Ger Siggins, January 2021
Ireland's male cricketers have a long and varied history at the higher echelons of the game. This site has documented almost 500 Irishmen who have played first-class games around the world, as well as List A games at both white-ball formats.
Interestingly, this winter there are more Irish women playing elite cricket overseas than men, with Kim Garth (Victoria) and Eimear Richardson (Central Districts) in action in Australia and New Zealand. Lara Maritz and Una Raymond-Hoey are also down under playing club cricket.
It highlights the increased opportunities for female players, with Mary Waldron, Laura Delany and Gaby Lewis all spending several winters in Australia to further their game.
But they were not the first, and a trawl through the records throws up several pathfinders who have played at the highest level outside Ireland – 16 in all.
Ivy Hadden, a noted player of squash, golf, and hockey, as well as cricket, played some one-day games for Middlesex in the early 1960s before games were ranked as List A.
Women rarely play first-class matches these days – there have only been three Tests played anywhere since 2013, and no domestic games in England or Australia since the mid-1990s – but two Irish women reached that level even before Ireland played their sole Test in 2000.
Opening bat Sonia Reamsbottom went to Australia as part of Ireland's 1987-88 World Cup team. She remained in Australia after that tournament and is now an executive with Suncorp in Queensland. Sonia played several times for New South Wales and played three first-class games for the state in 1989-90.
Her captain, Mary-Pat Moore, moved to England in the late 1980s to work with AIB in Leeds. She had a long career with Yorkshire, and played several times for North of England, including once in a three-day, first-class Territorial Tournament game against the South at Oxford in 1991.
Irishwomen in overseas first-class cricket (2)
|Sonia Reamsbottom||1989-90||New South Wales||AUS||3||5||0||105||28||21.00||2|
|Mary-Pat Moore||1991||North of England||ENG||1||2||0||30||30||15.00||3||0||16||0||-||0-16|
Several other Irish women have played List A games (40 to 60 overs), with Kim Garth named in the Victoria squad for the 2020/21 campaign starting on January 14th. Eimear Richardson, of course, has been a stalwart of cricket in New Zealand since she began playing there ten years ago. She and Moore have made the only centuries in this format by an Irishwoman outside internationals.
Emigration, or a spell in education accounted for most of the Irish women who played overseas over the last two decades. Mary Pat Moore (Yorkshire), Sandra Dawson (Surrey and Middlesex) and Emma Beamish (Surrey) all played county List A games while fellow internationals Saibh Young and Emma Flanagan also played at a high level in the UK. In recent years Ciara Metcalfe had an opportunity to play county cricket with Northamptonshire, as did Louise McCarthy with Durham.
Rush international Caitriona Beggs moved to New Zealand and played a couple of games for Northern Districts, while Eimear Richardson has spent every winter in that country over the last decade, playing more than 150 games for three State sides.
Several women born overseas have played for Ireland with List A experience, including English-born Terri Bennett and Catherine Dalton, Kiwis Meg Kendal, Catherine O'Neill and Karen Young, and current Merrion player Celeste Raack.
Irishwomen in overseas domestic List A (14)
|Emma Beamish||1999-2000||Surrey 2nd XI||ENG||7||7||1||66||32||11.00||13||1||37||1||37.00||1-9||2.84|
|Caitriona Beggs||2007-08||Northern Districts||NZ||2||2||0||25||24||12.50||4||0||23||0||-||0-23||5.75|
|Terri Bennett||1985-90||East Midlands||ENG||16||8||2||109||29||18.12||3||51.4||12||167||17||9.93||4-14||3.23|
|1995||Surrey 2nd XI||ENG||1||1||0||4||4||4.00|
|2012-13||NZ Emerging Players||NZ||4||4||0||46||20||11.50||1|
|Louise McCarthy||2019||Durham xxxxxxxxxx||ENG||3||2||2||3||3*||-||24||3||76||4||19.00||2-18||3.16|
|1987-93||North of England||ENG||13||11||3||173||52*||21.63||1||3||39||6||134||7||19.14||3-33||3.43|
|Eimear Richardson||2011-14||Central Districts||NZ||28||27||1||526||102*||20.23||1||1||6||168||9||756||9||84.00||2-34||4.50|
The era of Twenty20 has brought more opportunities, with both Kim Garth and Isobel Joyce joining squads for the Big Bash as part of a rookie programme in 2016/17. Isobel had a second season with Hobart, but Garth did so well with Sydney Sixers – playing in two WBBL finals, winning one – and later Perth Scorchers, that she has now settled in Australia, although she missed this year's Bash through injury.
Richardson is expected to play for Northern Districts in the Dream 11 Super Smash, which starts in New Zealand on December 30.
Irishwomen in overseas Twenty20 tournaments (8)
|Kim Garth||2016-18||Sydney Sixers||AUS||20||8||6||13||9||6.50||7||59||349||19||18.36||2-14||5.91|
|Isobel Joyce||2016-18||Hobart Hurricanes||AUS||7||6||1||123||52*||24.60||1||1||11||74||1||74.00||1-26||6.72|
|Eimear Richardson||2011-14||Central Districts||NZ||27||19||2||138||19||8.12||3||66||403||20||20.15||5-17||6.11|