Cricket Ireland officials have celebrated Phase One of the 700,000 euros High Performance Centre in Dublin.
The site at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus has been developed based on extensive research of the world’s finest cricket facilities.
Five artificial and 16 grass practice wickets have been installed, as well as a grass-covered fielding practice area.
The site will also include bowling technology considered world class.
“We’re delighted to be opening Phase One of a truly world-class training facility – an asset that will benefit this and future generations of cricketers across Ireland,” said Cricket Ireland chairman Ross McCollum. “The design of this facility has been developed through significant research of the world’s best cricket training facilities by our coaches and performance staff.
“Not only does this make the High Performance Centre leading-edge, but its co-location with the Sport Ireland Institute’s high-performance gyms and testing facilities makes this the envy of cricketing nations around the world.
“The growth of cricket in Ireland at all levels in the last 10 years - and Ireland’s elevation to Full Membership of the ICC - has highlighted our sport’s deficit in training infrastructure.
“The new centre will provide Ireland-based players with high-quality training and preparation, and will service the growing demand of multiple international and provincial teams, male and female, senior and junior – not to mention our national academy – all of whom are currently using club facilities which are already over-stretched accommodating our playing schedule, let alone training needs.”
A 2020 deadline has been imposed for Phase Two that includes a dedicated building incorporating changing facilities and world-first clear roof canopy over the turf wickets to allow players to practice on grass throughout wet weather.