Cricket Ireland approved a recommendation from a recent Board meeting to offer Ireland Women professional contracts for the first time, according to ESPNcricinfo.
After qualifying for the recent ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies, the subject of professional contracts for the women’s team was raised by Ireland’s captain Laura Delaney, following their defeat to Pakistan during the group stages.
‘It’s so incredibly frustrating, because if we were professional, I wonder what the score out there would have been today,’ said Delaney. ‘To lose by 40 runs in a game that we genuinely believed that we could win. It’s very disappointing.’
Cricket Ireland was quick to heed the call and have accepted the recommendation after it was most recently raised in a board meeting following the conclusion of the tournament.
‘We are delighted to become one of a very select number of sports in Ireland to offer professional contracts to women players,’ said Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom.
‘It has been an ambition of ours for a number of years, and we now find ourselves in the position to push ahead with this much-needed improvement to our sport.
‘The professionalism shown by our senior women’s team during preparation, qualification and performance at the recent ICC T20 World Cup was a demonstration that this side of our sport is ready to progress and grow.
‘Like we did with the men’s side a number of years ago, we will now bring a measured approach to player contracts. A small number of part-time contracts will be offered in early 2019, with the plan to expand this programme over subsequent years.’
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