirmed that they are in dialogues with other full time cricket playing nations on international fixtures which will be announced in January 2019.
International Cricket Council declared that Int’l women’s championship will expand from 8 to 10 teams after 2021. The Irish team currently ranks at 10th spot in the women’s ODI rankings. Their rivals India, Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and New Zealand already have offered professional contracts to their women players. Now, Ireland also joining the list is an indication of how women’s cricket is gaining popularity, slowly yet powerfully.
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