Carrickfergus’ top-order batter Jake Egan has been selected as the 2023-24 recipient of the Cricket Ireland Overseas Scholarship – a partnership with the Sydney-based Randwick Petersham Cricket Club.
As part of the placement, Egan will play and train with Randwick Petersham, as well as train with the International Cricket Program.
Australian-born Egan, 20, holds an Irish passport and has family in Tuam, Co Galway. He joined Carrickfergus Cricket Club in 2023 and completed his first season of cricket in the Northern Cricket Union (NCU), scoring 486 runs with a top score of 104. He also chipped in with 15 wickets.
Egan was selected for the Emerging Knights in the Future Series and made his List A debut for the Northern Knights against Munster Reds in August.
The scholarship opportunity, which seeks a player who is available to play for the entire season for Randwick Petersham, comes at a busy time for players within the performance pathway with a squad of 13 players just announced for next month’s European Cricket Championship T10 tournament, and an emerging side scheduled to tour the West Indies in November.
Egan has already arrived in Sydney and may be in line to make his debut for the club this weekend.
The Cricket Ireland Overseas Scholarship Programme’s links with Randwick Petersham CC emerged after the club hosted the Ireland Men’s team ahead of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia.
The scholarship was first awarded in 2016 to current Ireland Men’s international Barry McCarthy, and has been awarded every year since, excluding 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previous participants on the Scholarship Programme are: Barry McCarthy, Andrew Balbirnie, Jack Tector, Harry Tector, Stephen Doheny, Tim Tector, and Scott Macbeth.
Speaking shortly after arriving in Sydney, Jake Egan said:
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to be offered the scholarship. It was a bit of a shock initially, but once it sunk in I was over the moon. I’m very excited to be here in Sydney and getting started with Randy Pete’s [Randwick Petersham] and the International Cricket Programme (ICP). I don’t think it gets much better than Sydney. There’s a great standard of cricket here, some great coffee and awesome beaches, so it makes the on, and off-field experiences top drawer.”
About the International Cricket Program, he said:
“The ICP programme is a 10-week block of training that looks incredible – from skills training to Strength & Conditioning recovery, match analysis, and basically everything you would receive as a professional cricketer.
“I think it’s a great programme to get to understand the role of a professional cricketer, and a great stepping stone if a player ever becomes a professional. Then the step up isn’t as dramatic and they are used to training at that high intensity and volume. Personally, I think it will hold me in good stead and allow me to get a high volume of training in with some coaches and inspiring cricketers.”
On his Irish background, he said:
“My mum’s side of the family originates from Tuam, Co Galway. My grandparents visited Perth and loved the warm weather. They then moved out to Perth when my Mum was just 10, along with her three brothers, one of whom moved back to Galway. The majority of my Mum’s family are all still in and around Galway so it’s awesome to get over there and catch up.”
Cricket Ireland Academy manager Peter Johnston said:
“Jake impressed during a series of Academy inter-squad games, he is a strong hard-hitting compact and organised player who understands his own game very well. We saw this when Jake led from the front chasing down a total in the 50-over inter-squad game, ending on 83 not out, at almost a run a ball on a very challenging pitch at Oak Hill. Having only turned 20 a couple of weeks ago he already shows good leadership skills and excellent knowledge of the game. He also captained one of the Academy sides in the two-day series, leading them to victory, while Simon Johnston with the Northern Knights also speaks highly of Jake’s ability and work ethic.
“I have no doubt that with Jake’s professional attitude, he will be able to make the very most of this opportunity and return to Ireland next season an even better cricketer. As an opening batter now in our pathway, he is in our succession planning thoughts for the future, adding to our depth and competition. It will be an exciting and busy few months for our young emerging players with the European Cricket Championships (ECC) T10, an Emerging tour to the West Indies, and also the Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka, so to be able to offer another talent in Jake this stand-alone opportunity of development is an added bonus.
“We are very grateful for our partnership with Randwick Petersham and the relationships we continue to grow with them. It’s great for our players to have the opportunity to train and play for such an ambitious and well-organised club, their support of Irish cricket has gone a long way in the development of many of our current Irish players. We are also grateful to the International Cricket Program, run by Howard Grice. Howard and his support staff have supported many of our players in Sydney through a very professional program which the players cannot speak highly enough about. The pleasing thing with the International Cricket Academy is the standard of players they select along with the support those aspiring players receive in all areas of their game.”