DUBLIN – Ireland Men’s Head Coach Graham Ford has agreed to a new contract extension until April 2022 with Cricket Ireland ahead of his squad’s participation in the upcoming GS Holding T20 Tri-Series starting at Malahide Cricket Ground on Sunday.
The Tri-Series will feature Ireland men’s cricket team taking on Scotland and Netherlands, with six T20 Internationals being played between 15-20 September 2019. The Tri-Series is part of Ireland’s preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier being held in the UAE next month.
Ford, who has been Head Coach since December 2017, has spent the last several days in a training camp in Dublin with 25 of Ireland’s best T20 players, fine-tuning tactics and casting an eye over the wider pool of players ahead of selection for the Qualifier.
“It’s an incredibly important year for Irish cricket, and the work hasn’t finished yet. The work we are putting in as a squad ahead of the T20 World Cup Qualifier is crucial as we seek to give ourselves the best opportunity to progress to the main tournament in Australia next year.”
“The last two years have been quite a journey, and we are only just starting to see the emergence of the new generation of players that will push Irish cricket forward over coming years. I still feel we have a way to go, but am committed to the task and didn’t hesitate in signing a new contract.”
“I’ve worked with South Africa, Sri Lanka and in English county cricket and each role had its challenges. But overseeing a team in transition at the same time as adjusting to life as a Full Member has been a particularly unique challenge, but has been very rewarding. As a coach, you want to see progress as a team, and you want to see development of individual players. We’ve certainly seen that in recent times and the potential is now there to push on further. The Qualifier will be the next marker of our progress and I am happy with progress to date.”
Image: Graham Ford inspects the pitch at Stormont in May this year
Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“Extending Graham’s contract is another key milestone in our plans for developing the men’s high performance strategy. The Head Coach role is far more than just overseeing the senior squad, and Graham’s experience, insights and advice have been invaluable in developing our performance systems and pathway. The last two years have been the busiest and most demanding in Irish cricket history, and it is only getting busier, so I am delighted he has agreed to continue the work we began in this new phase as a Full Member.”
“The extension is also an important signal to the players – it’s a vote of confidence in the direction we’re heading and provides stability at an important stage of the our squad’s development. This will hopefully give a boost to the squad ahead of the Qualifier.”
GS HOLDING T20I TRI-SERIES
The GS Holding T20 Tri-Series begins this Sunday, with all games being played at Malahide Cricket Ground.
Fans can enjoy free entry to all games, with a multi-camera livestream with full commentary scheduled for all games.
The fixtures are:
• 15 September 2019: Ireland v Netherlands (Malahide, starting 1.30pm)
• 16 September 2019: Scotland v Netherlands (Malahide, starting 1.30pm)
• 17 September 2019: Ireland v Scotland (Malahide, starting 1.30pm)
• 18 September 2019: Ireland v Netherlands (Malahide, starting 1.30pm)
• 19 September 2019: Scotland v Netherlands (Malahide, starting 1.30pm)
• 20 September 2019: Ireland v Scotland (Malahide, starting 1.30pm)
The squads are:
Ireland: Gary Wilson (Captain), Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, David Delany, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Jacob Mulder, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
Scotland: Kyle Coetzer (Captain), Richie Berrington, Matthew Cross, Josh Davey, Alasdair Evans, Oliver Hairs, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, George Munsey, Adrian Neill, Safyaan Sharif, Tom Sole, Hamza Tahir, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt.
Netherlands: Pieter Seelaar (Captain), Philippe Boissevain, Vikram Singh, Tobias Visée, Scott Edwards (wk), Clayton Floyd, Paul van Meekeren, Bas de Leede, Fred Klaassen, Tonny Staal, Brandon Glover, Max O’Dowd, Ben Cooper, Shane Snater.