July 18, 2017, 12:26 p.m.
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John Bracewell is to leave his role as head coach of Cricket Ireland in December.
Bracewell met with senior Cricket Ireland officials earlier this week and a mutual decision was reached for him to stand down at the end of his contract.
The news comes after Ireland were awarded full member status - and with it the opportunity to play Test match cricket - by the ICC last month.
However Bracewell, who took the role in 2015 following the departure of Phil Simmons in the wake of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, has decided to stand aside when his current deal expires.
On the news of his imminent departure, Kiwi Bracewell said: “Having been down the full-on full member road before with New Zealand Cricket, it is not my desire to do so again.
“Whilst my wife and I have immersed ourselves into Ireland and Irish culture we feel it is now time to return home to New Zealand and our families. I have therefore agreed with Cricket Ireland to finish up at the conclusion of my contract.
“I have loved working with an honest group of players whose values and work ethic have been second to none. As challenging as the future may be, they will be the first to honour the Test cap and I am proud to have spent some time with them on that journey.
“I took on the role as Head Coach because I believed in the little guy getting a fair break and the cause of attaining Test status appealed to my underdog psyche. That having been achieved, albeit by an unexpected turn of events, has left me looking for a new goal and challenge.
“Before my departure there are still a mountain of things to be put in place in assisting Richard Holdsworth and the coaching staff in preparing the Irish players for this new, exciting and very tough future. For the players there is the small matter of the Inter-Continental Cup to win, and a West Indies team to beat.”
During his time in charge Bracewell has given senior international debuts to eight players - although results have left a lot to be desired during his tenure.
However he has overseen a transition period in Irish cricket, something alluded to by Cricket Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth: “The last two years have been a difficult period of transition and rebuilding in which John has tried to nurture inexperienced talent against the best teams in the world.
“He has immersed himself in the role, blooded and developed several new players, and has helped lay the foundations of a new coaching structure to build on.
“His last five months remain a very important period where I look forward to working with him to further invest in our key priority areas with new full member status now in place, and continue to lay down important foundations for our future.”
Cricket Ireland will advertise for Bracewell’s replacement soon, and are hoping for a “seamless handover towards the end of the year.”