Photo Credit: Sportsfile
One year after accepting the role, the outgoing Cricket Ireland President David Griffin reflects on what was one of the biggest years in Irish cricket history and foresees a bright future as Ireland’s young stars begin to turn promise into reality.
Griffin has been involved with cricket for over 50 years – starting to play at Trinity College Dublin in 1972, he went on to join Pembroke Cricket Club for 12 years (where he was also Honorary Secretary of the club from 1976 to 1982). From there he moved to Cork and joined Cork County Cricket Club – becoming captain of the 1st XI in 1989 and 1990, then playing on until his playing retirement in 2000.
Aside from playing, David has also been integrally involved in umpiring and administering – at various times holding the roles of selector and team manager for the Munster Reds, two terms as President of Munster Cricket Union and then Chair of Munster Cricket Union from 2016 to 2021. He has also had extensive involvement in cricket at a national level too – as the Munster Delegate to the Irish Cricket Union Executive from 1991 to 2001, then as Chair of the Finance Committee in 2002-03, as the Munster delegate to the Cricket Committee from 2014-16, as the Munster nominee to the Cricket Ireland Board from 2017 to 2022, and as Chair of the Cricket Ireland Audit & Risk Committee from 2020-22.
What were David’s highlights during his tenure as President?
“Thinking back to the home season last summer, some highlights included the Irish women’s team beating South Africa in Pembroke, the two games against India in Malahide for atmosphere and excitement, the really close battles with New Zealand in Malahide, and beating Afghanistan in the T20 series in Stormont.
“Having been involved in Munster cricket for so long, I was delighted to see Munster Reds win the 50-over Inter-Provincial Cup and Munster Heat the Emerging series – both firsts for Munster. The club finals made a great end up to the season. Since then, being able to attend the two World Cups – the men in Australia and the women in South Africa – was a further highlight.”
Despite having a long involvement in cricket, David acknowledges the Presidency gave him a new perspective on the game:
“The President is, I suppose, the public face of Cricket Ireland in many ways and it was a great opportunity to meet people and help advance the progress of the game in Ireland. I learnt a lot more about the amount of work that goes into making international and inter-provincial cricket happen successfully and my congratulations go to the Cricket Ireland and Provincial Union staff who make this happen and to the many volunteers who keep club cricket going all over the country. The commitment of the players at representative level is huge and I gained a great appreciation of the work they and the coaches put in to compete at that level.”
What did you enjoy most about the role, and what memories will you take away from the last 12 months?
“It’s hard to think of a better occupation than being at cricket matches on a regular basis and meeting cricket people. It was a great opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues in the cricket world, particularly after the disruption caused by Covid, and I made many new friends particularly among the players, their families, and the supporters of the Irish teams.
“There is huge respect everywhere in Ireland for the position of the President, and that is a tribute to all those who were Presidents before me. I was warmly welcomed everywhere I went, and it was always a pleasure to meet club members and supporters at the different grounds.
“I was really lucky to be able to see so much cricket across a fine summer so will always have the memories of exciting matches and enjoyable events across all of Ireland and abroad.”
Brian MacNeice, Chair of Cricket Ireland, said:
“On behalf of Cricket Ireland and the entire Irish cricket family, I’d like to thank David for his enormous commitment and enthusiasm for the role of President over the last year. As a proud Munster representative, David was keen to get around Ireland and meet as many cricket people as he could, and he achieved that and more during his tenure. His stamina and commitment to represent Cricket Ireland at all levels of the game and at every opportunity was testament to his passion for the game and respect for the Presidential role. Not only has he been a wonderful ambassador for Irish cricket, he has flown the flag magnificently for Munster too. I know that nothing gave him more pleasure than visiting some of the many clubs across Munster in his capacity as President.
“While the Presidency chapter closes, I know that David’s love of the sport will keep him engaged, and I wish him well in his next endeavour.”