The professionalisation of the game in Ireland took another step forward last week with the formation of the Irish Cricketers' Association.

Ireland captain William Porterfield has been elected as President, and he sees the body giving the players a collective voice in the development of the game in Ireland.

"We are here to represent the best interests of the players in all areas, including player welfare, development, opportunities outside the game, player contracts.

"We are in the early stages of formation with a lot time being given up by individuals but we will hope to employ staff when we raise enough funds to do so.

"A lot of us have been fortunate enough to be members of the PCA (Professional Cricketers Association) and we hope that those experiences along with those we have all had in Ireland will help us become an established organisation very quickly.

"Already we have been officially recognised by Cricket Ireland as well being a member of FICA (The Federation of  International Cricketers' Associations)."

As well as Porterfield, other players on the board include Cecelia Joyce as vice-president, Gary Wilson (Secretary), George Dockrell (Treasurer), while Mary Waldron and Andrew Balbirnie are Executive Board members.

The initial membership has been limited to the senior men, A team and women, but there are plans to expand into inter-provincial players in the next few months when they get settled properly.

The formation could have the greatest impact on the development of the women's game, which has yet to see any players place on full-time contracts, although they do have a full-time coach in Aaron Hamilton.

The game hasn't seen the problems faced by the soccer and rugby teams in recent times, but there is an acknowledgement that major investment will be required if the team is to bridge the gap which has opened up with the major women's countries going full-time in recent years.

Interesting times ahead!