Leah Paul awarded part-time retainer by Cricket Ireland, Amy Hunter among those with non-retainers for 2021

Leah Paul awarded part-time retainer by Cricket Ireland, Amy Hunter among those with non-retainers for 2021

Amy Hunter (l), Leah Paul © Sportsfile

Leah Paul is one of the seven players to have awarded part-time retainer contracts, while a further 12 have been offered non-retainers for 2021, Cricket Ireland announced on Monday (October 19). Paul was given a non-retainer contract in 2020.

Paul scored 295 runs at an average of 49.17 in the Super 50 Series and finished at the top of the run-scorers’ list. Her association with Gaby Lews at the top scripted early success for Scorchers, who eventually went down to Typhoons in the series. She also accounted for eight wickets with her left-arm spin, making her an allround choice for the national setup.

Young Amy Hunter is one of those to have received their maiden contracts. The 15-year-old wicketkeeper-batter, hit 104 runs including a half century in the competition.

“2020 was a breakthrough year for a few players, particularly some of the newer names that have appeared on the national selectors radar – Georgina Dempsey and Jane Maguire would have been unfamiliar names to many at the start of the season,” said Carrie Archer, the chairperson of the selection panel, “but their huge potential has been rewarded and I wish them well as they come in to the senior performance squad.”

“Amy Hunter has been a prospect for a number of years now, and you could see her performances with the bat as well as with the gloves that she is starting to come into her own.”

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Laura Delany, Shauna Kavanagh, Mary Waldron, Gaby Lewis, Celeste Raack and Orla Prendergast are the others apart from Paul, who have retainer contracts with Cricket Ireland.

“2021 will be a crucial year for Irish women’s cricket - with a 50-over World Cup Qualifier in the offing and the ICC Women’s Championship approaching, it is critical that we prepare the squad for the battles ahead and give them the best chance to succeed,” said Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland.

“We know that it has been a while since the squad has seen international action, but if the recent Super 50 Series has shown anything, it was that there is plenty of talent and ambition amongst the players.”

Central contracts were introduced by Cricket Ireland in 2019 by giving part-time professional retainers to six players and awarded non-retainer contracts to eleven players.

Part-time retainer contracts: Laura Delany, Shauna Kavanagh, Mary Waldron, Gaby Lewis, Celeste Raack, Orla Prendergast, Leah Paul

Non-retainer contracts: Eimear Richardson, Lara Maritz, Hannah Little, Louise Little, Rebecca Stokell, Una Raymond-Hoey, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray, Georgina Dempsey, Rachel Delaney, Jane Maguire, Amy Hunter

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