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Joe Doherty to be honoured at the 2020 Turkish Airlines Irish Cricket Awards

Kevin O'Brien accepts award from Joe Doherty
Kevin O'Brien accepts award from Joe Doherty
©inpho
 

Former President and Chairman of Cricket Ireland, Joe Doherty, will be honoured at the upcoming 2020 Turkish Airlines Irish Cricket Awards on Friday evening, recognising his many decades of dedication and commitment to cricket across Ireland.

Doherty will be presented with a Special Award – Gibney’s Outstanding Contribution and Service to Irish Cricket , in honour of John Wright - an award that recognises individuals who are held in the highest regard within the Irish cricket community, having made a significant long-term contribution to sustaining and growing the reputation of cricket, growing participation and/or advocating for improvements in facilities and opportunities for players.

The 70-year old native of Strabane has been deeply involved in cricket all his life – from attending his first game in 1955 to his many subsequent voluntary cricket administration roles, including high-profile positions of regional and national significance, such as:

  • President of Cricket Ireland
  • Chair of Cricket Ireland
  • Chair of North West Cricket Union
  • Chair of Cricket Ireland’s Cricket Committee

Speaking from his home ahead of the Awards event, Doherty expressed his delight at the recognition:

“My first reaction when I heard about my nomination was one of extreme surprise, as I don’t normally think in terms of awards for volunteers. But, when I learned more about the award, and saw it was named in honour of John Wright, I realised the enormous significance behind it. It really struck me deeply that I was being very much honoured by being selected to stand in the shadow of such a great servant of Irish cricket.”

Doherty reflected on the origins for his love of the game and his rise in cricket administration:

“My love of cricket was implanted from within my family when my father Joe and grandfather Charlie took me to my first Strabane match (versus St. Johnston) in 1955, and at the age of five I was hooked.”

“Even though my Daddy passed away at a young age in 1956, Grandad Charlie kept up the cricketing routine and it wasn’t long before I was playing in the first ever Strabane boys team at the age of 10. From then on I played for every team in the club and was part of the club’s successes at various levels.”

“I played until 1993, but by that time I was also very active on the administration side of north-west cricket - first as a delegate to Union meetings then as vice-chairman, before being elected Chairman in 1999.”

Doherty believes the sport has made great strides in recent years, and pointed to coaching and development improvements as key to this rise:

“I think the positive changes in Irish cricket in recent years have been seen where there has been a real commitment to quality coaching and development at all levels. By its very nature, this has been a painstaking and expensive exercise, but the output that has emerged surely justifies the effort, especially when we look at the likes of Joyce, Morgan, Mooney, Porterfield, McCallan and Stirling.”

 “And when we added those to the incoming players - like Trent Johnston, Jeremy Bray, Andre Botha and Tim Murtagh - we can see that it was a winning formula on the world stage. We saw that in the West Indies in 2007 and in Australia and New Zealand in the 2015 Cricket World Cup - luckily for me, that latter one was also during my year as President, and to say the team did us all proud indeed be an understatement.”

 “The problem, of course, is that we are not guaranteed an annual harvest from either the domestic game or the international sector, but we must keep trying and turn times of transition into golden breakthroughs. It can be done - we have proved that!”

And what achievement is Doherty most proud about:

 “Looking back, I suppose I derive most satisfaction from the part I played in bringing the North West and other Provincial Unions into affiliation with the Irish Cricket Union [nowadays Cricket Ireland]. Without this, Cricket Ireland would not have reached incorporation, and our subsequent elevation to Full Member status within ICC would have been very problematic, if not impossible.”

And who were Doherty’s cricketing heroes growing up:

“Growing up in Strabane, my cricketing heroes were Ronnie Faulkner and Brendan Donaughey - two fine batsmen. I also had enormous admiration for John Flood of Sion Mills. Flood was a great favourite in north-west cricket and I was proud to call him a friend in his later years.”

“Internationally, I always admired Gary Sobers. He was acknowledged as the world’s best all-rounder - 365 not out and six sixes in an over, no argument from me there!”

The 2020 Turkish Airlines Irish Cricket Awards will be held in Dublin on Friday 28 February 2020. Photos from the evening and real-time updates will be posted on the Cricket Ireland Twitter account on the day.

 The Turkish Airlines Irish Cricket Awards nominees

 Award category: Shapoorji Pallonji Male Youth International Player of the Year

Nominees:

  • Nathan McGuire
  • Mitchell Thompson
  • Tim Tector

 

Award category: Shapoorji Pallonji Female Youth International Player of the Year

Nominees:

  • Orla Prendergast
  • Amy Hunter
  • Alana Dalzell

 

Award category: Clear Currency Volunteering Excellence Award

Nominees:

  • Michael Hickey
  • Mark Jones
  • Robert ‘Lofty’ McGonigle

 

Award category: Sunday Independent/Aengus Fanning Outstanding Contribution to Coaching

  • To be announced on the night

 

Award category: Techfynder Club Official of the Year

Nominees:

  • Joe Connolly
  • David Caldwell
  • Talha Kayani

 

Award category: Gibneys Outstanding Contribution to Irish Cricket

  • To be announced on the night

 

Award category: O' Neills Male Club Player of the Year

Nominees:

  • Andrew Britton, Brigade
  • Chris Dougherty, CIYMS
  • John Anderson, Merrion
  • Majid Khan, Midleton
  • Marc Ellison, CSNI

 

Award category: O' Neills Female Club Player of the Year

Nominees:

  • Alison Cowan, CSNI
  • Rachel Delaney, Merrion
  • Sarah Black, Fox Lodge

 

Award category: Tildenet Club of the Year

Nominees:

  • Ardmore Cricket Club
  • Bready Cricket Club
  • CIYMS Cricket Club
  • CSNI Cricket Club
  • Pembroke Cricket Club
  • Midleton Cricket Club

 

Award category: Toyota Super 3s Player of the Year

  • To be announced on the night

 

Award category: Test Triangle Inter - Provincial Player of the Year

Nominees:

  • Andrew Balbirnie
  • Cormac Hassett
  • Graham Hume
  • Harry Tector

 

Award category: Cricket Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame

  • To be announced on the night

 

Award category: Hanley Energy Women's International Player of the Year

Nominees:

  • Kim Garth
  • Orla Prendergast
  • Eimear Richardson
  • Mary Waldron

 

Award category: Turkish Airlines Men's International Player of the Year

Nominees:

  • Andrew Balbirnie
  • Tim Murtagh
  • Kevin O’Brien
  • Paul Stirling