Heinrich Malan

Ireland Men’s Coach Heinrich Malan Extends Contract Until 2027

South African Heinrich Malan, aged 43, has agreed to a two-year contract extension as Ireland’s men’s cricket coach, extending his tenure until mid-2027. Originally appointed in January 2022 on a three-year deal, Malan has significantly impacted Ireland’s cricket performance, guiding the team through notable achievements and promising a bright future.

Malan’s Early Success and Key Achievements

2022 T20 World Cup Triumph

Under Malan’s leadership, Ireland’s cricket team enjoyed a successful 2022 T20 World Cup campaign in Australia. One of the standout moments was their victory over England, showcasing Ireland’s potential to compete against cricketing giants. This success marked a turning point for the team, instilling confidence and a winning mindset.

Ireland’s First Test Victory

Another milestone during Malan’s tenure was Ireland’s first Test victory, achieved against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi in March. This historic win demonstrated the team’s growing competence in the longer format of the game, further cementing Malan’s reputation as a transformative coach.

Near-Miss at the 50-Overs World Cup

While Ireland missed out on qualification for last year’s 50-overs World Cup, the experience provided valuable lessons. The team is set to return to the international stage at the upcoming T20 World Cup, with their first match against India scheduled for June 5th in New York.

Securing a Place in the 2027 World Cup

Malan’s contract extension aligns with a critical period for Irish cricket. By mid-2027, Ireland will know if they have secured a place in the 2027 World Cup, co-hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. This extension provides stability and continuity, crucial for long-term planning and development.

Building on Foundations

Malan expressed his delight at the contract extension, emphasizing the certainty it brings to the squad and coaching staff. He highlighted the importance of building on the foundations laid over the past two years, focusing on sustainable growth and competitive performance across all formats.

Cricket Ireland’s Confidence in Malan

Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland’s high-performance director, affirmed that extending Malan’s contract was an easy decision. He praised Malan’s excellent communication with players and support personnel, which has enhanced clarity in roles, responsibilities, and planning processes.

Significant Improvements in T20 Format

One of Malan’s notable achievements has been the significant improvement in Ireland’s T20 performance. Historically the team’s weakest format, Malan’s research and data-driven approach have produced a successful blueprint. This was evident in recent victories, including a win against Pakistan and a 3-0 series sweep in the Netherlands.

Enhancing Game Awareness and Instincts

Malan has focused on developing players’ ability to read game situations better. Encouraging players to impose their style and instincts on the game has led to tangible improvements, particularly in T20 matches. This approach has borne fruit in successful T20 World Cup qualifying campaigns and recent Test successes.

Targeting 50-Overs World Cup Qualification

Despite the success in T20 and Test formats, Malan is conscious of Ireland’s absence from the last two 50-over World Cups. Qualification for the 2027 tournament is a primary focus over the next three years. This goal will guide strategic decisions, training programs, and match preparations.

Sustainable Structure and Long-Term Success

Malan’s vision includes building a sustainable structure that supports competitiveness in all three formats of the game. This comprehensive approach aims to ensure Ireland’s consistent presence on the international stage, capable of challenging top-tier teams and achieving significant victories.


Heinrich Malan’s contract extension as Ireland men’s cricket coach is a testament to his impactful leadership and the team’s progress under his guidance. With a focus on sustainable development, strategic improvements, and a clear vision for the future, Malan is poised to lead Ireland to new heights. The next few years will be critical as Ireland aims to secure a place in the 2027 World Cup and continue building on their recent successes.

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