Cricket Ireland officials add their praise to retiring Irish cricket legends

Clare Shillington, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce  and Ciara Metcalfe
Clare Shillington, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce and Ciara Metcalfe
©Cricket Ireland
 

Leading Cricket Ireland officials have today voiced their appreciation to the deluge of praise for Clare Shillington, Ciara Metcalfe, Isobel Joyce and Cecelia Joyce following their retirements last night.

Going into the evening, the squad were aware of Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe’s retirements, however it wasn’t until the team huddle at the end of the match that the Joyce sisters let their teammates know it would be their last match in the international team.

Learning of the news, Ross McCollum, Chairman of Cricket Ireland, said:

"It's a sad day for the Irish cricket community when one legend of the game retires - but four retiring makes it an emotional occasion for many."

"On behalf of Cricket Ireland I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to Isobel, Cecelia, Clare and Ciara for your many years of commitment and dedication to women's cricket specifically, but Irish cricket in general. You are role models for many, and we hope you continue to play a part in growing our game and bringing on the next generation of players."

"The Board has endorsed the development of a new Women's Cricket Strategy for Cricket Ireland and I look forward to seeing this strategy drive forward the women's game on our island."

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:

"On behalf of the staff of Cricket Ireland I would like to acknowledge the retirement of four of our best, and wish them well in their future endeavours."

"As I said recently at the Cricket Ireland Awards night, of my highlights of the year was our international women’s squad qualifying for the World T20. It was another demonstration of the huge talent among our female cricketers. I have spent more time this year with the squad – in Zimbabwe; in Amsterdam; and in meeting rooms – and I can’t help but be reminded of the same hunger and determination of our men’s squad a decade ago. Of a group of amateur cricketers playing for all the world like professionals; players making personal sacrifices to play for their country; players desperate to prove they belong on the world stage."

"The legacy of Isobel, Cecelia, Clare and Ciara is too large to encapsulate succinctly, but they should know that they have inspired many young girls and boys in Ireland to take up our sport. They have helped bring Irish women's cricket to a new level and have provided the exposure it deserves."

"One of the taglines of the current 20x20 campaign is: 'If you can't see it, you can't be it' - these four players have raised the profile of our sport in Ireland so that many kids have not only seen it, but now know they can be it."

"I know each of our retirees are keen to remain within the sport, and I look forward to seeing their further contributions to cricket going forward."

Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director of Cricket Ireland, said:

"The hard work, dedication and personal commitment that Isobel, Cecelia, Ciara and Clare have displayed over many years is a testament to their respective personal integrity and ambition."

"To retire at a time of their own choosing is a credit to each of them - they are leaders and mentors within the squad, and they are champions and role models of our sport, and their commitment has not diminished over time. Even with the personal struggles at times of juggling an international cricket career with work and study commitments, their focus has always been on pushing our game forward."

"With the ICC recently announcing the expansion of the Women's Championship to ten teams, our focus for the next two years has to be on retaining our top 10 ranking and joining this top tier competition. I know each of our retirees, while leaving enormous shoes to fill in the playing ranks, are keen to play a part in the future of the sport. This can only benefit the Irish system and strengthen our resolve to grow the game domestically."

The Ireland Women’s squad depart Guyana this morning at the conclusion of their World T20 tournament journey.