Thursday 18 January 2018

Porterfield hails Bracewell's Irish appointment


John Bracewell has been named as head coach of Ireland
John Bracewell has been named as head coach of Ireland

David Townsend

William Porterfield had a smile on his face yesterday after the announcement that his former mentor John Bracewell has been appointed head coach of Ireland on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

The Ireland captain worked under Bracewell during his time in county cricket at Gloucestershire and is looking forward to linking up again with an innovative coach who has a reputation for hard work and bringing the best out of players.

"I'm really pleased we've been able to recruit a coach of his experience," Porterfield said. "Bracers looks to improve you as a player and he was a big influence on my early career. He gave me a lot of confidence to go out and play freely, and helped my one-day batting.

"When I wasn't a regular in the Gloucestershire team, he was always encouraging me to go away and play for Ireland and broaden my knowledge of the game. He was very supportive of Irish cricket.

"He has got enormous experience at Test level which is where we want to go with Ireland in the next five years, but he is also someone who is open to new ideas and tactics in the one-day game. I can't wait to start working with him again."

Bracewell has been contracted until the end of 2017 with the remit to win the InterContinental Cup for a fifth time and qualify for the Test Challenge - a series of matches against the lowest-ranked ICC full member with the prize of Test cricket on offer.

The 57-year-old, who played 41 Tests for New Zealand, will be seen as a secure pair of hands at a time of transition and that probably earned him the nod over Dale Benkenstein, a much younger candidate who was recommended by former coach Adi Birrell.

"I was delighted to accept offer," Bracewell said, as he stepped into the position vacated by Phil Simmons. "There is nothing I enjoy more than fighting for a cause, and in cricket terms there is none better than obtaining Test status for Ireland.

"Already Ireland have achieved tremendous international results given their financial resources and have gained respect at global 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."

Bracewell will be at Malahide next week for Ireland's one-day international against England, but only to observe as assistant coach Peter Johnson prepares the side. His first game in charge will be the InterContinental Cup home match against the United Arab Emirates at the beginning of June.

Irish Independent

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