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Ireland Men
WorldT20

Team preview: Ireland

T20WCQ 2019, feature

Led by an inspirational leader in Gary Wilson and under the able guidance of new coach Graham Ford, Ireland have a solid blend of experience and youth, which makes them a formidable force at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019.

Overview

Ireland have shown signs of brilliance at the big stage in the past. They have beaten top teams, such as Pakistan and England at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in 2007 and 2011 respectively, with the former knocking the opponent out of the tournament. They excelled in their maiden appearance at the T20 World Cup too, eliminating Bangladesh with a comprehensive six-wicket win in the 2009 edition.

They've had mixed results in recent times, having first won the tri-series final against Scotland in a thrilling finish at home, and then going down to hosts Oman in the pentangular series to finish second in the competition.

Ireland might be the 14th-ranked team in the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings at present, and fourth among the 14 teams participating in the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier, but have enough firepower to put up a complete performance against any opposition on any given day. 

How they got there

Ireland had finished in the top 16 of the T20I team rankings by the cut-off date of 31 December 2018, and hence made a direct entry into the 2019 edition of the qualifying tournament.

T20 WC history

After having shared the honours with the Netherlands in the inaugural qualifier tournament in 2008, Ireland triumphed twice, winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013, and are the most successful team in the qualifier event till date. However, they have failed to progress after the opening stage in each of the world cup editions post-2009.

Video cwc19 03 Dec 14
Ireland v Afghanistan, ICC WT20Q 2013 Final
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Key player

Kevin O'Brien: O'Brien was there in 2009, playing a match-winning hand alongside brother Niall against Bangladesh, making a stroke-filled 17-ball 39*. He then shot to fame in 2011, scoring the fastest-ever century in the 50-over World Cup to script an emphatic win against England in Bengaluru. His skills at 35 still remain undiminished, which was proved once again when he brought up Ireland's first-ever century in the shortest format, striking 124 off just 62 balls against Oman earlier this month. The experienced all-rounder, with his hard-hitting skills, will surely be Ireland's key player in the Qualifier.

Video cwc19 21 Mar 19
CWC Greatest Moments - O'Brien hunts down England in 2011

One to watch

Harry Tector: The 19-year-old made his T20I debut only last month and has made an immediate impact. He scored a match-winning 47* against the Netherlands in the Oman series, after having registered his maiden international fifty against the same opposition last month. With his right-arm off-breaks and sharp fielding skills, Tector is definitely one of the key players for Ireland in the competition, and one to watch out for in the future.

Fixtures:

18 October: v Hong Kong, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
19 October: v United Arab Emirates, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
21 October:
v Oman, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi
23 October: v Canada, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
25 October: v Jersey, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi
26 October: v Nigeria, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Squad: Gary Wilson (c), Mark Adair, Andy Balbirnie, David Delany, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.

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