DUBLIN – The COVID-19 lockdown has provided an unexpected but timely bonus for the Ireland Women’s cricket squad with Australian captain Meg Lanning joining former Irish captain Isobel Joyce in a ‘virtual’ batting masterclass this week.
The session was chaired by Ireland Women’s Head Coach Ed Joyce and also featured contributions from his Australian counterpart Matthew Mott. A wide-ranging discussion was punctuated by clips of both Lanning and Joyce batting for their respective countries, to help illustrate discussion points.
Speaking after the session, Ed Joyce said:
“It was exceptionally generous of Meg to contribute her time to the session, particularly given that it was the evening in Australia when she joined the masterclass. Both she and Isobel were expansive and engaging in how they talked through their preparation and thought processes going into big games, as well as drilling down on areas such as shot selection and preparing multiple plans for opponents they came up against.”
“The clear message from both players to our young squad is – get to know what you’re good at, and focus on becoming the best you can be at that.”
“We analysed Meg’s T20I century against England at Chelmsford in 2019 as a case study in forward planning and adjusting your game to suit the conditions on the day, while Isobel based part of her piece on the dramatic last-ball run chase victory over Bangladesh at Pembroke in 2018. Both innings provided valuable insights for our squad in taking control of an innings and playing your natural game when the pressure is on.”
“This was the first masterclass we have run during the lockdown, with more coming up on seam bowling, spin bowling, and fielding. We were able to record the session and will use it as an internal education piece going forward. With the busy calendars of modern cricketers these days, we are grateful for Meg’s enthusiasm to share her experience, and we thank her and Cricket Australia for supporting this session.”
“Many thanks also to Isobel – with her development and coaching roles, I know she continues to remain busy in the sport despite the lack of on-field activity.”
Laura Delany, captain of the Ireland Women’s team, said:
“Any time you can pick the brains of experienced cricketers such as Meg and Isobel is valuable, and I know that our entire squad enjoyed this unique opportunity. People often underestimate the mental aspect of the game, and both players spoke about the importance of mental preparation before a game and how to keep a clear mind and focus when on the field.”
“Even despite the fact I was batting with Isobel during that Bangladesh run chase in 2018, it is still time well spent in analysing her innings and her thought processes in hindsight. Digging into the psychology of a successful sportsperson is an invaluable exercise, and will hopefully benefit many of our squad members who are learning their game and keen to get back out on the field.”
“It’s frustrating for all of us to be not playing, but the unexpected opportunity of this session is a great offset.”
The Ireland Women’s cricket team are due to compete at the ICC World Cup Qualifier in July in Sri Lanka, however, the ICC will provide an update on the tournament’s status in due course.