The third cycle of the ICC Women’s Championship begins this year with an addition of two more teams, taking the total team count in the four-year-long cycle to 10.
The council confirmed in August 2021 that the top five of 2021 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers will join the top four from the 2017-2020 Women’s Championship and the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup host New Zealand in the 2022-25 cycle. This helped Sri Lanka and Ireland join the top 3 of the qualifiers (based on ranking as the event was called off due to the rise in Covid-19 cases) in the Championship.
Making it to the Women’s Championship for the first time, Cricket Ireland is gearing up for the increasing opportunities that will come their way this year onwards.
Praising the players for their commitment and attitude during these uncertain times as well the team’s management for their constant support, as reported irishtime.com, head coach Ed Joyce said
“One of our main aims going forward is to create a slightly deeper pool of players that will help the national team become more competitive on the field, and also feed into the Super Series competition. We need coaching and support services to achieve this, and Cricket Ireland have backed us with the addition of full-time staff – a Physiotherapist, Strength & Conditioning Coach, Team Operations Manager, Assistant Coach, and Performance Analyst.”
As the team begins its preparation for the Championship cycle that starts after the 2022 World Cup in March, the board has announced a new development squad along with their main performance squad.
Earlier known as the Academic squad, the 14-players Development squad consists of emerging talents from the island nation who have the potential to make it to the national team in the time to come along with the presence of some experienced players who missed out in the Performance squad. The squad will have Zimbabwean cricketer and assistant coach of the performance squad, Glenn Querl as the head coach.
Commenting on this change, Joyce said,
“While the Development Squad may still feature players with senior international experience who were unlucky to miss out on Performance squad selection, we believe the overall change will support our talent pathway twofold – by increasing depth in the Super Series competition in the short-term, and for the national side in the medium-to-long term.
“Amongst the 2022 squad named, there’s a heavy emphasis on spin bowlers especially, but there are also two wicket keepers and some exciting all-rounders and pace bowling talent selected. Although some of the talent is quite raw, with a solid and structured training programme, these players will make a lot of progress in 2022. he further added
In addition to this, it is to be noted that to date no central contract has been awarded to the Irish woman Cricketers. Though a few of them were on the retainer/non-retainer deals last year. However, the same report by Irish Times informs that the board is looking forward to granting the central contracts to the top players of the performance squad this year onwards but a confirmation on the same is still awaited.
Performance Squad 2022:
Laura Delany (c), Eimear Richardson, Gaby Lewis, Celeste Raack, Orla Prendergast, Leah Paul, Mary Waldron, Shauna Kavanagh, Sophie MacMahon, Rebecca Stokell, Louise Little, Hannah Little, Cara Murray, Georgina Dempsey, Rachel Delaney, Jane Maguire, Amy Hunter, Ava Canning, Kate McEvoy, Sarah Forbes
Development Squad 2022:
Anna Kerrison, Zara Craig, Rebecca Gough, Siúin Woods, Freya Sargent, Ella Pasley, Niamh MacNulty, Kia McCartney, Aimee Maguire, Joanna Loughran, Sophie McDonough, Sam Todd, Abbi Harrison, Mollie Devine
Author of the poetry book ‘The Scent of Rhythm’, I am a passionate writer and a Sports enthusiast who writes on Cricket and plays Badminton.