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Three Northern Cricket Union players named in Women's Senior International and Academy squads

Cricket Ireland  

Cricket Ireland has announced the Senior Women International and Academy Squads for 2019 - marking the start of a new era for the sport after what became a watershed year in 2018.
                                                                                                                      
Included are three Northern Cricket Union representatives: Naomi Matthews and Cara Murray, in the Senior Squad, and Amy Hunter, in the Academy Squad.

Aaron Hamilton, Head Coach of the Ireland Women's cricket team, spoke about the new Irish women's cricket landscape:

"We're at the start of a generational change - names that have appeared regularly on the Ireland Women's team sheet for the last 20 years are no longer there. It is never an easy process to replace that level of playing experience, but we have a talented squad and a good leadership team, so we've a good base to grow from."

"We've had a close-knit international squad over recent years, but with the success of the Super 3's Series and further development of the Girl's Academy, the ability to integrate new players into the senior set-up has become an easier proposition. We are also fortunate to have the captain and vice-captain combination of Laura Delany and Kim Garth – supported by a number of experienced colleagues - to lead that process, so I am confident we can quickly gel as a unit."

"I suspect that we will look back on 2019 as a big year for Irish women's cricket. The introduction of the first-ever women's part-time contracts, home internationals and a T20 World Cup Qualifier tournament will be the headline stories, but as a management team we are seeing this year as the beginning of our campaign to be part of an expanded ICC Women's Championship in 2021. To qualify for that competition will be a literal game-changer for the women's game in Ireland – and the work on developing a squad capable of competing regularly on the world stage against the world's best teams will be a multi-year project."

The two squads named are as follows:

Women's Senior Performance Squad

  • Laura Delany (Leinster CC)
  • Kim Garth (Pembroke CC)
  • Shauna Kavanagh (Pembroke CC)
  • Amy Kenealy (Leinster CC)
  • Gaby Lewis (YMCA CC)
  • Robyn Lewis (YMCA CC)
  • Louise Little (Pembroke CC
  • Naomi Matthews (Loughborough/Waringstown CC)
  • Lara Maritz (Clontarf CC)
  • Cara Murray (Saintfield CC)
  • Lucy O'Reilly (YMCA CC)
  • Celeste Raack (Hobart / Merrion CC)
  • Una Raymond-Hoey (Clontarf CC)
  • Eimear Richardson (Northern Districts, NZ / Leinster CC)
  • Rebecca Stokell (Leinster CC)
  • Mary Waldron (Malahide CC)

Women's Academy Squad

  • Aoife Beggs (YMCA CC)
  • Rachel Delaney (Merrion CC)
  • Jennifer Gray (YMCA CC)
  • Amy Hunter (Instonians CC)
  • Anna Kerrison (Malahide CC)
  • Hannah Little (Pembroke CC)
  • Sophie MacMahon (Leinster CC)
  • Jane Maguire (The Hills CC)
  • Caoimhe McCann (Malahide CC)
  • Leah Paul (Merrion CC)
  • Orla Prendergast (Pembroke CC)