Ireland Women's XI to face North West Thunder in Manchester

Ireland Women's XI to face North West Thunder in Manchester

CRICKET IRELAND have sent a 13-player senior women’s squad to Manchester this week.

The women will take on the North West Thunder at the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground tomorrow, Thursday, July 1.

The T20 fixture will be played as part of a doubleheader, with the Vitality Blast match being played afterwards between Lancashire Lightning and Worcestershire Rapids.

North West Thunder is a regional team that plays in the English Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and will play in the ECB’s new Regional T20 competition in 2021.

The 13-player squad to travel to Manchester includes Captain Laura Delany, Ava Canning, Rachel Delaney, Georgina Dempsey, Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Lara Maritz, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Rebecca Stokell and Mary Waldron.

Ahead of the trip, Ed Joyce, Head Coach of Ireland Women, said: “This will be a fantastic opportunity for our players to play a high-quality fixture in an international stadium in front of - hopefully - a vibrant crowd.

“The experience of the occasion will be great, however, with the T20 World Cup European Qualifier the following month, it’s crucial that our players are getting competitive, quality cricket. We see this fixture as a key part of our build-up to that qualifying tournament.”

He added: “We are delighted to welcome Mary Waldron back into the set-up after being away in Australia for 18 months.

“I know Mary has been keen to get back home and join up with the squad, and her experience and skill will be a welcome addition to the playing group.

“We would like to thank the Thunder for agreeing to play this fixture, and hope that not only can we reciprocate soon, but this may become a mutually-beneficial longer-term relationship.”

Recently, Ireland Women’s team sponsor Hanley Energy demonstrated their ongoing support for Irish cricket and women’s sport by renewing their sponsorship for a further two years.

Niall Franklin, Marketing Manager for Hanley Energy, explained: “Hanley Energy has proudly been a key partner of Irish Cricket since 2015, and sponsor of the women’s senior side specifically since 2017.

“We’re delighted to be extending our partnership for a further two years to 2023. The renewal will see us remain as the Official Sponsor of the Irish Senior Women’s Cricket Team and Official Technology Partner of Cricket Ireland.”

He added: “We have a shared ambition with Cricket Ireland to grow the game on the island of Ireland. We are very proud that our support encompasses women’s, men’s and the Cricket Ireland game at all levels.

"Now with the extended partnership, we look forward and remain focused on supporting the transformation of our next generation of elite players.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish both International teams, management and backroom staff at Cricket Ireland every success for the year ahead.

"The Irish Senior women have two world cup qualifying campaigns this year, and we will be ‘Backing Green’ all the way.”