Ireland pace bowling prospects Craig Young and Stuart Thompson have been awarded category A contracts in a list of 24 contracted players announced yesterday by Cricket Ireland.
The pair get their chance to cement a permanent place in the Ireland squad following the retirement of the legendary Trent Johnston.They are two of six players awarded Category A deals, with Kevin O’Brien, Alex Cusack, John Mooney and Max Sorensen the others.
“With Trent Johnston retiring at the end of 2013, we have two young bowlers with great potential in Craig Young and Stuart Thompson available to us full-time,” said Performance Director Richard Holdsworth.
“They will no doubt both be pushing for a place in the World Cup squad in 12 months’ time.”
“Whilst we have a World Cup in March in the Twenty20 format, it is a big year building towards the 50 over World Cup. We feel we have an outstanding crop of players capable of competing and winning matches against Full Members, whilst also developing young players for the future,” he added.
Explaining the nature of the various contracts, Holdsworth continued: “The six full-time category A players are available to Ireland all year round. Eighteen players have agreed category B or C part-time contracts and are either playing English county cricket and primarily available for ICC mandatory release matches, are working part or full-time in other employment, or are still studying at College or University.”
Cricket Ireland Player Contracts 2014
Category A: Alex Cusack, John Mooney, Kevin O’Brien, Max Sorensen, Stuart Thompson, Craig Young.
Category B: William Porterfield (captain), George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andrew McBrine, Graeme McCarter, Tim Murtagh, Niall O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Eddie Richardson, James Shannon, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.
Category C: John Anderson, Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, Tyrone Kane, Andrew Poynter.