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Ireland to send a team to Hong Kong Sixes 2018

Ireland news

Cricket Ireland have accepted Hong Kong's invitation to participate in the six-players-a-side competition, to be held from 26 to 28 October 2018.

The annual ICC-sanctioned tournament will have a round-robin stage followed by the knockouts and will be hosted by Cricket Hong Kong at the Kowloon Cricket Club. Ireland's last appearance in the Hong Kong Sixes was in 2011 under Kevin O'Brien when they made the quarter finals after defeating England and Bangladesh, before being knocked out by the eventual champions, Pakistan. 

From the squad that last toured the country, Kevin and Niall O’Brien, Paul Stirling and George Dockrell are still active in international cricket. "We are continuing our approach of providing opportunities for a wider pool of players to gain experience in white-ball cricket on the international stage," said Richard Holdsworth, the performance director at Cricket Ireland.

"With around 12 months to go to the ICC World T20 qualifiers, we are looking to build a competitive squad for that qualification stage and hopefully to propel us into the main tournament in 2020."

Kevin O'Brien led Ireland in their last Hong Kong Sixes tournament, in 2011
Kevin O'Brien led Ireland in their last Hong Kong Sixes tournament, in 2011

Ireland haven't been in the best of forms in white-ball limited-overs cricket, especially after having made their Test debut early this year against Pakistan. They managed to win only one of the four games they played in the T20I tri-series against the Netherlands and Scotland in Deventer and were clean swept 2-0 by India at home.

"There is no denying that T20 cricket is the format of the game we have struggled with over recent years, so the Hong Kong Sixes will be used as a chance for selected members of the squad to refine their game in a condensed version, and will give Head Coach Graham Ford a chance to assess players in differing conditions," Holdsworth said.

A seven-man squad for the tournament will be picked in late August.

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