“We are going to be playing the best teams in the world,” says Head Coach Ed Joyce

On March 10, in a landmark set of events, Cricket Ireland announced the first full-time professional contract for women players for the year 2022. A handsome sum of €1.5m will be invested in women’s cricket in Ireland which includes offering 20 professional contracts to women cricketers in Ireland. Out of the 20 professional contracts, seven are full-time contracts, nine are part-time, and four are non-retainers.

 

Ireland Women's Cricket Team Players
Ireland Women’s Cricket Team Players

 

Ireland women’s cricket head coach Ed Joyce, who took over the job in 2019, is hopeful that his team will get the opportunities to play with the best of teams in the world after turning professional. Joyce, a former international cricketer, has also signed a new contract which means that he will be the head coach till 2025. It was announced that Cricket Ireland will welcome Australia, South Africa, and Pakistan to Ireland this summer. Ireland will play South Africa in June and in July will host Australia and Pakistan. These matches are likely to be live-streamed and televised.

 

Ireland Head Coach Ed Joyce. PC: Getty Images
Ireland Head Coach Ed Joyce. PC: Getty Images

 

Joyce told SunSport, “It (professional contracts) is massive news and it is something that the women’s side has been working towards for a long time. I think the gamechanger for the women’s game was getting into the Women’s Championship, which we managed to do last year, and I think with that comes an increased fixture list and a knowledge that we are going to be playing the best teams in the world far more regularly and to actually compete. We needed at least a core group of professional players and luckily Cricket Ireland and the ICA, the players association, got together and worked out a deal to make that happen.”

Also Read:  4 Match T20I Series announced between Ireland and Scotland Women in May

The benefits of professionalism will be manifold. There will be more access to players. The players will also be able to focus on their game rather than worrying about attending school or college or office. Having to juggle between cricket and work is not good for any international athlete. With professional contracts, the players will be able to concentrate on the game better and thereby improve themselves. Apart from international cricket, domestic cricket will get an impetus too. The Women’s Super Series will see three teams again instead of two teams, which was the case since 2019. Also, it is likely that more and more young kids would look to take up cricket.

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Source: Andrew Ryan for thesun.ie 

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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