Ireland have announced a squad of 15 with over 1000 international caps between them for the upcoming ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2018, to be played in the Caribbean next month.
The uncapped 24-year-old leg-spinner Celeste Raack, who has played most of her cricket in Australia, including for Tasmania and Hobart Hurricanes, is the notable pick.
“Celeste impressed many of us playing for the Typhoons in the Super 3s Series this year, and has previously played for the Tasmanian Tigers women’s team in the Australian women’s domestic league, and the Hobart Hurricanes in the Women’s Big Bash League,” pointed out Aaron Hamilton, the team coach.
Raack, who declared herself for Ireland recently, was thrilled to get the call-up for the marquee event.
“I am very excited and honoured to have been selected for Ireland for the World Cup,” she said. “I am hoping that this will be the start of a long career as an Irish cricketer and intend on relocating for the start of the 2019 cricket season.
“I played for the Typhoons in the Super 3’s competition this season. I really enjoyed the playing environment and the opportunity it provides for players to play in a competitive and challenging series. Playing with and against Irish international players in this series really improved my cricket and bowling on Irish wickets was a different challenge to those I’ve played on in Australia.”
The squad includes stalwarts like Laura Delany, the captain, Kim Garth, Joyce sisters Cecelia and Isobel, Ciara Metcalfe and Clare Shillington, as well as members of the ICC Global Development Squad Shauna Kavanagh, Lucy O’Reilly and Gaby Lewis.
“We have picked a strong and experienced side that we believe will be best suited for the tournament opposition and the conditions in the Caribbean,” said Carrie Archer, Chair of the Women’s National Selectors.
“Captain Laura Delany will lead out a side which is on an upward trajectory after finishing the summer on a high and keen to impress their credentials on the world stage.
“This is our third consecutive appearance in the World T20s and arguably this is one of the strongest squads we have selected over that time. To have a team which features Ireland’s leading run-scorer [Shillington], Ireland’s leading wicket-taker [Isobel Joyce] and five players with more than 100 international appearances is a fortunate position to be in.”
Hamilton also stressed on the need to mix exciting young talent with experienced members, saying, “When you’re at a world cup with the TV cameras, big crowds and big venues, it is important to ensure the younger players are surrounded by experienced heads.
“It’s important that every player is there on their merits and every player is contributing – and for senior players it’s all about the example they set. You just have to look at Clare Shillington – she may be Ireland’s longest serving member, Ireland’s highest run scorer and recently announced she would be retiring after this tournament – but she is still showing the same commitment to her game that she always has, and it has shown on the pitch with her Player of the Tournament performances during the World T20 Qualifier.”
Squad: Laura Delany (c), Kim Garth, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Gaby Lewis, Lara Maritz, Ciara Metcalfe, Lucy O’Reilly, Celeste Raack, Eimear Richardson, Clare Shillington, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron