Thursday, July 25, 2024

Cricket Ireland: Hume, Hand and Olphert handed contracts

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Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland

Cricket Ireland today has handed Graham Hume and Fionn Hand retainer contracts, and Conor Olphert an education contract, as part of its strategy to increase the depth of bowling ranks ahead of a busy period for Ireland Men.

Graham Hume, 31, was born in South Africa but has qualified to play for Ireland through residency. The right-arm fast-medium bowler is also a renowned hard-hitting (left-handed) lower middle-order batter. He represents the North West Warriors in the Inter-Provincial Series and plays club cricket with Waringstown Cricket Club. He has been involved with the Ireland Wolves squad, most recently on the tours to Bangladesh in 2021 and Namibia in 2022.

Fionn Hand, 23, is a bowling all-rounder who made his debut in the Inter-Provincial Series for Leinster Lightning in 2018, but currently plays for Munster Reds. He plays his club cricket for Clontarf Cricket Club and was part of the Ireland Wolves squad on its tour to Namibia earlier in 2022.

Conor Olphert, 25, is a right-arm fast-medium bowler who made his debut in the Inter-Provincial Series for North West Warriors in 2020. The son of former Irish international Mark Olphert, he plays his club cricket for Bready Cricket Club and was taken as a support net bowler on Ireland Men’s tour to the UAE in 2021.

The contracts will begin immediately and run until the end of February 2023.

Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:

“With an earlier contract offer to Luke Georgeson not being taken up, we have been able to utilise the funds to invest in our future bowling succession planning, and ensure we have resources in place to cover our international cricket schedule. With several injuries currently being managed, and a heavy programme of cricket this summer, we are seeking to improve depth in our bowling ranks and ensure players are ready for international cricket further down the line.

“The three players offered contracts have been in and around the Cricket Ireland performance pathway system for a few years now and we believe though their performances and commitment to improve particularly at inter-provincial level that they have the skills and determination to push for higher honours.”

Heinrich Malan
, Ireland Men’s head coach, said: 

“It has become clear to me that Ireland has a wealth of talented bowlers in and around the national set-up, however, with such a busy schedule of international cricket over the next few years – and particularly as we get back into playing all three formats – we need to invest in and diversify our bowling stocks. Several of our frontline bowlers are returning from injury, and while in the immediate short-term we can cover these areas, in the medium-to-long term we need to develop a greater depth of match-ready international cricketers that can step in at a moment’s notice and perform on the highest stage.

“Graham, Fionn and Conor have deserved their opportunities through hard work, perseverance, and their performances on the field, and I welcome them into the senior performance group. To my mind, each of these players are emblematic of what we need to create more of in Ireland – dedicated and committed players who strive day-in and day-out to improve their game. I know this is a trait of the great Irish sides we have seen over the years, and I want to foster a culture that builds on this – that talent and performance gets rewarded.”


Ireland Men v India Men T20I series
  • Sunday 26 June: Ireland v India, 1st T20I (Malahide) *
  • Tuesday 28 June: Ireland v India, 2nd T20I (Malahide) *
  * Subject to licence

Ireland Men v New Zealand Men series
  • Sunday 10 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 1st ODI (Malahide)
  • Tuesday 12 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 2nd ODI (Malahide)
  • Friday 15 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 3rd ODI (Malahide)
  • Monday 18 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 1st T20I (Stormont)
  • Wednesday 20 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 2nd T20I (Stormont)
  • Friday 22 July: Ireland v New Zealand, 3rd T20I (Stormont)

Ireland Men v South Africa Men T20I series
  • Wednesday 3 August: Ireland v South Africa, 1st T20I (Bristol)
  • Friday 5 August: Ireland v South Africa, 2nd T20I (Bristol)

Ireland Men v Afghanistan T20I series
  • Tuesday 9 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 1st T20I (Stormont)
  • Thursday 11 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 2nd T20I (Stormont)
  • Friday 12 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 3rd T20I (Stormont)
  • Monday 15 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 4th T20I (Stormont)
  • Wednesday 17 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 5th T20I (Stormont)

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