Speed pays tribute to Wright

Mon, Feb 11, 2008 10:50 AM

The Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council, Malcolm Speed, has praised recent changes in the way the game is run in Ireland. And he says the changes should maintain in the years ahead what he calls Ireland's "winning culture".

Mr Speed's views are contained in a letter of thanks to John Wright who has stepped down as honorary secretary of the Irish Cricket Union.

The chief executive recalIed when the two men sat together as Ireland defeated Bangladesh in the Super Eight stage of the ICC World Cup in Barbados last April.
He wrote: "When I sat with you I must admit I felt proud that the ICC Development Program and all the ICU's hard work was bearing fruit on the world stage."

Malcolm Speed describes the appointments of a full-time national coach in 1995 and a chief executive in 2003 as "crucial developments.".

He writes : "It is no coincidence that since then, Ireland has been a much more consistent force among the other top Associates, making the final of the ICC Trophy in 2005 and twice winning the ICC Intercontinental Cup as well as occasionally upsetting the 'big boys'"

And for John Wright, there was this personal tribute: "There is no doubt that your efforts over many years have formed a significant part of the successes that Ireland has enjoyed in recent years."

John Wright steps aside following last Sunday's annual meeting of the ICU which paved the way for a new order of things which includes a streamlined board of 11 directors. Seven of them are from the Provincial Unions and the other four are "independents", bringing areas of outside expertise to the Union's affairs.

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