Cricket Ireland issue new contract category for female Cricketers

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Cricket Ireland have announced that they have extended the part-time professional contracts of five of their female senior players, along with issuing non-retainer contracts for 11 female cricketers.

The part-time professional contracts of Laura Delany, Shauna Kavanagh, Mary Waldron, Gaby Lewis, and Celeste Raack, which were introduced in 2019, were extended for 2020. The board said that pace bowling all rounder Kim Garth, who was among the contracted Cricketers last year, declined the offer this year to play domestic Cricket for Victoria in Australia. Garth has played 34 One Day Internationals and 51 T20Is for Ireland.

The non-retainer contracts were offered to Eimear Richardson, Lara Maritz, Louise Little, Rebecca Stokell, Una Raymond-Hoey, Hannah Little, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray and Louise McCarthy. A statement released by Cricket Ireland said, “The newly introduced non-retainer contracts are a further step on the road to a professionalised women’s game.”

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Richard Holdsworth, high performance director for Cricket Ireland, said, “We are pleased that we can further invest in the senior women’s squad through these new benefits contracts. Given the nature and profile of our players, we needed to provide a greater level of support and service to the fitness, health, conditioning and, most important, access to services that they need year-round. The medical and healthcare coverage alone will provide some peace-of-mind to the squad, and we hope to continue to build on these in subsequent years.”

Ed Joyce, the current head coach of the Ireland Women’s Cricket team, is looking forward to the team being able to train again. The former Ireland and England left handed batsman said, “For me, it has been an unusual first year in women’s cricket. We’ve not had any games for the best part of nine months for various reasons, but the challenge ahead is motivation enough for me. We have a great young crop of players ambitious to make their mark on international cricket, and with a world cup qualifier approaching, we have the tantalising prospect of potentially qualifying for a World Cup and the ICC Women’s Championship in 2021.”