John Bracewell: Ireland coach to step down in December after 30 months in role

John Bracewell
John Bracewell's side have suffered a series of heavy defeats this year

Ireland cricket coach John Bracewell will step down from the role at the end of his current contract in December after two and a half years in the job.

Former New Zealand coach Bracewell, 59, was appointed in April 2015 but his side have struggled in recent times.

The Irish were routed by Afghanistan in the Intercontinental Cup in March and have also endured one-day hammerings by England, New Zealand and Bangladesh.

Ireland were awarded Test status by the International Cricket Council in June.

Bracewell departure 'mutual decision'

However following talks with Cricket Ireland earlier week, Bracewell and his employers are said to have agreed a "mutual decision" that he will not be the coach to lead the country into the Test arena.

"Having been down the full-on Full Member road before with New Zealand Cricket, it is not my desire to do so again," said Bracewell, who took over from Phil Simmons.

"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 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."

Bracewell will remain in charge for Ireland's next Intercontinental Cup game against the Netherlands at Malahide next month before his concluding one-day contest with the West Indies in Belfast on 13 September.

Ireland captain William Porterfield is dismissed during the one-day defeat by England at Lord's in May
Bracewell faced the task of attempting to rebuild an ageing team

Bracewell inherited ageing squad

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom praised Bracewell's "hard work" with the country.

"John is a man of great integrity who has offered a great deal to Irish cricket's cause in the last two years," said Deutrom. "He is admired by the players and his colleagues at Cricket Ireland."

Cricket Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth said there were "mitigating circumstances" for Ireland's downturn in fortunes as he inherited an ageing squad that needed reconstruction.

"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," said Holdsworth.

"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."

Bracewell has handed international debuts to eight players during his tenure.