30 April 2014

Last Sunday's Cricket Ireland Annual General Meeting covered the traditional Financial and Secretarial reports and the appointment of officers for the incoming year.


All appears sound for Cricket Ireland going forward and Chairman Ross McCollum was able to record a healthy profit and report on a variety of initiatives in the pipeline. Waren Deutrom provided a comprehensive Chief Executive's Report that highlighted the huge strides being made on and off the field that showed how far Irish cricket has come in recent times. The details are fully documented on other cricket websites.
The AGM also saw the traditional handing over of the prestigious post of Irish Cricket President and it is worth recording the significance of the past, current and future incumbent as they form an impressive trio.
The history of the old Irish Cricket Union is dotted with a plethora of "blow-ins" who donned the role of President and could be best described as the "Good, the Bad and the Ugly." They dented the excellent work of the majority of Presidents who were either long-serving administrators or former players keen to give something tangible back to the game they served with distinction. The Presidents also served as Executive Chairmen during their year in office and unfortunately the bad ones were often out of touch with the major challenges of the day and even further out of touch with their PR roles with both the Irish players and the opposition. The arrival of Cricket Ireland has done much to improve the situation and not only have the recent Presidents been of excellent calibre, their role has been clearly defined and continues to play an important part of the set-up going forward. Long gone are the days when Presidents come and go as they pleased as the profile of Irish cricket is now at such a high level that we need exceptional people to promote and develop the game within this key role. The commitment is huge and only people of the highest pedigree will successfully meet the challenge.
At the AGM outgoing President Robin Walsh handed over office to Strabane's Joe Doherty and Dr. Murray Power was named President Elect. This is an impressive trio within Irish Cricket administration as all three have outstanding cricket CVs that make them worthy of this high office. We wish Joe every success, but he will have big shoes to fill if he is to match the huge contribution made by his predecessor. Robin Walsh raised the bar to unprecedented levels during the past year travelling all over the world with Ireland teams and the length and breadth of Ireland to attend meetings, matches and functions. Above all he was a great ambassador for Irish cricket and ironically may have found the role best suited for his skills and expertise in the twilight of his service to the sport he loves with such passion. His popularity with the players and administrators was always apparent and his PR role mixing with the opposition and the media was bread and butter for someone with such an impressive media career. Robin's not everybody's cup of tea, but hats off to him for a remarkable performance as Cricket Ireland President.
There was inevitability about Murray Power becoming President. Since the early Seventies he has served cricket in a wide variety of roles and always with total commitment. The best known beneficiaries have been Queen's University, Irish Universities, scorers, umpires, Northern Cricket Union, Irish Cricket Union and by extension Cricket Ireland. He has held the highest office in all roles and made a huge contribution to every cause. An astute thinker I'm delighted to confirm he has also mellowed with age and I feel he will make an excellent President in 2015.
Irish cricket is fortunate to have people of this calibre at the top.

Clarence Hiles

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