Cricket Ireland: Georgeson offered full-time central contract; Commins and Doheny agree retainer contracts

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Photo Credit: Sportsfile

Three new contract offers were announced today by Cricket Ireland with Luke Georgeson signing a full-time central contract, while Murray Commins and Stephen Doheny agreed terms on 12-month retainer contracts.

New Zealand-born Georgeson, 22, played in the Inter-Provincial Series in 2021, finishing the third-highest run-scorer in the 50-over Cup competition (317 runs at an average of 63.40) and hitting his first List A century of 128 for the Knights against Munster Reds in June. At club level he played for CSNI in Belfast, scoring seven half-centuries in his 868 runs in 22 games, along with taking 31 wickets, and was named the NCU Player of the Year.

In 2018, the left-handed Georgeson – who turns 23 on Thursday this week – represented New Zealand Under-19s level. He holds an Irish passport and can qualify to play for Ireland, if selected.

Last month he was named once more in the Northern Knights core squad, and he flies to Ireland this week to join up with his provincial teammates as they prepare for a busy season ahead.


In further contract news, Murray Commins and Stephen Doheny have been offered central retainer contracts for the next 12 months. While this is Commins first contract with Cricket Ireland, Doheny has earned his second-straight retainer contract after impressing selectors once more on the recent Ireland Wolves tour to Namibia.

Speaking shortly after signing his contract Luke Georgeson said:

“Obviously I’m very pleased to have been offered a contract with Cricket Ireland. It’s been a big decision to step away from the Wellington Firebirds and domestic cricket in New Zealand, but it’s an extremely exciting opportunity to get stuck in with the Irish and Northern Knights lads and see if I can play a part in what I believe is an exciting time for Irish cricket.

“Last year I was so warmly welcomed into the Northern Knights set-up, and had an awesome time playing club cricket in the NCU – and I felt like I became a better cricketer as a result. Signing this contract will hopefully give me an opportunity to continue to do that, and test myself on the international stage if I’m fortunate enough to get the chance. I’ve had an awesome time with Wellington, within the Wellington system and – for a brief time – within the New Zealand Under-19s set-up, but the opportunity to progress with a highly talented group of individuals here in Ireland, and test myself more consistently at a higher level is an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”

Georgeson reflected on the fortuitous route that brought him to this point in his career:

“I originally signed to come across and play club cricket for Merrion in 2020 – I was going to play as the local pro, and a mate of mine, Jamie Gibson, was going to play as the overseas pro. But that obviously fell through because of Covid. By chance I stumbled across Gary Wilson’s mobile number and sent him a text message out of the blue one morning. His response was to ask whether I was wanting to play for Ireland or just wanting to play some club cricket. At the time I said I was just looking to play some club cricket and have a look around at what was happening, so one thing led to another and I headed over and signed up for CSNI in 2021.

“It didn’t require too much adjustment, as conditions aren’t too different to New Zealand – perhaps it’s a touch slower and there’s less bounce in Ireland, but the key was that I felt like I was fully backed from the coaches and players from the outset. That made it easier to make any adjustments and to perform OK.

“I was fortunate to be selected to play for the Northern Knights shortly after arriving. Within the Knights we have so much talent, but perhaps last season it didn’t come together as much as we would have liked, so going forward I’m sure the group will be looking to push for more silverware and win more games.

“I’ll be playing with CSNI again this year – they’ve become my northern family. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience last year, the guys at the club were fantastic with the way they welcomed me. I stayed just down the road from the club and spent a fair bit of time coaching. The best part of what they have going on at Civil Service is the community feel and the investment they are making in the junior side of the club. It was really cool to see how many young kids were coming along to give cricket a go. The club has an extremely talented youth section, which they rightfully pride themselves on.”

And has he set any goals for himself?

“My goal really is to play as much cricket as I can in order to get better as a cricketer. I’m less a planner and more a ‘play it as it comes’ person, I try to be pretty relaxed and level-headed, just focussing on how I can contribute to win more games for whichever side I’m playing for.”

Andrew White, Chair of National Men’s Selectors, said:

“Luke spent last summer in Ireland playing club cricket for CSNI and representing the Northern Knights. What stood out wasn’t just his talent as a left-handed top-order batter, but the way in which he conducted himself on and off the field. His commitment and dedication to being the best he can be really struck the coaches that he worked under. I expect that Luke will bring further competition within our batting group, and will push standards within the group on a daily basis.

“He has a good understanding of Irish cricket and what the sport means to the people here, and we wish him all the best as he sets up home in Ireland and strives to perform on the international stage.”


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