Kiwi John Bracewell tasked with leading Irish Cricket to the next level

Cricket Ireland will appoint New Zealander John Bracewell as their new head coach in the next few days. He will replace Trinidadian Phil Simmons, who left in March to become head coach of the West Indies.

Kiwi John Bracewell tasked with leading Irish Cricket to the next level

Cricket Ireland opted for Bracewell ahead of former South Africa all-rounder and current Hampshire coach Dale Benkenstein, in part because of the 57-year-old’s greater international experience as both a player and a coach.

Bracewell played 41 Test matches and 53 one-day internationals for New Zealand in a 10-year playing career between 1980 and 1990, and coached the Black Caps between 2003 and 2008.

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom refused to confirm the appointment of Bracewell by name, but acknowledged their chosen candidate has experience of coaching a Test team. “We want to be a Test country, so we have appointed a coach who knows what Test cricket looks like, and knows how to build a structure to give us the best chance of achieving that,” Deutrom told the Irish Examiner.

Bracewell has previously worked with Ireland high-performance director Richard Holdsworth, captain William Porterfield and vice-captain Kevin O’Brien during his two spells as Gloucestershire director of cricket, between 1999 and 2003, and 2009 and 2014.

Bracewell will not be in charge for the one-day international against England on 8 May, but will travel to Malahide to meet the players ahead of his first match against UAE in the Inter-Continental Cup on 2 June.

Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor will captain an inexperienced England side against Ireland.

Dublin-born England ODI captain Eoin Morgan will miss the May 8 ODI to fulfil his IPL contract with Sunrisers Hyderabad, while Derry-born fast bowler Boyd Rankin is not called up.

Preliminary England squad to play Ireland:

James Taylor (captain), Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn, Lewis Gregory, Alex Hales, Jason Roy, James Vince, David Willey.

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