Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Ireland have rewarded spinner Andy McBrine and pace bowler Peter Chase with Category A contracts for the 2015 season.
The move comes after Ireland were added to the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI rankings table, which now gives them a chance of directly qualifying for the 2019 World Cup.
At this time last year, McBrine and Chase only had one cap between them. However, after McBrine impressed during the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh last year and Chase excelled during his time with Durham, Ireland have decided to invest their faith and money into the pair.
“With a new World Cup qualifying process commencing in April, the start of a new Intercontinental Cup four-day campaign – which has a new pathway to Test cricket on offer – and a World Twenty20 Qualifier this year, we were keen to increase our full-time central contracts,” Cricket Ireland’s performance director, Richard Holdsworth, said. “Eight players will now be based in Ireland full-time on A-category contracts, nine players contracted to English counties but available in all formats for Ireland, and seven players on part-time B and C category contracts also based in Ireland. With the national selectors looking for succession planning in a number of key areas, Andrew McBrine and Peter Chase have both impressed and have agreed A-category full-time contracts.”
Ireland head coach Phil Simmons added: “It makes such a difference having the guys available to us full-time, and particularly with such a vital period coming up over the next year or two. It’s heartening to see such a wide blend of experience in the 24, and great reward for the young players who have worked so hard on their game. They’re learning all the time and will only improve by being full-time cricketers.”