In a recent development, South African-born coach Heinrich Malan has been appointed the new head coach of the Ireland Men's Cricket team. Malan, who is going to be the successor of Graham Ford in this role, is expected to take up the role in March 2022 following work permit formalities. The initial deal is for a three-year contract.
The 40-year-old Malan was a middle-order batter and a medium-fast-paced bowler during his playing days. He was a regular in the first-class circle in the rainbow country from 2005 to 2009 and represented Combined Eastern-Northerns XI and Northern Cricket Union. He even led the Northern Cricket Union in the 2006-07 season.
Malan played alongside international cricketers like Neil Wagner and Roelof van der Merwe as well as South Africa's Rassie van der Dussen who is widely regarded as one of their future stars.
Post his cricketing career, Malan has gained over 11 years of first-class coaching experience across South Africa and New Zealand. He has the Level 3 Coaching Certificate from Cricket South Africa on his resume and was also the Assistant Coach and Fielding Lead for the New Zealand Men’s cricket team while being the head coach of their A squad.
Very humbling and a huge honour to be appointed Head Coach of the Ireland Men’s team: Malan
"It’s very humbling and a huge honour to be appointed Head Coach of the Ireland Men’s team. We have an exciting squad that has demonstrated that they have the ability to compete with the best players around the world. It is an exciting challenge and something that we, as a family, are really looking forward to," Malan stated.
"A lot of credit has to go to Graham Ford, who has done a stellar job over the last four years. We have some serious building blocks in place which I believe we can build on going forward," he added.
"My coaching philosophy has certainly evolved over time and I am very keen to get to know this group of players and staff to collaboratively shape our environment through the way we want to operate on a daily basis. The ‘wheel’ in Irish cricket is turning nicely for the stage it is at, but this point in time is a great opportunity to review what – and how – we are operating to not only grow the wheel but make that wheel turn quicker," he further said.
Meanwhile, Richard Holdsworth, High-Performance Director for Cricket Ireland also expressed the board's delight on the appointment of Malan as the new head coach.