Eimear Richardson excited and nervous on international comeback

Eimear Richardson excited and nervous on international comeback

Eimear Richardson of Ireland catches a ball. © Oisin Keniry

Eimear Richardson has a combination of nerves and excitement as she makes a comeback for Ireland for the four-T20I series against Netherlands starting on Monday (July 26). Richardson last played an international for Ireland in September 2019 in the T20 World Cup Qualifier and couldn’t be part of the series against Scotland in May this year because of international travel restrictions.

“It's a hugely proud moment to pull on an Irish jersey and run out on the field of play - representing your country, there's no better feeling,” said Richardson, who plies her trade for Northern Districts in the domestic circuit in New Zealand.

“It's an exciting time - a time of nerves, a time of pressure, but also a time to enjoy. That's the part of looking forward to - the chance to get out there on the park with my teammates, who have all put countless hours in training to get where they are - I'm just really looking forward to it.”

Richardson returned 22 wickets combined in the Hallyburton Johnstone (HBJ) Shield Tournament and the Super Smash last season. Her 17 wickets were the second most in the HBJ Shield, only two behind Sarah Asmussen. Richardson also contributed with the bat, finishing in the top five for Districts.

“I have really enjoyed my last 12 months in the game, and have been really lucky to have spent that time in New Zealand where we played a full domestic season - and given the current climate, that is really something to be thankful for,” said the 34-year-old Richardson.

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“Within that period I have really focussed on areas to grow within my game, always with the aim of continuous improvement. Something that encourages and drives me is a desire to learn and always strive to get better - and part of that in the last 12 months has been remodelling my bowling action, working hard on my batting, even trying to improve various aspects of my fielding.”

Ireland will be part of the European Qualifier next month for the T20 World Cup 2022, where they will meet familiar foes Scotland and Netherlands apart from France, Germany and Turkey.

“The series we start on Monday is an important opportunity – a key part of our preparations for the T20 World Cup Qualifiers,” said Richardson, who has 39 wickets from 45 T20Is.

“The squad has undertaken a huge amount of work training and preparing, and to get this series in will be hugely advantageous to our campaign as we look ahead to the next 6 months, where we face not only the T20 World Cup Qualifier, but also the 50-over World Cup Qualifier set to be played before Christmas.”

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