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Ed Joyce praises the influence of Richardson and Waldron

Ed Joyce praises the influence of Richardson and Waldron
Ed Joyce praises the influence of Richardson and Waldron
©Cricket Ireland
 

Ireland Women’s Head Coach Ed Joyce has welcomed the positive impact of returning senior squad members Eimear Richardson and Mary Waldron on younger members of his side, as the players complete their final preparations ahead of the Netherlands T20 series starting at 4pm today.

All matches will be livestreamed on Cricket Ireland Live on Youtube.

Joyce took over the Head Coach role in July 2019, but has had a challenging time to date with the late cancellation of a home series against Zimbabwe the summer, then the pandemic all but wiping out international fixtures for Ireland for over 500 days. The return to international action, though, saw the Irish side claim an emphatic 3-1 series win over Scotland in May in Belfast.

Aware that his side faces not one, but two world cup qualifying campaigns in the next six months, he is keen to get as much cricket in – and has hailed the positive impact on the squad that the return of senior players Richardson and Waldron have already had in a short space of time:

“I'm absolutely delighted to have Eimear and Mary back in the fold. It's no secret we have a young squad, so it's great to have the experience that they both bring available.”

“Eimear, for example, has already been watching some of the younger players, like Freya Sargent - an up-and-coming off-spinner – and begun to share her experience. Likewise, we don't have huge depth in wicketkeeping resources, so Mary obviously adds greatly to that as well. They are both brilliant people with enormous experience - they've played at World Cups and in a lot of big games, so massive bonus for players and coaching staff alike to have them back.”

Joyce points out that, despite still restrictive conditions in place, it has been a busy summer for the players:

“Preparations have gone well for the series - it's been a busy few weeks for the girls with club cricket, the Super Series and lots of training. So there is that little bit of mid-season fatigue there, but the squad are really looking forward to this series. We have had a big build up week - we've trained Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday - so we feel prepared. The series will be a big challenge for us, but hopefully we’ll get some hot weather to go with the ground at Malahide, which looks great.”

In the context of the next six months, Joyce is keen to reinforce that it is not just getting in a winning habit that matters, but executing on their game plans as well:

“It's a really important lead-in series to next month's T20 European World Cup Qualifier. The Netherlands may be missing a few players from this squad, but for us it’s really important we keep working on our combinations. We have a clear plan on how we want to play our game, and if we can execute our game plans like we did in the last few matches against Scotland, then I think we not only have a good chance in this series, but also against all our opponents in next month’s qualifier and further forward.”

“The series is also important for building confidence. It's important we keep winning - the more you win, generally the more wins it leads to, so we want to keep that virtuous circle going.”

The series

This will be the second T20I series at home in 2021 for Ireland Women after their 3-1 series win against Scotland in May at Stormont.

Netherlands was the first international side Ireland Women faced in their maiden internationally-capped match in 1983 (a One-Day match won by Netherlands). In the T20 format, Ireland and Netherlands have met 8 times in women’s T20Is, with Ireland winning on 7 occasions, and one no result. The two sides are heading to Spain for the T20 World Cup European Qualifier - where Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, France, Germany and Turkey will battle it out for one spot in the T20 World Cup global qualifying tournament.

The fixtures are:

26 July 2021: Ireland Women v Netherlands Women - 1st T20I (Malahide, starting 4pm)
27 July 2021: Ireland Women v Netherlands Women – 2nd T20I (Malahide, starting 4pm)
28 July 2021: Reserve Day
29 July 2021: Ireland Women v Netherlands Women – 3rd T20I (Malahide, starting 4pm)
30 July 2021: Ireland Women v Netherlands Women – 4th T20I (Malahide, starting 4pm)

The matches will be livestreamed via Cricket Ireland Live on Youtube and livescored via the Cricket Ireland match centre. Permitted spectator capacity will be advised closer to the series.

The squads

Ireland Women:

Laura Delany (captain), Ava Canning, Rachel Delaney, Georgina Dempsey, Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Lara Maritz, Sophie MacMahon, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Eimear Richardson, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron. COVID reserve: Amy Hunter.

Netherlands Women:

Heather Siegers (Captain), Babette de Leede (Vice-Captain), Annemijn van Beuge, Annemijn Thomson, Eva Lynch, Frederique Overdijk, Hannah Landheer, Iris Zwilling, Isabel van der Woning, Julia Corder, Juliet Post, Miranda Veringmeier, Robine Rijke , Silver Siegers.