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Huge honour: Philip Black

Huge honour: Philip Black

Huge honour: Philip Black

Philip Black has formally taken over as president of Cricket Ireland after the first virtual annual meeting.

Following a change to the constitution to mitigate this year's extraordinary circumstances, the long-serving Civil Service North member will remain in office until the 2022 AGM. He will be succeeded by Munster's David Griffin, who was approved as vice-president.

Black has had a long involvement with Cricket Ireland, from his time as treasurer of the old Irish Cricket Union and, for the last 14 years, a member of the Finance Committee, a period which has seen annual revenues increase from £400,000 to £10m.

On accepting the role, the new president said: "While the role is largely honorary, you are an ambassador for your country - meeting and greeting people home or away. It's not only a proud day for my family but for my club. The last president from CSNI was Simon Corlett, one of Ireland's finest cricketers.

"With three boys, I have been involved in coaching for many years and can proudly claim I played with (Ireland international) Gary Wilson when he was a schoolboy at Ormeau.

"We at CSNI were delighted when Gary returned to the club after his county career and he is now our Director of Cricket."

Black takes over from David O'Connor, who cited the first two days of the Lord's Test match as a highlight as well as meeting West Indian legends Sir Garfield Sobers and the late Everton Weekes.

The meeting was also told of an improved financial position with a deficit of €203,000 in 2018 turned into a deficit of just €10,000, this despite the loss of €275,000 when their contracted broadcaster went into administration and a cybercrime theft which cost €175,000.

There was a blow for Cricket Ireland yesterday when Turkish Airlines, the international men's team sponsor, announced they were ending their partnership six months early because of the downturn and uncertainty in the global aviation sector.

The airline will remain as Cricket Ireland's official airline partner until at least next year. A new sponsor for the men's team is expected in the coming days.

Belfast Telegraph