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Johnny B Good! The Irish cricket team have appointed their new head coach

Former Black Caps coach John Bracewell replaces Phil Simmons.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Updated 14.15

NEW ZEALANDER JOHN Bracewell has been appointed as the new head coach of the Irish cricket team.

The vastly experienced Kiwi, who enjoyed a Test career with New Zealand before going on to coach the national side, has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal which runs until the end of 2017, subject to work permit approval.

Bracewell’s first game as Phil Simmons’ successor will be the InterContinental Cup game against the United Arab Emirates on 2 June. Simmons ended his seven-year term in March to return home to coach his native West Indies.

Assistant coach and performance analyst Peter Johnston will continue in his caretaker role for the one-day international against England next week, with Bracewell attending in an observation role.

“The interview panel were impressed by John’s passion, commitment and knowledge, but more importantly his international experience both as a player and coach,” Cricket Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth said.

We feel John’s knowledge gained over a 25-year period in the first-class game will help further develop our current players, but also ensure succession planning for our future squad who aim to be playing Test cricket by 2019.

“We believe John’s strong work ethic and great understanding of players as people as well as cricketers will help not just the Ireland team, but our pathway players aspiring to wear the Ireland shirt in all formats on the world stage in the future.”

Bracewell, 57, arrives following 15 years of involvement with Gloucestershire where he served as head coach and then as director of cricket.

He said: “There is nothing I enjoy more than fighting for a cause, and in cricket terms there is none better than obtaining test status.

Already Ireland have achieved tremendous international results given its financial resources and has gained respect at international tournaments, to the point where they are no longer regarded as a banana skin match but true qualifying contenders.

“I recently presented at the Irish coaching conference and listened to the passion not only for the game but for hard work coming from current and former players, and the parallels with my New Zealand cricket journey really resonated with me.”

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Niall Kelly

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