Miriam Grealey stepped down as Ireland’s National Selector, Cricket Ireland announced on Monday (February 3), thereby ending 40 years of her involvement in international cricket.
“Being a national selector is a big commitment. I don’t attend many winter net sessions, as I know this is the time the girls are working on correcting parts of their games, and don’t need me standing there looking over them,” said Grealey.
“Once the season gets underway, we try to cover as many games as possible. Basically, I then inform the other selectors and coach about certain players we were keeping an eye on. Statistics can lie, so it’s important to watch the game. Scoring big doesn’t mean you weren’t dropped a few times or played poor shots. Equally, good bowling figures mean very little, unless you see ‘how’ they bowled. I guess I can’t commit that time anymore and is one of the reasons I’m stepping down as selector - the girls work too hard not to have a selector who’s totally committed.”
The former Ireland captain made her debut in 1985 and played 79 ODIs and a Test, before hanging her boots in 2005. Post that she continued her association with the sport by becoming the Team Manager of Ireland and later as the Chair of National Selectors.
“How did I stay in cricket so long? Quite simply my love of the game, and every aspect of it - with the exception of manager,” said the former player, who has been inducted in the Cricket Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame in 2017.
“As captain I was always involved in selection, and from there it seemed a natural progression to start some coaching - mainly with the underage squads, and finally onto the national squad. A couple of years after retiring from club cricket, I was asked to become a selector for the senior squad. I was still watching heaps of cricket, had the knowledge, so thought why not.”
Grealey took to the sport after one of her teachers – Caroline Watson, who played cricket for YMCA and Ireland – asked around to see if anyone was willing to learn cricket, since hockey was widely played by girls then. That got her hooked and there was no looking back since.
“Individually, I guess scoring my first 100 for my country against Pakistan stands out,” she said about her favourite moment of her involvement.
“I also remember hitting 50 against Australia in College Park, solely because I had to face Cathryn Fitzpatrick and my teammates all knew I preferred slow bowling to quickies. I was fairly black-and-blue by the time she had finished her spell, so it was without exception my best battling 50! I guess though my proudest moment was winning the European Cup with Ireland in 2001, our first major trophy beating England in the final.”
“It’s been fantastic to work with Miriam - a true legend of the Irish game. Her passion for cricket, her experience and her insights have helped in the development of generations of Irish cricketers,” said Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director at Cricket Ireland about Grealey, who also has been bestowed with the Honorary Life Membership by Maryleborne Cricket Club (MCC).
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“Throughout the many roles she has undertaken, Miriam has been a role model for many, and an ambassador for all. While we will miss her contributions at an official level, she will undoubtedly continue to be a regular supporter of our national sides, and an advocate for the women’s game in this country.”
Meanwhile, Cricket Ireland have begun the recruitment process for role vacated by Grealey and the last date for applying has been set to February 21, 2020.