The Ireland women’s team will officially be based at Claremont Road thanks to a new partnership deal between YMCA Cricket Club and Cricket Ireland.
The agreement allows the Ireland women’s performance squad full use of the excellent facilities at YMCA and Isobel Joyce and her team will train at the YLifestyle Fitness Gymnasium.
The wide-ranging partnership will see the senior women’s squad get the support of Cricket Ireland’s strength and conditioning coaches, use of the YMCA pitch, outfield and artificial nets for training and coaching, and also access to the clubhouse and meeting room for theory and analysis work.
The Claremont Road ground will also host international matches, which will include the visit of Pakistan, for an ODI Series in July, and Inter-Provincial games. YMCA is one of the four Dublin clubs that will stage the ICC Women’s World T20 Global Qualifier in July.
Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland Performance Director, said: “The women’s and girls’ game is growing significantly in popularity and participation, and Cricket Ireland will continue to increase its support for them.
“As part of our strategy to improve the Ireland Women’s team, it is important they have excellent facilities to train in and prepare for major matches or events, as well as having a home venue which they feel proud to play at.
“Cricket Ireland has a long association with YMCA and they have been very good supporters of the women’s team. We look forward to building our relationship further and thank YMCA for their forward thinking and support for Irish Cricket.”
Heatley Tector, President of YMCA Cricket Club, welcomed the agreement. He said: “This is an exciting time for YMCA Cricket Club. We are at the forefront of developing and promoting our great sport within the community and so to become the Home of Irish Women’s Cricket is particularly pleasing for us.
“We are proud that our ground has been chosen for this and we are grateful to Cricket Ireland for recognising the work we have put in over several years to make Claremont Road a top-class cricketing facility.
“Our promise is to work tirelessly to ensure that the Ireland women’s team can make Claremont Road their fortress and a venue worthy of Ireland’s growing status in the world of cricket.”
Isobel Joyce, captain of the Ireland Women’s team, was delighted with the news. She said: “Ireland have been training at YMCA during the summer for a number of years now, and we have played more and more internationals there recently, including matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh last summer.
“The team have also started to use the gym there and have been playing practice matches against the YMCA Academy during the week as a training tool, so the club already feels like a home for the side.
“It’s great to have what feels like a home ground when you’re an international team, and hopefully we’ll have great success there starting with the one-day internationals against Pakistan and the World T20 Qualifiers next month.”