Cricket Ireland Board Meeting June 12th, 2017
The Cricket Ireland Board met this week in Merrion Cricket Club in Dublin where a wide range of issues were discussed with the following outcomes.
1. Ireland men’s senior squad
Following the busy period of ODIs in May and the March series against Afghanistan, the Board received a detailed review from management about the performance of the men’s senior squad. The review included the following:
• interviews with players, coaches, administrators and independent observers
• reconsideration of recommendations from previous reviews following the World Cup in 2015 and the World T20 in 2016
• the performance system over the last 2 years in particular selection, the playing programme, the national academy, A-team cricket, coaching, facilities, succession planning, the inter-provincial structure, and external expertise
The Board approved/noted the following:
• A new national men’s selection structure – this is to foster improved knowledge and decision-making. Richard Holdsworth, CI Performance Director said: “Given the amount of Inter-Provincial, County and International cricket that our men’s players now play, there is a far greater need for the selectors to see players in competition more regularly, observe them in practice, and better understand what they are working on, how they train and what their attitude towards the teams they play in is. For anyone to be able to undertake such a role, they would be required to spend a significant amount of time with the players and watch a lot of cricket. For volunteers to now undertake such a role is asking an awful lot and therefore it is recognised, with the professionalisation of Provincial Union senior squads and more paid staff, the Provincial Union head coaches are best-placed to provide this depth of knowledge. This model is similar to some other full member Boards such as England. Further, given the increase in coaching staff – senior team, Academy and Provincial – it is recommended that the Chair may co-opt members to meetings at his discretion.”
• The formation of a High Performance Advisory Group – comprising internal and external expertise; responsible for the oversight and strategic implementation of the high performance areas; to ‘check-and-challenge’ as well as support existing performance personnel
• Inter-provincial cricket – following a recommendation from the Cricket Committee, the Inter-provincial Structure Group will meet in July to discuss the implications for the competition in the wake of a possible decision by ICC at the end of June to elevate Ireland to full membership
• National Coach – the Board agreed a small group comprising Board Directors and management will consider next steps with regards to John Bracewell’s coaching tenure in light of the expiry of his current contract at the end of the year. This process would commence after ICC’s decision about Cricket Ireland’s application for full membership next week
• A-team cricket – the introduction of a significant winter programme of fixtures for the Irish Wolves was regarded as an urgent priority to facilitate a faster blooding of the next generation of Irish cricketers, to introduce players to overseas conditions, and to provide exposure to overseas quality cricketers before doing so against the world’s best teams in official internationals
• The Board noted progress in developments in the outdoor training facilities in La Manga and the National Sports Campus in Dublin, and the impending arrival of a highly-regarded fast bowling coach in Rob Cassell – both of which would be key elements in driving the system forward
Warren Deutrom, CEO, commented: “As in April, the Board put performance issues front and centre of the meeting, producing a lengthy and lively discussion. The purpose of the review was to consider playing results per se, to do so within the broader context of the performance system, and to implement recommended changes in order to, ultimately, drive improved results.
“The debate was also framed within the shadow of a possible elevation to Test cricket/full membership, so the outcomes were as much about planning for a very different possible outlook for our top-level cricket, as it was about being better.”
“The decisions made by the Board are as much about recognising the additional supports needed to bolster the entire system as they are about trying to facilitate results on the field of play.”
2. ICC Full Membership
The Board received a presentation about the timelines and activities around ICC Annual Conference next week.
Management confirmed that an application for full membership addressing the new criteria outlined by ICC was submitted in a timely fashion. The Board noted that the application would be considered at a number of meetings next week, culminating in a decision by ICC’s Full Council meeting on Thursday June 22nd at The Oval Cricket Ground in London.