Cricket Ireland has increased investment in the Irish Women squad with a new category of non-retainer contracts.
Although offering little in direct financial support, there are considerable benefits for the 11 players coming under the new contract umbrella including:
- medical and healthcare insurance;
- strength and conditioning support;
- psychology, nutrition, performance analysis, lifestyle management and specialist coaching support;
- loss of earnings for all competition periods;
- match fees for all international matches;
- and for ROI players, full access to the Sport Ireland Sports Institute.
The 11 players offered the non-retainer contracts are: Eimear Richardson, Lara Maritz, Louise Little, Rebecca Stokell, Una Raymond-Hoey, Hannah Little, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray, Louise McCarthy.
The match fees are understood to be in the 50-100 euros range depending on the format.
Last week, it was finally confirmed that Kim Garth had refused the offer of a part-time contract, worth in the region of 12,000 euros, preferring to sign a two-year deal with Cricket Victoria.
The former Pembroke all-rounder is keen to establish herself in the professional ranks in Australia, and harbours serious ambitions to play internationally for them, hence opting to turn away from Ireland, at least for the time being.
The other five part-time contracted players all agreed new deals - Laura Delany, Mary Waldron, Celeste Raack, Gaby Lewis and Shauna Kavanagh.
“We are pleased that we can further invest in the senior women’s squad through these new benefits contracts, and we hope to continue to build on these in subsequent years," said Performance Director Richard Holdsworth.
Ireland will reinvest the money that was to go on Garth's contract in the women's game, but Holdsworth revealed they are keeping their options open for the moment.
"Given the uncertainty over the impact of the pandemic and the rescheduling of the World Cup Qualifier, we will delay a decision on how to invest the residual funds.
"The funds may be able to provide additional contact hours with the players or additional warm-up preparation and matches, for example, once we know the timing of the Qualifier.”