Cricket as a cultural sport has reached to various places worldwide, one of them is Ireland. Ireland Women’s Cricket team represents both Northern Ireland as well as the Republic of Ireland. It is governed by Cricket Ireland. The team was established in the 1980’s way before their male counterparts had international exposure in the game. The team has come a long way after a lot of struggle and lack of opportunities the franchise has finally found a rhythm and the evolution of Ireland women’s cricket team in the past decade has been phenomenal. The side is no less of talent and the time is no far away when the Ireland Women’s cricket team will be known for the game they play.
The team has played 148 women’s One-day internationals since 1987, latest being the one played against New Zealand in 2018, They have won 39 matches out of 148, 6 being no result games. In T20I’s, Ireland Women’s Cricket Team has featured in 71 matches since 2008 and won 20 out of it. The team has struggled in ICC tournaments but have never given up, They have appeared in world cup 5 times but failed to clinch the title ever, they have dominated the European championship though, as they have won the title twice, once in 2001 and later in 2009. The team has played a single test only which was against Pakistan in 2000 in which they clinched the victory.
They are currently placed on number 10 in both World ODI and T20 rankings. The team is currently lead by Laura Delany and coached by Ed Joyce, a former Irish cricketer. The time period of the 1990s and 2000’s Ireland was considered to be a top-level team playing regular ODI series and placed as high as 5th in World Cup out of 8 teams, the team has qualified for ICC world T20 in 2014 and 2016. In 2018, Cricket Ireland offered professional contracts to the women players for the
first time ever.
RECORDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
In Test matches, the team has played a single one against Pakistan in which they defeated the opponent where the highest individual score was put up by Caitriona Beggs (68*) and the best spell was bowled by Isobel Joyce (6/21). Ireland registered its highest team total of 193 /3.
In ODI’s, the team has recorded 309/2 vs the Netherlands in 2005, while the highest Individual score has been made by Karen Young (120) vs Pakistan in 2000 and the best spell ever was bowled by Eimear Richardson (5/13) vs the Netherlands in 2009. Miriam Grealay tops the list of highest ODI runs- 1413, and Isabel Joyce tops the list of highest wicket-takers for the side with 66 wickets.
In T20I’s, the team has recorded 213/4 vs Netherlands in 2019, while the highest Individual score has been made by Nikki Symmons (81) vs Netherlands in 2010 and the best spell ever was bowled by Ciara Metcalfe (4/15) vs Sri Lanka in 2016. Clare Shillington tops the list of highest T20 runs- 1019, and Kim Garth tops the list of highest wicket-takers for the side with 42 wickets.
The emergence of Women’s Cricket
As of now, the Ireland Women’s team had a contest in order to qualify for the World T20 world-cup 2020, in which they lost and failed to qualify. Next, they will be Eyeing to Qualify for the 50 over World cup.
The team has been consistent in playing domestic level and franchise games, players like Kim Garth has featured in this year’s WBBL playing for Perth Scorchers.
Cricket Ireland has also recently announced Women’s performance and academy squads for 2020 which is a core training and fitness programme, this will help the women cricketers to become groom more professionally hence become an asset for the side. The women’s domestic circuit has also improved over the years, the girls will be taking part in women’s super 3’s series which will commence from May 2020, It will be consisting of 3 teams, namely Scorchers, Dragons and Typhoons.
The side has played against almost all the nations at the International level. The most active squad consists of: Laura Delany, Kim Garth, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce, Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Lara Maritz, Ciara Metcalfe, Cara Murray, Lucy O’Reilly, Eimear Richardson, Clare Shillington, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron.