Aaron Hamilton, Irish National Women’s Coach, is to leave his post after four years, just two months before the World T20 qualifying tournament.
The 39-year-old Australian, who became the first full-time coach of Ireland’s women when he took over in February 2015 from Trent Johnston, told his senior squad on Friday that he would be leaving. He signed a new three-contract in May 2017.
Yesterday, Cricket Ireland commented “it would be unfair to make any statement at this stage, as we have told Aaron we would talk to him again on Monday.”
Hamilton was unavailable for comment yesterday.
His exit comes shortly after the publication of a review into Ireland’s performance at the World Twenty20 in Guyana in November where his side lost all four games heavily. Four senior players, with a combined experience of 77 seasons, retired after the event, and two others opted to take a break from international cricket.
A new-look side lost a three-match series to West Indies last month but there were signs of new talent emerging. One close observer said the players were “very positive” about Hamilton. “They said the series was very enjoyable and they had learnt a lot from it.”
Last month Cricket Ireland announced that six women players would be given part-time contracts to allow them to train and play.
At the launch of the scheme, the coach said he was confident about the young players in the squad.
“They’re fantastic,” he said. “There is so much talent coming through, and in the academy and underage too, I don’t think people realise how strong our depth is.
“It’s about getting more days like this, more contracts, more fixtures so they players can show how good they are.
“And then the 9, 10 and 11-year olds can see these players and see cricket as a viable career, or just something to enjoy playing.”
It is unclear whether Hamilton will still be in charge for the six-match series against Zimbabwe which begins in 17 days.
Ireland won 20 matches and lost 42 since he took over, with the highlight being a 3-2 series defeat to South Africa in 2016. They also recorded notable wins over Zimbabwe (four times) and Bangladesh (three).
Under Hamilton Ireland qualified for two World Twenty20s but failed to do so for the 2017 World Cup. After playing in the previous five tournaments, Ireland have missed out on the three most recent events.