Ireland kick off their International season by taking on West Indies in three-match T20I series. Mary Waldron and five other players will take the field being first ever part-time contracts awardees by Cricket Ireland.
Waldron has played football in her youth and chose to keep wickets by switching to cricket in her early 20s. She is not only Ireland’s most successful wicket keeper, recently she also has been selected by the ICC on their Development Panel of Umpires.
Ahead of their first T20I against West Indies on 26th May, Waldron said, “The upcoming series against the West Indies can’t come quick enough to be honest. We have a huge summer ahead and I think we all just want to get out on the park. It’s the reason we train and it’s exciting to have a team the calibre of the fourth ranked side in the world to start the summer off.”
I’ve played against the West Indies a few times in 50-over matches, but this will be the first time in T20. It’s another good test for us against a team that won the 2016 T20 World Cup in India and made the semi-finals in the last World Cup last November, losing out to the eventual winners. Their strength and depth is pretty strong having players in the Big Bash, Kia League and most recently the WIPL. We’re up for the fight however, and will look to approach the series positively.”
Talking about being one of the first part-time professional contract holders, she commented, “I feel very privileged to have received a part-time contract. It allows us to be able to train more and recover better. I certainly owe a lot to those who have gone before me and their years of playing. That hasn’t gone unnoticed at all. There has been huge commitment from players over the last 15-20 years.”
“The contracts are a huge statement from Cricket Ireland, showing their commitment to women’s cricket and hopefully giving us a chance to progress our sport by lifting the profile or cricket and attracting more players to the game.”
Asked about expectations of the season ahead, she said, “I’m looking forward to seeing where this squad can go. We will be missing our four retirees and Lucy but we have the talent to step and it’s exciting to be part of that. Our ultimate goal will be winning the qualifiers and be on that plane to Australia next year.”
Ireland and West Indies in three T20 Internationals:
Sunday 26 May 2019 (YMCA Cricket Club)
Tuesday 28 May 2019 (Pembroke Cricket Club)
Wednesday 29 May 2019 (Pembroke Cricket Club)