INTERVIEW: Mary Waldron on West Indies series
DUBLIN – Sunday afternoon sees the start of a new era for the Ireland Women’s cricket team – not only is it the first match of their 2019 international season against one of the world’s leading sides, but the first match since the announcement of the first-ever contracts were awarded for women cricketers. Dual sporting international, Mary Waldron, one of the contract recipients, is looking forward to a big year for women’s cricket in Ireland.
Growing up in Bohernabreena in the Dublin Mountains, Waldron was far more interested in football and started playing at 11 years of age. She was selected for - and went on to captain - the national Under- U16s, U18s & 19s team, and has two senior national women’s caps playing against the Faroe Islands and Switzerland.
In her early 20s Waldron switched to cricket and has since made her way to becoming Ireland’s most successful wicket-keepers and a leader amongst the international squad.
Speaking at a training session at the Sport Ireland Institute ahead of the first international, Waldron said:
“I feel very privileged to have received a part-time contract. It allows us to be able to train more and recover better. I certainly owe a lot to those who have gone before me and their years of playing. That hasn’t gone unnoticed at all. There has been huge commitment from players over the last 15-20 years.”
“The contracts are a huge statement from Cricket Ireland, showing their commitment to women’s cricket and hopefully giving us a chance to progress our sport by lifting the profile or cricket and attracting more players to the game.”
“The upcoming series against the West Indies can’t come quick enough to be honest. We have a huge summer ahead and I think we all just want to get out on the park. It’s the reason we train and it’s exciting to have a team the calibre of the fourth ranked side in the world to start the summer off.”
“I’ve played against the West Indies a few times in 50-over matches, but this will be the first time in T20. It’s another good test for us against a team that won the 2016 T20 World Cup in India and made the semi-finals in the last World Cup last November, losing out to the eventual winners. Their strength and depth is pretty strong having players in the Big Bash, Kia League and most recently the WIPL. We’re up for the fight however, and will look to approach the series positively.”
Asked about expectations of the season ahead, she said:
“I’m looking forward to seeing where this squad can go. We will be missing our four retirees and Lucy but we have the talent to step and it’s exciting to be part of that. Our ultimate goal will be winning the qualifiers and be on that plane to Australia next year.”
Ireland v West Indies – T20 International series
Ireland and West Indies in three T20 Internationals:
• Sunday 26 May 2019 (YMCA Cricket Club, starts 2pm)
• Tuesday 28 May 2019 (Pembroke Cricket Club, starts 4pm)
• Wednesday 29 May 2019 (Pembroke Cricket Club, starts 4pm)
There is free entry to all matches.
A livestream will be available, with details posted on Cricket Ireland social media channels.