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Paul Delany to step down as Ireland women's coach

Paul Delany has announced that he will step down as coach of the Ireland women's team after the European Championships in Scotland next month. Delany has had a successful stint with the team, guiding them to victories in both the ICC European Championships and inaugural Twenty20 tournament in Ireland last year. Cricket Ireland hasn't yet named his replacement.

"I have decided to stand down as coach of Irish Women's team after the European Championships. The reason is that over the past couple of seasons I believe that I have done as much as I can do to bring the team forward and it is now time for Cricket Ireland to entrust the development of the team to new hands," Delany said. "There is an important tournament coming up in South Africa for the 5th to 10th placed teams, and I want to give my successor time to prepare the side for what is essentially the first step to the Women's World Cup qualification, and help the stated aim of being the 6th ranked team by 2015."

He also praised the contributions of the captain Heather Whelan and the team. "Their dedication to training especially during those cold winter days in North County's indoor facilities will stand them in good stead in the future," Delany said. "I wish them all the best of fortune for the future and I shall soon retire to the sidelines where I shall continue to follow and support the team."

Whelan was hopeful of giving Delany the perfect send-off. "On behalf of myself, Isobel Joyce and the rest of the squad I would like to thank Paul for his hard work over the past 18 months and wish him well in his future endeavours. We hope to send Paul off on a high by winning the European Championships next month in Scotland."