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Friday 30 September 2016

Bracewell for Ireland job

Ireland have appointed New Zealand's John Bracewell as their new head coach on a deal subject to work permit approval until the end of 2017.

The former Black Caps player and coach succeeds Phil Simmons, who left his post after eight years with Ireland earlier this year to take charge of West Indies.

Bracewell, who will have a watching brief when Ireland take on England in Dublin next Friday, has been identified as someone who can help achieve the goal of playing Test cricket by 2019.

And the 57-year-old is relishing the chance to take control of a team that once again upset the odds at the recently-completed World Cup, where they claimed wins over Test playing sides West Indies and Zimbabwe.

"There is nothing I enjoy more than fighting for a cause, and in cricket terms there is none better than obtaining Test status," said Bracewell.

If Ireland retain the Intercontinental Cup, a competition featuring the top non-Test playing sides, they will then take part in an ICC Test Challenge in 2018 against the lowest ranked Test nation.

The outcome of the two matches at home and away is expected to determine whether the associate team is then added to the list of Test-playing nations.

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