Ireland announce senior performance squad for 2021; Ava Canning earns maiden contract

Ava Canning has earned her maiden contract with Cricket Ireland. © Cricket Ireland

Ireland seamer Ava Canning has earned her maiden contract and is added to the senior performance contract as Cricket Ireland announced the 20-member squad contracted for 2021 on Wednesday(June 9). While seven players have part-time retainer contracts, thirteen, including Canning, are awarded non-retainer contracts.

Canning, who made her international debut in the first T20I against Scotland earlier in May, plays for Typhoons in the Super Series. At club level, the 17-year-old plays for Leinster Cricket Club alongside Ireland skipper Laura Delany. She took three wickets in the series against Scotland at an average of 18.00, giving away just 4.15 runs per over. She was the second-best economical bowler during the series with a dot-ball percentage of 66.67.

Speaking about the contract, Canning said that she is delighted to be a part of the senior squad after making her debut in a home series. “I had worked very hard on my game since my injury last year. Being given the chance to play for Ireland was so rewarding, and the team could not have been more supportive throughout the series,” she said.

The seamer said that although she was nervous going into her debut game, taking a wicket early on was a dream start for her, adding, “it really helped to calm my nerves and allow me to relax into the rest of the game.”

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“It is exciting to receive the offer of a place on the senior performance squad, as the training and support from the coaches will be great to experience. I think it is a brilliant opportunity to help improve my game and allow me to spend more time training and playing with the other squad members.”

Carrie Archer, the Chair of National Women’s Selectors, said that Canning had been on their radar for a couple of years but unfortunately had to miss the entire season in 2020 due to injury.

Archer added that they were impressed with her performance in the Super Series and the T20I series against Scotland, adding, “her accuracy and control, combined with the swing she can create with a new ball, has made life difficult for numerous batters. We felt she was ready to take that step up within the system.”

“We wish Ava well in what will be a big year for women’s cricket in Ireland,” she concluded.

Part-time retainer contracts: Laura Delany, Shauna Kavanagh, Mary Waldron, Gaby Lewis, Celeste Raack, Orla Prendergast, Leah Paul

Non-retainer contracts: Eimear Richardson, Lara Maritz, Hannah Little, Louise Little, Rebecca Stokell, Una Raymond-Hoey, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray, Georgina Dempsey, Rachel Delaney, Jane Maguire, Amy Hunter, Ava Canning