Sunday, June 16, 2024

Cricket Ireland: Heinrich Malan agrees contract extension until 2027

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Photo Credit: Sportsfile

Ireland Men’s head coach Heinrich Malan has agreed a two-year contract extension that will take him up until mid-2027.

Malan, 43, was appointed Ireland Men’s Head Coach in January 2022, beginning work in March that year on an initial three-year contract. His extension will take him to mid-2027, at which time Ireland Men will know if they have qualified for the 2027 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. That event – to be co-hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia – will be a key focus of Malan’s over the next three years.

Speaking ahead of his sides departure for the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup, he said:

“I am delighted with the extension as it provides the squad and coaching staff a great deal more certainty as we build upon the foundations we have put in place over the last two years.

“We are now a three-format squad and – despite our smaller talent pool to draw from compared to other Full Members – we have been gradually building a sustainable structure that ensures we can continue to compete and improve on all three fronts.

“One area I have been keen on developing is our players being able to better read the game situation and then, where they judge it appropriate, to have the freedom and confidence to try and impose their style and natural instincts on the game. Some of our younger players are literally learning this ability on the job, which means there are days they will fail, but failure is a key part of the learning process. What we as coaches are looking for is evidence that those unsuccessful experiences are analysed and understood by the player and become part of the experience they can draw upon in future matches.

“This work has borne fruit in two successful T20 World Cup qualifying campaigns and in our recent Test success. But we are all conscious that we’ve missed out on playing in the last two 50-over world cups, and qualification for the 2027 tournament will be one of the focus areas across the next three years.”

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

“Quite honestly, it was a very straightforward decision to extend Heinrich’s contract. Heinrich’s communication has been excellent with players and support personnel, ensuring greater clarity in roles, responsibilities and key planning processes.

“Over the last 18 months or so, the team has improved significantly in the T20 format which was our weakest format. His research into what world-class looks like, and the data he has gathered around the T20 format globally, has led to the production of a blueprint for the Ireland Men’s team which is now showing signs of success with a recent win against Pakistan, and a 3-0 Tri-series win in the Netherlands last week.

“The culture, behaviours and professionalism in the squad is in a very good place, and there is constant work to improve and learn from each international series or global event. Heinrich has also helped shape a support staff set-up that ensure every member has clear roles that complement our players’ development.

“Whilst we know Test cricket is the format we play least currently, we have made good strides with our first Test win in March and are looking forward to more Test cricket this summer and onwards.

“With new leadership in white-ball cricket, the relationship between Heinrich and the two captains has been key. This goes from strength-to-strength and we now have a key focus on strategic planning towards the 2027 Cricket World Cup in mind. I look forward to seeing what the next three years brings.”

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