Photo Credit: Oisin Keniry
Cricket Ireland has today confirmed that Arlene Kelly has been offered a full-time contract until February 2024 – becoming the 21st contracted cricketer in the Ireland Women’s senior squad in 2022.
28-year old all-rounder Kelly made her Irish international debut in June 2022 against South Africa and has nine international caps to date.
Before moving to Ireland from her native New Zealand, Kelly played 68 times for the Auckland Hearts over the last 10 years, and also played in England for Kent Women in 2018.
In Ireland, Kelly plays for Malahide Cricket Club at club level and with the Dragons in the Arachas Super Series.
The announcement comes shortly before the Ireland Women’s squad heads to the Netherlands for a three-match One-Day International series.
Arlene Kelly said:
“I’ve dreamt of being able to play cricket professionally for years, so for the dream to become a reality was a bit of a pinch myself moment. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Irish cricket so far – the players and staff have been extremely welcoming, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of adapting to different conditions and scenarios.
“Looking ahead, there’s plenty of cricket and a lot of healthy competition within the squad – which can only be a good thing. The prospect of being involved in a T20 World Cup early next year is a key focus for the squad at the moment and something that we are going to give everything to. It’s an exciting time to be involved in women’s cricket in Ireland.”
Carrie Archer, Chair of National Women’s Selectors, said:
“Arlene has adapted quickly to both the Irish conditions, but more importantly to the Irish ethos that we are instilling within the senior performance squad. We’re delighted to be able to add another talented player to the group and look forward to seeing Arlene contribute positively to the ongoing development of the squad.”
Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“With the amount of high-quality cricket we’ll be playing over the next few years, it is imperative that we are developing a group of players that offer a variety of skillsets and experience. Since Arlene has come to Ireland she has shown a passion and commitment to the development of the game here, and has shown us at Super Series and international levels what talent she has to offer. I look forward to seeing her making her mark at the highest level and being part of a squad that is performing and competing on the world cricket stage.”
There are now 21 playing contracts for the Ireland Women’s squad:
International (full-time) contracts
- Laura Delany, Shauna Kavanagh, Arlene Kelly, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray, Celeste Raack, Mary Waldron.
Education (part-time) contracts
- Ava Canning, Georgina Dempsey, Amy Hunter, Gaby Lewis, Louise Little, Jane Maguire, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Rebecca Stokell.
- Rachel Delaney, Sarah Forbes, Hannah Little, Kate McEvoy, Eimear Richardson.
The fixtures are:
- Monday 22 August: Netherlands Women v Ireland Women, 1st ODI (VRA Amstelveen)
- Wednesday 24 August: Netherlands Women v Ireland Women, 2nd ODI (VRA Amstelveen)
- Friday 26 August: Netherlands Women v Ireland Women, 3rd ODI (VCC Voorburg)