Cricket Ireland announced on Tuesday, January 4, that Heinrich Malan, a South African-born coach, has been named as the replacement to Graham Ford as Ireland Men’s Head Coach. He will begin his three-year contract in March 2022.
Malan, a right-handed middle-order hitter and medium-fast bowler, represented the Combined Eastern-Northerns XI and Northern Cricket Union in first-class cricket in South Africa between 2005 and 2009, captaining the latter during the 2006-07 season. He was a member of teams that included future South African international and former CIYMS overseas professional Rassie van der Dussen, as well as then-developing international cricketers Neil Wagner and Roloef van der Merwe.
“It’s very humbling and a huge honour to be appointed Head Coach of the Ireland Men’s team. We have an exciting squad that has demonstrated that they have the ability to compete with the best players around the world. It is an exciting challenge and something that we, as a family, are really looking forward to,” Malan said on Tuesday (January 4). “A lot of credit has to go to Graham Ford, who has done a stellar job over the last four years. We have some serious building blocks in place which I believe we can build on going forward.
“My coaching philosophy has certainly evolved over time and I am very keen to get to know this group of players and staff to collaboratively shape our environment through the way we want to operate on a daily basis. The ‘wheel’ in Irish cricket is turning nicely for the stage it is at, but this point in time is a great opportunity to review what – and how – we are operating to not only grow the wheel but make that wheel turn quicker.
“While I came up through the South African system, the opportunity to move to New Zealand in 2013 really enhanced my coaching experiences and created opportunities to progress my coaching career. Hopefully, I can share these experiences and help our players improve and compete consistently across formats. And that is the key – to create greater consistency of performance over the long term.”
Malan has more than 11 years of first-class coaching experience in South Africa and New Zealand after concluding his first-class playing career. He has a Level 3 Coaching Certificate from Cricket South Africa, and his most recent duties include Assistant Coach and Fielding Lead for the New Zealand Men’s Cricket Team, as well as Head Coach of New Zealand A. He has also served as the Black Caps’ hitting coach.
Malan is the current Head of Male Performance and Head Coach of the Auckland Aces (since 2019), following a six-year career as the Central District Stags’ Head Coach and Program Director. From 2011 to 2013, he was the Head Coach of the Eastern Cricket Union in South Africa.
Cricket Ireland is anticipated to announce the rest of the coaching and staff in due course.