Irish cricket handed seven-figure cash boost by billionaire

Ireland duo Gary Wilson and Niall O'Brien
Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said the deal will "help us mould our nation's cricketing future for at least the next 10 years"

Irish cricket has been handed a seven-figure cash boost by signing a 10-year sponsorship deal with a group of companies owned by Ireland's richest man, Indian-born Pallonji Mistry.

Mistry, born in 1929, has been ranked as the world's 62nd richest man.external-link

The deal, believed to be in the region of £2m, will see the country's cricket academy being renamed the Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Ireland Academy.

Shapoorji Pallonji is the name of the billionaire's group of companies.

The Indian-born businessman is described by Forbes Magazine as having a personal fortune of £9.55bn with his group's business interests including construction, motors, textiles, communications, energy and hotels.

Pallonji Mistry's Irish background
His wife is Dublin-born and he took out Irish citizenship in 2003 and his sons Shapoor and Cyrus both hold Irish passports

With his wife Patsy Perin Dubash having been born in Dublin, Mistry took out Irish citizenship in 2003 and their two sons, Shapoor and Cyrus, both hold Irish passports.

Mistry's wealth makes him Ireland's richest citizen and while his permanent residence remains Mumbai, he is understood to spend regular amounts of time in his adopted country.

In addition to holding the naming rights to the Cricket Ireland Academy, the Shapoorji Pallonji Group will also become an official partner to Cricket Ireland.

Young Ireland players will benefit from the sponsorship deal

In a message delivered at the Dublin announcement, Shapoor Mistry said that as "Irish citizens", his family viewed the deal as a "small contribution as a token of gratitude towards Ireland".

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom made clear his delight at securing the sponsorship deal.

"The development of our next generation of international cricketers in the national academy is one of our most important tasks, and requires significant investment, understanding and an ability to take the long view," added the Cricket Ireland chief.

"In the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, we are immensely proud to have found the perfect partner to share that vision, and help us mould our nation's cricketing future for at least the next 10 years."

The sponsorship deal was officially announced at Trinity College by the Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Paschal Donohoe.

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