Cricket Ireland’s search for a head coach of their men’s team came to an end with the appointment of the former New Zealand Assistant Coach.
The quest for Graham Ford’s replacement lasted just over a month with the South African standing down in December 2021.
David Ripley has since acted as Interim Head Coach during Ireland’s tour of the USA.
Ripley presided over an underwhelming one all drawn T20 series in Florida, which proved historic for the home side. However the former Northamptonshire coach arrived with high praise.
Many will wonder why a permanent candidate was picked so soon while a formal review is still being undertaken by Cricket Ireland in the aftermath of an early exit from the T20 World Cup in October.
Very good appointment , shrewd operator and extremely well respected. A good age and the right time I think in HM career. Wishing him all the success in his new role at CI. https://t.co/W2Myl6663v— Niall John O Brien (@niallnobiobrien) January 4, 2022
Malan however is an extremely promising selection having acted as assistant coach to New Zealand, head coach to New Zealand A, as well as in their domestic competition.
Under his coaching Central Districts Stags won the one-day competition (Ford Trophy) in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the first-class competition (Plunket Shield) in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and the domestic T20 competition in 2018-19.
After switching to Auckland Aces, he also won the 2019-20 Ford Trophy.
New Zealand’s set up is currently the envy of the world with its conveyor belt of talent made remarkable by its population base.
The small nation has also successfully nurtured several foreign born talents such as Neil Wagner and Devon Conway.
But some will also wonder what effect the South African can possibly have while the same problems exist such as a weak Irish first-class competition, poor facilities and a lack of fixtures for Ireland’s A side.
Cricket Ireland will hope the appointment brings a turn around and level of performance once commanded by Adrian Birrell and Phil Simmons, Ireland’s best ever head coaches.
David Ripley will continue as Interim Head Coach as Ireland take on the West Indies in three ODI’s and one T20 this month.