Adrian Birrell

(09 Jul 2008)

Adrian Birrell.jpg Thumbnail1.jpgAdrian Birrell caught the world’s attention when he led the Irish Cricket Team to their first World Cup competition in July 2007. His all amateur squad faced massive competition against the likes of the mighty Pakistan and Zimbabwe, beating the former and drawing with the latter. He retired as Ireland’s Coach immediately after the World Cup to spend more time with his young family. Adrian is a fantastic motivational speaker, using his coaching experiences he explains how the Irish team’s success was not just luck, but due to extreme preparation, planning, hard work and teamwork. Adrian draws significant parallels between success in sport and business.

Full Profile:

Adrian Birrell was born in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. He was educated at St Andrew’s College in Grahamstown where his parents both taught. His father Harry who was a first class cricketer introduced Adrian to cricket at a very early age.
Adrian went on to do two years of compulsory National Service and then enrolled at the University of Port Elizabeth. Here he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree and an Honours degree in Xhosa as well as a teaching diploma.

Using his Xhosa language ability to his advantage, he spent 10 years developing and coaching cricket in the Port Elizabeth townships. In 1994 he was selected as Port Elizabeth’s Citizen of the year for his contribution to Youth Work. He also coached the South African Under 19 team on a tour to the West Indies in 1992.This period also coincided with Adrian’s first class playing career where he played 45 matches for Eastern Province.

After retiring from the first class game he became more involved in coaching the senior teams in the Eastern Province ending up as the senior coach for three seasons.
Adrian arrived in Ireland in April 2002 as the Irish National Coach. Under his leadership Ireland’s cricket fortunes started to change, they beat Zimbabwe, the West Indies and Surrey County Cricket Club amongst others. They became Associate Champions in the 4 day format beating Kenya in the final and also qualified for the 2007 World Cup.

Ireland’s performance at the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies caught the imagination of the cricket world when they tied with Zimbabwe and beat the fourth ranked team Pakistan in a pressure game on St Patrick’s Day. This elevated Ireland into the super 8 stage of the competition to which has been described by commentators as the biggest upset in World Cup history. This Ireland team produced another feat beating Bangladesh to gain a top 10 World ranking for one day cricket.

Adrian has been a team coach for over 20 years. He uses these experiences as well as the Irish World Cup success to deliver motivational, leadership, team building and after dinner talks.

Adrian retired as the Irish National Coach at the end of the World Cup to spend more time with his family and to move into coach education.

To book Adrian Birrell for your next event please call Speaker Solutions on 01 6190243 or email

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