Wellington - New Zealander John Bracewell will step down as
head coach of Ireland at the end of his contract in December, the country's
cricket board has said.
The former New Zealand coach replaced West Indian Phil
Simmons at the helm following the 2015 World Cup and will step down after two
and half years in the role.
Last month, the International Cricket Council (ICC) voted to
admit Afghanistan and Ireland into the elite group permitted to play
traditional five-day Test matches.
As new full members of the ICC, Ireland and Afghanistan will
take the total of countries playing Tests to 12.
"Having been down the full-on Full Member road before
with New Zealand Cricket, it is not my desire to do so again," Bracewell
said in a statement from Cricket Ireland.
"While 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."
The board said it would advertise the position of head coach
in due course to ensure a seamless transition.
The former New Zealand cricketer said he thoroughly enjoyed
his time with Ireland's cricketers and was "proud" to have been part
of their journey towards attaining Tests status.
"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," the 59-year-old said.
"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 (performance director) Richard
Holdsworth and the coaching staff in preparing the Irish players for this new,
exciting and very tough future."