Cricket Ireland announces full-time contracts and increased funding for players

Thu, Jan 14, 2010 12:30 PM

Cricket Ireland has awarded six full-time contracts to home-based players plus cash assistance for county stars.

The funding will be supplied by sponsors RSA Insurance, the Irish and British governments in the form of Sports Council funding and the increased revenue from the International Cricket Council following World Cup qualification.

Trent Johnston Alex Cusack, Andre Botha, Kevin O’Brien, John Mooney and Paul Stirling will each be given the backing to allow them to focus on training and preparations for the showpiece event to held on the Indian sub-continent.

In addition to the six ’A’ contracts, three players employed by English county sides - William Porterfield, Niall O’Brien and Boyd Rankin - and schoolteacher Andrew White will receive support through ’B’ contracts.

The remaining Category ‘C’ will see the remaining players all vie for the other five places on offer ahead of the 2011 World Cup.

Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom said: “We are delighted to be able to increase the number of our contracted players from two to six. Together with our County-contracted players, that brings to 10 the number of Irish cricketers playing and training on a professional basis."

Ireland coach Phil Simmons added: “We all saw just how much Trent and Alex improved last year with being able to commit all their focus to full-time cricket. It’ll stand us in good stead as we prepare for the next intensive 15 months of cricket in the lead up to the World Cup.”

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