ICC Europe Coach Awards 2012 - Outstanding Contribution to Cricket Coaching
Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:46 PM
Brian O'Rourke coaching at La Manga
Brian O'rourke's tireless efforts for Cricket Ireland have earned him the prestigious ICC Europe Coach Award ?Outstanding Contribution to Cricket Coaching' for 2012.
The 41-year-old Leinster Development Manager has played a pivotal role in the promotion of cricket in the country for the past 17 years - developing talents such as Eoin Morgan, the O'Brien brothers, John Mooney, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling and George Dockrell.
It was under O'Rourke's influence that Dockrell switched from a medium pace bowler to spin, a move which has turned him into one of the most highly rated youngsters in world cricket.
Clearly delighted that his hard work has been acknowledged by the ICC, O'Rourke said: "It's a fantastic honour not just for me personally but also Irish cricket. There's a real buzz in the country about cricket at the moment, and the game is clearly on the rise.
"The numbers of coaches and participants are growing significantly, and there's still a lot of talent out there to be unearthed. There are a lot of opportunities now for young cricketers and I'm confident that Ireland will continue to be a major player on the world circuit for generations to come."
O'Rourke has fulfilled a variety of roles since 1995, coaching Ireland teams from Under-15 through to Under-19 level, taking charge of Under 19 World Cup campaigns in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
During that time he has also been heavily involved at inter-provincial level, leading Leinster Under 15's at every tournament since 1997. O'Rourke has also instigated a comprehensive tour programme for Leinster youth sides, giving them opportunities against quality representative sides from the UK - to date fifty such tours have taken place for Leinster teams aged 11 to 19, with notable wins against county opposition, including Gloucestershire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
The Pembroke club man has gained experience by working in Australia and South Africa, forging valuable pioneering partnerships between those countries and Irish cricket - indeed no fewer than 20 youngsters have been placed in South African schools since 2003.
He has also organised training camps in India and Spain, helping future Irish cricketers obtain valuable overseas playing experience.
Brian O'Rourke has been involved in the establishment of many new clubs over the past two years, including Adamstown, Dundalk, Swords, Tyresllstown, Cabinteely, Carlow, Clonee and Greystones.
O'Rourke's innovative work in school's cricket has seen thousands of children introduced to the game, and the emergence of the Leprechaun Cup has seen the game at the crucial Under-11 level go from strength to strength.
Indeed such has been the popularity of the primary school competition that it has been necessary to introduce an additional Super League element for schools in the Dublin and Wicklow regions..
National Development Manager Tim Simmonite knows just how important O'Rourke is to Cricket Ireland. He said: "Brían continues to play a key role in the creation of future coaches as part of a much greater workforce. He is a proud and passionate man, and Ireland would simply not be where it is on the world cricket stage without him.
"Brían's record, achievements and abilities speak for themselves and I'm delighted that he has achieved recognition through this prestigious award - he fully deserves this accolade."