The Members of Cricket Ireland have confirmed Aideen Rice as the new President of Cricket Ireland – becoming the first woman to hold the role since the organisation (originally called the Irish Cricket Union) was established in 1923.
Ms Rice has been involved in grassroots cricket in Leinster since the 1970s - over the years re-establishing the youth set-up at the famous YMCA Cricket Club (she held the Youth Administrator role for 18 years); chairing the youth section of the Leinster Cricket Union (2005-2007); chairing the Youth & Schools section of Cricket Leinster (2010-2012); and acting as secretary of the coaches’ association for several years.
In 2012 she was recognised with the Volunteer of the Year Award at the Cricket Ireland Awards Ceremony, and in 2015 became the President of YMCA for a two-year term.
“It’s a great honour to be standing here today, but I can think of many other women who could be here instead of me,” said Ms Rice, whilst addressing the Members at the recent Annual General Meeting held at Ballymascanlon House in Dundalk.
“On both the provincial and international front, men and women, the summer is shaping up to be very busy and exciting. While I don’t want to put any pressure on our women’s team, one thing I would like nothing better would be to accompany our women’s senior team to the West Indies in November for the T20 World Cup. 2018 is a most historic year for Irish cricket with the first men’s Test Match less than two weeks away, and I’m looking forward to playing my part.”
Ross McCollum, Chairman of Cricket Ireland, said: “On behalf of the wider cricket family I welcome Aideen to the role. I am delighted with her appointment and it is a true recognition of her many years of commitment to junior cricket in Leinster. Her achievements in supporting grassroots cricket is legendary, and I know she’ll bring an equal measure of commitment to this new challenge.
“The success of our senior women’s team – which is currently ranked 10th in the world – has helped spur interest in women’s cricket and provided new pathways for girls to get into the sport. Irish cricket’s support for the women’s game is an important part of our commitment to growing the game, and Aideen’s elevation to President is both an important recognition for her personally, and an encouragement to the next generation of women cricketers that they can breakthrough at all levels of our sport.
“I would like to acknowledge the outgoing President, Brian Walsh, a man I have known for many years. Brian’s dedication to cricket in Ireland is beyond doubt and in the last 12 months he has travelled many miles and seen many cricket games. I know Brian will stay close to the sport for many years to come.”