Ireland cricketers left to choose between international commitment and long term financial security

Ireland cricketers left to choose between international commitment and long term financial security

The eventual decision of playing for the country or for England county will rest with the players.

William Porterfield
William Porterfield of Ireland leaves the field after being dismissed. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

Now that the Ireland Cricket Team has received the prestigious Test status from the International Cricket Council (ICC), the prospect of some of its players playing in English domestic games is now very dim. The captain of the Ireland Team, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, Tim Murtagh and Paul Stirling are among the eight cricketers who will not be able to play County cricket in England after September 2019.

The England and Wales Cricket Board made September 2019 as the deadline after Ireland were granted a Test status a couple of days ago. But for those cricketers whose deal expires before 2018 are free to ask for an extension before the deadline in late 2019. After that, any player is representing Ireland will be allowed only to play as an overseas player in England, which more or less leaves them with the choice of long-term financial security in England or their international career.

If anyone wants to give up their place from the Ireland Test team, they will not be barred from playing in England. The Ireland Cricket Board are currently in talks with their English counterpart regarding this issue. Ireland’s performance director Richard Holdsworth said, ‘Yes, it could happen but we hope that by then we will be in a far better position financially to be able to remunerate those players, certainly to the level that they are remunerated at the moment in terms of their joint contracts with Cricket Ireland and their counties.

Country or county?

‘Throughout our pursuit of Test status, we knew this would be on the cards and that we couldn’t have our cake and eat it when it came to county cricket.’

The eventual decision of playing for the country or for England county will rest with the players but in all probability, no international cricket would relinquish their first duties.