Last week I had the great pleasure of spending a few hours in the company of Warren Deutrom, CEO, Cricket Ireland and I can assure you the time flew.
Away from the demands of Cricket Ireland’s HQ in Clonshaugh, a relaxed Deutrom, eased back into an armchair and we quite literally spoke for hours. Throughout his life, sport and in particular cricket, has played a pivotal role.
In 1992 emerging from University of Southampton with a degree in English and French Warren headed to London City University to complete a post graduate course in newspaper journalism.
“My planned career in journalism was a failure; one of the more successful of my contemporaries from that course is Ian King, the business presenter on Sky,” he said.
Next came a year in Australia and on returning to the UK in 1995, there was a realisation that a job was a pre-requisite.
“I joined Keith Prowse, the sports hospitality company as a telesales executive and my first job was selling packages to The Open golf at St. Andrew’s in 1995.
“Then it was selling corporate hospitality packages for cricket and that led to increased contact with the England and Wales Cricket Board,” he added.
“My constant harassment of them eventually resulted in a role with the 1999 Cricket World Cup as an Event Co-ordinator, after that, further harassment got me a permanent job with ECB initially account managing our County sponsors and then becoming ECB’s first Event Manager.
“We all have bad days in the office from time to time, but working at Lord’s when you stepped outside and looked around, you realise that there were not many better places to have a bad day at the office.”
After 4 years at Lord’s it was ICC Cricket Events Manager, three years in Monaco followed by 18 months in Dubai. During this time he came into contact with the Irish cricketing world.
No more so than in 2005 when Ireland hosted the ICC Trophy, a squad containing the likes of Ed Joyce, Eoin Morgan, Kyle McCallan, Andrew White, Trent Johnston and coached by Adrian Birrell. So how did the Irish job come about?
“At the Under 19 World Cup in Colombo in early 2006, I was walking round the boundary with John Wright and we were discussing how Irish cricket was developing. I mentioned that if there was an opportunity that I would be interested.”
They say that behind every successful man there is a good woman and in Deutrom’s case it turns out to be an Irish woman.
“My wife Ingrid was born and raised in Malahide. I first met her on a blind date, 2nd December 1999 in London. My best friend was going out with an Irish girl and he asked me to make up a foursome with his girlfriend’s friend who was over for the weekend.
“WI remember thinking, well this won’t go anywhere as I was working in London and travelling around and she lived in Dublin.
“A few weeks later my friend had talked me into inviting Ingrid to New York, where he was spending the millennium with his girlfriend, and we saw in the big moment at the top of the World Trade Centre, I even managed to use my sales skills to wrangle an upgrade on the flight on the way out!
“Initially anniversaries were spent globetrotting, Monaco, London, Dubai, Barbados, so Ingrid really didn’t have a support structure around her, another reason the Irish role appealed, so at the age of 36, I became Chief Executive of Irish Cricket.
“After 8 or 9 years in events management it was time for change, however most people thought I was mad.”
Today, what are Warren’s current priorities?
“I would say I have a Top three; securing more ODI’s against the Full Member nations, preferably on a structured basis over the lifetime of the future tours programme.
“Our existing sponsorship with RSA will end this year, so we need to secure a replacement. I believe we have an extremely attractive proposition, next year we have the World Cup, play England and Australia at home and host the World Twenty20 Qualifier.
“Finally I want to ensure that the inter-pros become a permanent fixture even though ICC’s TAPP funding expires at the end of 2015.”