An appearance in Ireland’s green may be around the corner for former New Zealand U19 international Luke Georgeson, who has put pen to paper on a Cricket Ireland contract.
The 22-year-old was one of three contracts announced by Cricket Ireland on Tuesday, with the left-hand batter eligible by virtue of holding an Irish passport.
Georgeson averages close to 47 with the bat in List A cricket, and finished as the third-highest run-scorer in the 2021 Inter-Provincial 50-over Cup, scoring 317 runs at 63.40 for the Northern Knights.
“The opportunity to progress with a highly talented group of individuals here in Ireland, and test myself more consistently at a higher level is an opportunity I couldn’t turn down,” Georgeson stated.
“It’s been a big decision to step away from the Wellington Firebirds and domestic cricket in New Zealand, but it’s an extremely exciting opportunity to get stuck in with the Irish and Northern Knights lads and see if I can play a part in what I believe is an exciting time for Irish cricket.”
Georgeson’s path to an Irish contract almost happened by accident. Signing for Merrion in the 2020 season originally as a local pro, twists of fate and a message to former Ireland international Gary Wilson led to a move in 2021 and higher honours.
“Jamie Gibson was going to play as the overseas pro (at Merrion), but that obviously fell through because of Covid. By chance I stumbled across Gary Wilson’s mobile number and sent him a text message out of the blue one morning,” Georgeson regaled.
“His response was to ask whether I was wanting to play for Ireland or just wanting to play some club cricket … One thing led to another and I headed over and signed up for CSNI in 2021.
“Last year I was so warmly welcomed into the Northern Knights set-up, and had an awesome time playing club cricket in the NCU – and I felt like I became a better cricketer as a result.
Chair of National Men’s Selectors Andrew White says Georgeson’s character readies him for international cricket, exhibiting an attitude to the game that matches his playing potential.
“What stood out wasn’t just his talent as a left-handed top-order batter, but the way in which he conducted himself on and off the field.
“His commitment and dedication to being the best he can be really struck the coaches that he worked under.
While taking a giant leap into a new system, effectively turning his back on New Zealand, Georgeson wants to settle in and move one step at a time.
“My goal really is to play as much cricket as I can in order to get better as a cricketer. I’m less a planner and more a ‘play it as it comes’ person, I try to be pretty relaxed and level-headed, just focussing on how I can contribute to win more games for whichever side I’m playing for.”
In other Irish news, Murray Commins also earned a first contract with Cricket Ireland, signing a 12-month retainer deal, with Stephen Doheny securing a second straight 12-month deal after a strong tour of Namibia with the Ireland Wolves.
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