Cricket Ireland have revealed an encouraging increase in cricket participation as the popularity of the game in Ireland continues to grow.
24,654 youngsters are now playing the game, more than double the figure of 11,955 in 2011, this rise consistent with growth in all categories following a survey undertaken for the Intenational Cricket Council (ICC).
Overall participation is up to 40,414 and there are now 1,175 active coaches in Ireland, up from 910 and similarly, the number of teams playing has risen from 895 to 1,056.
This development has been made possible by additional funding from ICC Europe and official sponsor RSA.
"I'd like to pay tribute to the outstanding work which has been carried out across Ireland by the Development Team," National Development Manager Tim Simmonite said.
"Their passion and commitment to growing the game is clearly evident, and these superb figures are evidence of the that.
"Enormous credit too must be given to the Provincial Unions and the constituent clubs who have embracedthe continuing changes in the game and have delivered high standards on the ground. The game can only benefit from all their efforts, and I'm certain the sport will continue to thrive."
Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom added: "These results give everyone involved in Irish cricket a fantastic boost. We’ve set ourselves the goal of being a Test nation by 2020, and a tenet of that ambition was to increase our participation numbers across the board.
"We'd set ourselves ambitious targets but have surpassed those easily thanks to the magnificent efforts of the Irish cricketing family. We're especially grateful to both ICC Europe and RSA, whose support has proven invaluable in this expansion. The game here keeps growing at all levels, and with the senior team performing so strongly on the field of play, the future of the game in the country has never looked better."
© Cricket World 2013
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