Ireland appoint Bracewell

The New Zealander, 57, enjoyed success in his homeland and in English county cricket, and has been tasked with the delivery of Test cricket for Ireland by 2019.

Bracewell was a successful all-rounder during his playing career and took over as New Zealand coach in 2003, spending more than five years in the role.

He coached Gloucestershire before taking over in New Zealand, and returned to the county after his departure, and Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth is pleased to have a man as experienced as Bracewell on board.

“We are delighted to welcome John to the Irish cricket family, to take the team through new challenges towards our vision of Test cricket.,” Holdsworth said.

???John has substantial international experience, not only playing in 41 Tests and 53 ODIs, but also as New Zealand coach in 41 Tests and 106 ODI???s over five years.

“During his tenure the Black Caps qualified for three semi-finals in ICC global events, while he also won six trophies with Gloucestershire. The interview panel were impressed by John???s passion, commitment and knowledge, but more importantly his international experience both as a player and coach.

???He has agreed a deal with us subject to work permit approval, until the end of 2017, which we both feel is the right time to review our position, following the completion of the ICC Intercontinental Cup, which is now the pathway event to the new Test Challenge.???

Bracewell said: “There is nothing I enjoy more than fighting for a cause, and in cricket terms there is none better than obtaining Test status.??

“Already Ireland have achieved tremendous international results given its financial resources and has gained respect at international tournaments, to the point where they are no longer regarded as a banana skin match but true qualifying contenders.

“I recently presented at the Irish coaching conference and listened to the passion not only for the game but for hard work coming from current and former players, and the parallels with my New Zealand cricket journey really resonated with me.”