Former Ireland batsman Ed Joyce has been appointed as the interim head coach of the Ireland women’s cricket team through to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in August/September.
The 40-year-old replaces Aaron Hamilton whose four-year reign came to an end this week with the Australian and Cricket Ireland mutually agreeing to end his contract early.
Joyce is relishing the opportunity having been involved in the international coaching set-up with the Irish men’s, women’s and performance pathway teams since he announced his international retirement in May 2018.
"I’m excited by the talent and potential of this young squad," the Bray native said in a statement released on Tuesday.
"There were some extremely encouraging performances from several players during the West Indies series and this bodes well leading into potentially more important games later in the summer."
Joyce is one of eleven men to play in Ireland's first-ever Test match last year against Pakistan and, as one of the best cricketers the country has produced, he brings a wealth of experience to the role.
After his debut for Ireland in 1997, he went on to make over 100 international matches in the green jersey.
"It’s a great opportunity for me to further my journey in coaching, albeit on an interim basis until the end of the T20 World Cup qualifier," added Joyce.
"I have been coaching some of the top order batters on a 1-on-1 basis, as well as joining squad sessions in the lead-up to the West Indies series that just finished.
"On a personal note, I enjoyed working with Aaron during the last few months and wish him and his family well with the next step."
Joyce was due to take his first training session with the squad at Abbotstown on Tuesday afternoon ahead of his first taste of action next month.
"The initial period for me now is getting to know the further squad and helping the team prepare for a tough six-match series against Zimbabwe in July.
"This series, combined with the quadrangular series in August, is ideal preparation leading into the T20 Qualifier which is undoubtedly our biggest and most important test this summer."
Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, Richard Holdsworth, expressed his delight with Joyce taking up the role.
"Ed needs no introduction to Irish fans, and he has been working hard behind-the-scenes on coaching within the Cricket Ireland senior structure since May last year," commented Holdsworth.
"When the need for an interim Head Coach arose, it was great to have such a world-class cricketer and budding international coach available to call upon, and we had no hesitation in approaching him about the opportunity.
"2019 has been a big year for women’s cricket in Ireland, with some key fixtures ahead that culminate in the T20 World Cup Qualifier.
"It was crucial for our team’s success that we acted quickly on this interim appointment to ensure the new Head Coach had as much time to work with the squad as possible."