Blow for Instonians as Nathan Smith quits Irish cricket

Nathan Smith
Nathan Smith
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Nathan Smith has dealt another blow to Instonians after calling time on his Irish cricket career.

The 23-year-old pace bowler, who might have made his Ireland debut last summer had he not been struck down by injury before the country’s inaugural Test match against Pakistan, has given up on pursuing a career in professional cricket.

Smith has spent the winter playing domestic cricket in his native Sydney and as recently as this weekend, Instonians were hopeful he may yet return to these shores this summer.

However, in a statement on the Cricket Ireland website on Tuesday, Smith confirmed he has made his decision not to pursue a career with Ireland.

“Playing professional cricket has always been a dream of mine but unfortunately I am no longer committed to achieving this goal. Thank you to Cricket Ireland, their coaches and staff, for allowing me the opportunity to chase this dream and helping me grow to be the best player and person I could be,” he said.

Smith’s decision is a hammer blow for Instonians who have already lost the services of long time talisman James Shannon after his move to Phoenix. The Northern Knights, for whom Smith represented in the Inter-Provincial Championships, will also miss his undoubted penetration with the new ball.

Richard Holdsworth, performance director at Cricket Ireland, said: “We are saddened to see Nathan leave Irish cricket. We had identified Nathan’s obvious bowling talent when he first moved to Ireland, and incorporated him into our talent pathway. Nathan was offered an Emerging Player contract in 2018 and we had offered him another for the 2019 season.

“These contract offers, in addition to being selected in the original 14-man Test squad last year, exemplifies the belief we have in him. However, we respect his decision, difficult as it must have been, and we wish him all the best with the next stage of his career outside of cricket.”