Kim Garth leaves Ireland for a two-year stint with Victoria

Kim Garth in action for Dandenong CC. © Arj Giese/ Cricket Ireland

Ireland vice-captain Kim Garth could be seen in Australian colours in the future after leaving Irish cricket to move to Victoria on a two-year professional contract. She has been given the No Objection Certificate from Cricket Ireland. The 24-year old Pembroke all-rounder, who has 114 caps for Ireland after making her debut in 2010 has a fair bit of Australian experience after spending three seasons in Women’s Big Bash League (Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers) that brought her two winners’ medals.

“While I have accepted the offer, it was not an easy decision to make,” Garth told in a statement issued by Cricket Ireland. “To leave family, friends and the whole Irish cricket community was a very difficult decision and one I did not take lightly. However, my ambition has always been to be a full-time professional cricketer and to play at the highest level. A chance like this doesn’t present itself too often, so I am keen to seize this opportunity.”

“I will miss being part of the Irish squad, and indeed all the staff I have worked with at Cricket Ireland. I am very grateful and conscious of the opportunities afforded to me by Cricket Ireland over the years. But I have also learned a lot living and playing cricket in Australia and hope that, at some future time, I can bring this experience home and give back in some way,” she added.

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Playing for Dandenong Cricket Club last season saw her bag the Una Paisley Medal jointly (which represents the player judged most valuable player over the course of the Women’s Firsts Premier Cricket One Day Season) at Cricket Victoria’s 2019-20 Premier Cricket Awards.

“This is obviously a blow, there is no way around that. To lose one of your leading players anytime is a challenge, but I can understand Kim’s decision-making and she has been quite open with her ambitions,” Ireland head coach Ed Joyce said.

“Ambition is a good thing, though – I want our players to be ambitious for Ireland and for their careers. However, the reality is that it will take a few years for us to be in a position to offer our women cricketers full-time opportunities. We’re on that road like we did with the men’s contracts, but I am optimistic we will get there with patience and commitment.”

“In the meantime, we are back in training and focussing on our plans for the upcoming World Cup Qualifier. It has been a great relief to us all to get back into the nets and I have enjoyed re-connecting with the team in person, rather than via a screen,” said the former cricketer who started with England before shifting to Ireland.

“We are obviously disappointed to be losing such a senior player during the transition we are going through but can appreciate Kim’s desire to take this opportunity to play professionally in Australia. While she will step away from Ireland duty, this does not necessarily close the door on her Irish career, and we hope that we may see her in Irish colours once more at some stage in the future,” said Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director at Cricket Ireland.

“The contract agreement has been in the pipeline for a little while now, and we had hoped that Kim would have played for us at the World Cup Qualifier before starting with Cricket Victoria. With the postponement of that tournament, the timing will no longer allow this.” Ireland were due to compete at the postponed ICC World Cup Qualifier in July in Sri Lanka. However, the ICC will provide an update on the tournament’s status in due course.