Ed Joyce named Ireland women’s head coach
Ed Joyce (Credit: ICC)

Ed Joyce has been appointed as the head coach of Ireland women cricket team on a two-year contract effective immediately, the national cricket board announced on Wednesday.

Joyce, a left-hand batsman, played 1 Test, 78 ODIs and 18 T20Is for Ireland before calling time on his 12-year career in May 2018. The 40-year-old was named as interim head coach earlier this year in June and has already been involved with the Irish men’s, women’s and performance pathway teams.

“It’s a great time to have been offered this opportunity, and I had no hesitation in accepting the role full-time,” Joyce said on Cricket Ireland’s official website. “The part-time contracts introduced this year, the rise in profile of women’s cricket and women’s sport in general, and the investment in facilities and support structures around the senior team all point to a commitment from Cricket Ireland to grow the game and lift our standards to compete on the world stage.”

While he was disappointed that Ireland couldn’t qualify for the T20 World Cup to be played next year, the fighting spirit shown by the cricketers has left him impressed. “While we were all obviously disappointed to have missed out on qualification for the T20 World Cup, what impressed me about the squad was the players’ commitment to learn and the talent that began to emerge as the games came along. It wasn’t just the senior players that stood up, but a number of the newer players to the senior team showed what they can offer. I was particularly happy with the fight the team showed in difficult positions against both Thailand and Bangladesh. Our fielding and bowling in both was outstanding and that character, being shown by a very young team, is going to be very important going forward,” he said.

He continued, “The standard of women’s cricket amongst the top tier nations has grown immensely in the last five years, and we know that to remain competitive that we need to continue to build our domestic structures, and invest in skills and fitness levels. In addition, we will be working over winter on individual game plans for the players. We have experimented a fair bit over the last few months with roles and positions within the squad, and with more time we will start to see the benefits of this come through.”