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The Irish coach behind international stars including Eoin Morgan, Kevin O’Brien and George Dockrell has been honoured by the ICC.
Brian O’Rourke, 41, has been given an ICC Outstanding Contribution to Cricket Coaching award after 17 years working with Leinster during which time may of Ireland’s finest players have gained from his guidance. One of his more significant impacts was to persuade Dockrell to switch from medium-pace to left-arm spin.
"It's a fantastic honour not just for me personally but also Irish cricket,” he said. “There's a real buzz in the country about cricket at the moment, and the game is clearly on the rise. The numbers of coaches and participants are growing significantly, and there's still a lot of talent out there to be unearthed. There are a lot of opportunities now for young cricketers and I'm confident that Ireland will continue to be a major player on the world circuit for generations to come."
O’Rourke has also coached all Ireland’s age-group sides from Under-15 to Under-19, taking charge of U-19 World Cup campaigns in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
National development manager Tim Simmonite praised O'Rourke’s role in Irish cricket. "Brían continues to play a key role in the creation of future coaches as part of a much greater workforce,” he said. “He is a proud and passionate man, and Ireland would simply not be where it is on the world cricket stage without him.
"Brian’s record, achievements and abilities speak for themselves and I'm delighted that he has achieved recognition through this prestigious award - he fully deserves this accolade."
Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.