Garth named cricket’s player of the decade

by Stephen Findlater

** Kim Garth in action in 2019 during the T20 International between Ireland and West Indies at the YMCA Cricket Ground. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Kim Garth was named the women’s Hanley Energy International Player of the Decade, seeing off the likes of twins Cecelia and Isobel Joyce, current Irish skipper Laura Delany and Clare Shillington.

The Pembroke and Loreto Foxrock graduate made her debut at just age 14 and went on to finish the  decade with the highest batting average by an Irish player in T20Is, and the best bowling average over the past decade in ODIs for Ireland.  

With the ball, she’s not only a wicket-taker, but economical too. She was named as the standout player in the Irish team by the International Cricket Council at the T20 World Cup in 2018, was one of the six players awarded a professional contract in 2019 and finished that year as the leading run-scorer for Ireland in the T20 World Cup Qualifier.  

She has also extensive Women’s Big Bash League experience with two winners medals with Sydney Sixers and it is there she sees her future. 

To that end, she made the tough decision to step back from the Irish setup to pursue cricket on a full-time professional basis, something she did not envisage as possible closer to home. 

Elsewhere, YMCA’s Simi Singh was named the Test Triangle Inter-Provincial Player of the Year, scoring 104 runs at over a run a ball and taking 10 wickets at an average of 13.7.

Laura Delany in action for the Typhoons. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Indeed, he was never dismissed throughout the season in IP20 games and was the lead wicket-taker.  Laura Delany was the Arachas Super Series Player of the Year, captaining the Typhoons to their first-ever title win.

She was the highest ranked Typhoons batter, scoring 219 runs at an average of 43.80 with a strike rate of 74.2 and 2 half centuries; and claimed 7 wickets at an average of 22.29 with an economy of 3.39 – consistently taking wickets at crucial times, whilst being extremely economical. 

Merrion’s John Anderson took the club male player of the year title while Dubliner Caitriona Beggs was one of three new entrants into the Hall of Fame. 

She played 66 times for Ireland Women from 1995 to 2008, scoring 1,450 runs at an average 27.88, including nine fifties.   She played her first women’s league match aged 8 and was on the Leinster Under-19s squad at age 11 before going on to play in three World Cups. 

Her 68 against Pakistan is the highest score by an Irishwoman in Test cricket. Additionally, she was top-scorer against England in 2001, when her 35 helped Ireland to a memorable win in the European Championship.

And when the ICC unveiled their ODI world rankings in 2008 she was the only player from an Associate nation to make the top 20. 

Simi Singh of Leinster Lightning. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Pembroke man Brían O’Rourke was also honoured for his outstanding contribution to coaching. He has been instrumental in the growth and development of countless inter-provincial and international cricketers over the past 25 years.  

He has fulfilled a variety of roles since 1995, coaching Ireland teams from Under-15 through to Under-19 level, taking charge of Under-19 World Cup campaigns in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.  

He has also been heavily involved at inter-provincial level, leading Leinster Under-15s at every tournament since 1997 enjoying an unprecedented and unrivalled level of success over that period.       

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