Cricket Ireland has today confirmed that 27 men’s central contracts will be in place in 2023, covering full-time, part-time and casual contracts.
Last year saw the reintroduction of multi-year contracts (last used in 2014-15 during the lead up to the Cricket World Cup 2015).
The centrally-contracted full-time men’s players for 2023 are:
- Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
- Murray Commins, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Tyrone Kane, James McCollum, Ben White.
Casual (match) contracts
- Ross Adair, Matthew Foster, Gavin Hoey, Matthew Humphreys, Peter Moor.
Andrew White, Men’s National Selector, said:
“What has become clear to the Selectors as the years pass is that we are absolutely growing our talent pool, as is required now that we are returning to play all three formats from 2023 onwards. The sheer volume of cricket, combined with the high standards required of senior internationals these days, means that we need to bring a greater number of players into our high performance set-up.
“I congratulate all players receiving contracts for 2023, but encourage those outside the group to keep pushing hard. As we always say, runs and wickets are the currency, and on-field performance is key. If you perform consistently, I’d like to think that rewards will follow. I wish everyone well for the year ahead – and hopefully a Cricket World Cup in late 2023.”
Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“The playing quality we have within the Irish cricket set-up is increasing year-on-year, but so are the demands on players. Our investment in a wider pool of players is an important step forward when you look at both the international fixture schedule and the increasing impact of franchise cricket. In most major cricket nations there is a professional domestic contracts structure beneath or aligned with the national central contracts system. We don’t yet have that in Ireland, so it is even more critical for us to invest centrally and stretch the funds we have as far as possible.
“However, there is another reason why increasing the centrally contracted playing pool is crucial. While fans enjoy the top year of cricket to come, one thing we should always be mindful of is the toll – both physical and mental – that a busy playing and travelling schedule may take on both players and coaching/support staff. For example, there is a 140-day period coming where Ireland Men will be touring or in camp for 115 of those days.
“As such, fans will on occasion see a greater level of player and staff rotation to manage risk of burn-out. With increased focus on the mental health and emotional strain that the global game places on players and staff, we have to carefully consider our options. We will continue to work closely with the Irish Cricketers Association on seeking to improve the health of our players, and consider rest periods for players, while being mindful of the playing opportunities for the wider playing pool, as well as opportunities of player participation in franchise competitions where it is of developmental impact on the player and beneficial to Irish cricket.
“This is going to be an important year for Irish cricket – potentially by the end of the year we will incredibly have had Irish sides competing in three world cups and two qualifiers. Combined with the bilateral cricket scheduled as well, there is plenty of international action for fans to enjoy over coming months.”