Ed Joyce. © Getty Images

Ed Joyce, former Ireland batsman, has been appointed as the head coach of the women’s team for a two-year tenure with immediate effect.

The 40-year-old assumed the role of interim head coach in June following the departure of Aaron Hamilton. Joyce took Ireland to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier held in Scotland where the team finished third and subsequently missed out on a spot to compete in the pinnacle event next year in Australia.

“It’s a great time to have been offered this opportunity, and I had no hesitation in accepting the role full-time. 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,” Joyce said on Wednesday (September 18) evening.

With the role made full-time, Joyce will shift his focus to 50-over cricket. The first major assignment for him will be the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Sri Lanka, scheduled in July next year.

Although Ireland missed its opportunity to compete in the ICC Women’s World T20 next year, Joyce pointed out that players’ commitment and fight throughout the tournament impressed him. 

“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.”

Joyce represented the national side in 78 matches, scoring 2602 runs across formats. Since his retirement in May 2018, the former top-order batsman has been involved in different coaching roles.

He noted that in order to remain competitive in big tournaments, Ireland need to work and invest in its domestic structure. Joyce is confident that with time and hard work the team will reap benefits.

“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,” he concluded.

Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland’s performance director, highlighted that the board had “no hesitation in offering him the opportunity”.

“The calmness he (Joyce) brings, and the sense of togetherness within the team, was evident to all who saw the side in action in Scotland. With the home season coming to an end, and the qualifier completed, Ed will now have the opportunity to further develop the skillset and mindset of the wider squad, and start to focus on 50-over cricket ahead of the World Cup Qualifier in Sri Lanka next July,” Holdsworth said.

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