Brian MacNeice assumes role of Cricket Ireland’s new Chair

MacNeice was announced as Vice-Chair in 2021.

Brian MacNeice and Ross McCollum (Photo Source: Aaron Stork)

DUNDALK – Brian MacNeice has assumed the role of Chair of the Cricket Ireland Board following today’s Annual General Meeting, replacing Ross McCollum who has been Chair since 2012.

MacNeice was announced as Vice-Chair in 2021 and worked closely with McCollum over the last year as part of a transition process. He is currently a Managing Director at Teneo with more than 30 years of experience in consulting across a range of industries, as well as acting as a strategic advisor to major businesses and sports organizations in Ireland and overseas. He was formerly the President of Clontarf Cricket Club and was appointed to the Board of Cricket Ireland in 2020.

Following the AGM, MacNeice said:

“It is an incredible honor and somewhat humbling to assume the role of Chair. I am acutely aware of the responsibility that comes with this position and will work to my best endeavors in the best interests of Irish cricket at all times. We have such a vibrant sport with the potential for enormous growth over the coming years, and I hope to play a part in guiding the sport into the next phase of its development.

“I would like to acknowledge Ross McCollum for his immense contribution over the last decade in the Chair’s role – spending the last 12 months working closely with Ross has provided a great insight into how committed he is to the improvement of Irish cricket, and he should be very proud of what has been achieved under his stewardship. Our standing with major stakeholders domestically and internationally has grown immeasurably in his time di lui in the role.

“The role itself is a demanding and extensive one in terms of the brief, but the last year has allowed me the opportunity to get to grips with all of the areas of responsibility. I also spent part of this time traveling around various provinces and clubs in order to gather a better understanding of the priorities across the cricket community. I intend to do more of that in the coming year. “

MacNeice was involved in the development of the past three Cricket Ireland Strategic Plans, and through these projects, he acknowledges a number of key challenges over the next five years:

“Cricket Ireland’s latest Strategic Plan, which covers 2021-2023, sets out the future direction of the organization and establishes the foundations for creating the longer-term growth beyond 2023. Over the last decade, the rapid pace at which cricket on this island has transformed is astonishing. However, we still have much work to do to ensure that we continue to strengthen, support, and grow the game sustainably and across all provinces. To achieve this, we recognize the role of clubs is crucial. Having been a past club president has given me a certain perspective and insight in this area.

“A strong grassroots allows the whole sport to flourish. To achieve this, we need to innovate and expand the reach of our game to make sure more people are encouraged to get involved at whatever level is right for them. We need to get more youngsters picking up bats and balls and having great fun through cricket. We need to create dynamic, exciting, engaging experiences for them and make it commonplace for kids everywhere across the island to see cricket as a natural option to consider. We are an open, inclusive, diverse sport and we embrace the different cultures that are drawn to the game.

“There are huge growth opportunities for women and girls, and this has already become a major priority area for Irish cricket. The success of our international teams has made us all proud. We need to continue to invest in our pathways and performance programs to ensure we are competitive on the Men’s and Women’s international stage so that we can celebrate many more wonderful sporting successes on the world stage.

“We have much work to do too on the infrastructure for cricket in terms of facilities at the club, regional and international levels. So there is no shortage of things that will be sitting on the in-tray! And it will require focused planning, investment, and shrewd use of scarce resources-both financial and people. It will also require us to work closely together across Cricket Ireland, the Provincial Unions, and the clubs. This will be a key focus of mine in the coming months and years. We have seen what has already been achieved with vision, ambition, and hard work in the last decade. I have no doubt we will continue to build on the achievements to date and make cricket in Ireland stronger, better, and more sustainable into the future. “

And about his own cricket-playing career?

“My journey in cricket started out as a seven-year-old when I wandered down the lane at Castle Avenue into Clontarf Cricket Club. It opened the door to a lifetime of involvement and enjoyment. Since then I have been involved in many capacities. I have been a player, selector, administrator, and advisor to cricket ever since.

“My playing career was a modest one. I played on various representative sides at both underage and senior level including captaining Irish Schools and winning a few trophies with Clontarf along the way. Indeed a certain Ross McCollum’s swashbuckling innings in the 1990 Irish Senior Cup final denied me a winners medal that year. My military medium pacers were no answer to his attacking power di lui at the crease.

“I spent eight years as a National Team selector, including two World Cup campaigns – the obvious highlight of which was the wonderful night in Bangalore in 2011. I was recently President of Clontarf Cricket Club – a club that I am very proud of and one which has had a history of producing many leading administrators that have contributed hugely throughout the years to cricket in Ireland. In a professional capacity, I have acted as a strategic advisor to many sports organizations in Ireland and overseas, and hopefully, I can bring that expertise to bear in continuing to build effective relationships with our key stakeholders domestically and internationally.

“There are very many people that I would like to thank for helping me on my journey in cricket so far. Far too many to name-check all of them. However, there are some that have made a significant impact and to whom I will always be indebted. At Clontarf, I have been surrounded by great role models and tireless workers on behalf of others.

“Throughout my schoolboy years, I benefitted from the work of volunteers from many clubs to provide great opportunities and a platform for building long-lasting friendships with my peers. In the latter years, I have gotten more involved in the administrative side of cricket and I am forever astonished at the commitment and passion that so many people bring to their involvement within the game. They are the true heroes of our sport and the people that have helped bring cricket in Ireland to where it is today and they will be the people that ensure we continue to grow the game on the island. Finally, I am blessed with a supportive family without whom I could not take on the role. To Miriam, Charlie, Jack and Dan thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. “

Leave a Comment