New Zealand’s former cricketer John Bracewell has been appointed as the new coach of the Ireland Cricket Team, Cricket Ireland announced on Wednesday.
John Bracewell takes over from Phil Simmons, now in charge of West Indies and signed contract till 2017, subject to approval of work permit.
Bracewell, 57, will watch Ireland take on a weakened England team in an ODI in Dublin on Friday and believes he can help the associate nation realise their ambition of securing Test status by 2019.
There is nothing I enjoy more than fighting for a cause, and in cricket terms there is none better than obtaining Test status,” said Bracewell in Cricket Ireland’s press release.
“Already Ireland have achieved tremendous international results given its financial resources and has gained respect at international tournaments, to the point where they are no longer regarded as a banana-skin match but true qualifying contenders.”
He added, “I recently presented at the Irish coaching conference and listened to the passion not only for the game, but for hard work coming from current and former players, and the parallels with my New Zealand cricket journey really resonated with me.”
Bracewell would like to build on the progress made at the World Cup, where Ireland reeled off impressive wins over Test nations the West Indies and Zimbabwe and gave other teams a good fight too.
If Ireland go on to retain the Intercontinental Cup, which is played by the top eight non-Test countries, they will have an opportunity to play the lowest-ranked Test nation in an ICC Test Challenge in 2018.
This would mean that they play two five-day matches — one at home, one away — which are expected to determine whether an associate team is added to the list of Test-playing nations for the next four-year cycle.
“We feel John’s knowledge gained over a 25-year period in the first-class game will help further develop our current players, but also ensure succession planning for our future squad, who aim to be playing Test cricket by 2019,” said Cricket Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth.
Bracewell’s first assignment Ireland’s coach will be their opening Intercontinental Cup match against the United Arab Emirates starting on June 2.