Incoming Cricket Ireland President Stella Downes gave credit to her late father for instilling a love of cricket as she accepted the honorary role at the Cricket Ireland Annual General Meeting.

Stella has been central to the running of Clontarf Cricket Club - and cricket in Ireland generally – for over 25 years. As well as long periods in Clontarf CC as Scorer, Club Secretary, Player, Child Protection Officer and general club administrator, Stella has also been the Ireland Men’s National Team Scorer for most of that period.

As part of that function, Stella has scored over 200 international and inter-provincial matches, plus innumerable club matches. In recent years, Stella has led the way in Scorer education, and she is also an accomplished sports administrator, having sat on multiple competition and management committees.

She was the first female president of Cricket Leinster (in 2020-21) and becomes the second female President of Cricket Ireland.

Stella replaces outgoing President, William Wilson.

Stella said: "I'm extremely honoured to have been asked to take on the role of President of Cricket Ireland. I have huge admiration and respect for those who have gone before me, and I hope to live up to the high standards they have set. My father gave me my love of cricket and I know that he would be so proud to see me elected to this role.

“I was thrilled to discover a local cricket club when I moved to the Northside to begin my teaching career and Clontarf Cricket Club became my second home. I loved playing but took it up too late to ever be a world beater! Opening the batting on our 2nd XI was the dizzy heights of my prowess as a cricketer. Captaining teams meant looking for umpires, so I volunteered to score for the men's teams in a kind of skill swap.

“I have now been scoring for them for over thirty years. Scoring for North Leinster and Ireland followed, though my first international game was actually scoring for Wales in Castle Avenue.

“I sat on the Clontarf women's committee for many years, also serving as their rep on the Leinster Women’s Cricket Union, before being Clontarf’s women's president for three years. I also became honorary secretary of our men's club at around this time. When the two clubs amalgamated, I was given the honour of being the first female president of the club in 2018. The presidency of Cricket Leinster followed to add to my collection of blazers, and I currently sit on the Cricket Leinster Board.

“I'm passionate about cricket officiating and have sat on the committee of IACUS for a number of years as the scorers' rep. Over the past three years I have been developing online scoring courses to provide training for scorers countrywide. It is hugely rewarding and I'm really looking forward to meeting many of my online "graduates" as I travel around the country this season.

“I'm excited to be President in a World Cup year and look forward to supporting both our male and female teams as they pit their skills against the best in the world. I'm also looking forward to the huge volume of youth and development matches planned for the coming season. Most of all, I'm looking forward to travelling to clubs the length and breadth of the country, meeting up with old friends and making new ones.

“Cricket is a wonderful sport with an incredible community spirit and it's the people who make it special. I love it all, from the tensest international game to the "hit and giggle" of the Under 9s. I can't wait for it all to begin.”