Ireland have revealed their squads for a busy summer which as well as series against New Zealand and Bangladesh includes the T20 World Cup Qualifers in The Netherlands.
There's a return to the squad for New Zealand based Eimear Richardson, who last played for the Girls in Green during the 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.
There's also a first for the team in that their T20 encounter with Bangladesh at Malahide on June 29th will be a double header, acting as a curtain raiser for the men's match against India.
“The women’s senior team have a big year ahead, and we’re delighted to bring fans a new experience – on 29 June you’ll be able to enjoy two high-quality international T20 matches with the women’s team taking on Bangladesh from 11am, followed by the men’s team facing India from 4pm,” said Richard Holdsworth.
While no women players have obtained senior contracts to date, Cricket Ireland recently approved an almost 50% increase in investment relating to the women’s game.
“These funds allow us to put player agreements in place for the senior squad – an important step in increasing player availability by providing for loss of earnings throughout the summer. said Holdsworth.
Head Coach Aaron Hamilton looked ahead to the forthcoming season saying:
“We have also now finalised the Women’s Performance Squad and Academy Squad for 2018. These are essentially the two pools of players that will not only make up our playing team this year, but are the future of women’s cricket.”
Ireland captain Laura Delany welcomed the fixtures boost saying: “We’re currently ranked the 10th best team in the world, and looking forward to a big few months ahead playing against some top teams.
“The White Ferns (the New Zealand Women’s team) are fresh from a 3-0 series victory over West Indies this month, so are in ominous form. It will be great to welcome them here to Ireland, and I very much look forward to the battle with my opposite number, Suzie Bates, who is not only an experienced international captain, but ranked the world’s fourth best batter,” said Delany.
Following New Zealand, Ireland Women will then meet the 9th ranked Bangladesh.
“The Bangladeshis will bring a different challenge and are more evenly matched in terms of experience and firepower - however we will be seeking revenge after their victory over us last time we met last year at the Women's World Cup Qualifier in Sri Lanka!” said Delany.
2018 Women’s Performance Squad
- Aoife Beggs (YMCA)
- Rachel Delaney (Merrion)
- Laura Delany (Leinster) - Captain
- Kim Garth (Pembroke) – Vice Captain
- Jennifer Gray (YMCA)
- Cecelia Joyce (Merrion)
- Isobel Joyce (Merrion)
- Shauna Kavanagh (Pembroke)
- Amy Kenealy (Leinster)
- Gaby Lewis (YMCA)
- Ciara Metcalfe (Northants)
- Lucy O’Reilly (YMCA)
- Una Raymond-Hoey (Clontarf)
- Eimear Richardson (Wellington)
- Clare Shillington (Pembroke)
- Mary Waldron (Malahide)
2018 Women’s Academy Squad
- Anna Kerrison (Leinster)
- Leah Paul (Merrion)
- Lara Maritz (Clontarf)
- Ruby Neville (Merrion)
- Caoimhe McCann (Malahide)
- Cliona Tucker (Pembroke)
- Cara Murray (Saintfield)
- Louise Little (Pembroke)
- Orla Prendergast (Pembroke)
- Amy Hunter (Instonians)
- Ellen Ridgeway (Leinster)
- Robyn Lewis (YMCA)
- Rebecca Stokell (Leinster)
Women’s International fixture list for 2018:
- Wed 6 June Ireland Women vs New Zealand Women WT20I YMCA
- Fri 8 Ireland Women vs New Zealand Women WODI YMCA
- Sun 10 Ireland Women vs New Zealand Women WODI The Hills
- Wed 13 Ireland Women vs New Zealand Women WODI Clontarf
- Thu 28 Ireland Women vs Bangladesh Women WT20I YMCA
- Fri 29 Ireland Women vs Bangladesh Women (Double-header with Ireland Men) WT20I Malahide
- Sun 1 July Ireland Women vs Bangladesh Women WT20I Pembroke
- Sat 7 Ireland Women vs Thailand Women WT20Q Netherlands
- Sun 8 Ireland Women vs Scotland Women WT20Q Netherlands
- Tue 10 Ireland Women vs Uganda Women WT20Q Netherlands
- Thu 12 Play-Off Semi-Finals* WT20Q Netherlands
- Sat 14 Play-Off Finals* WT20Q Netherlands