Ireland Cricket Team Dare To Dream Of World Cup Upset

The ICC Women’s Twenty20 Cricket World Cup begins today, Friday 9th November. This is the first time the tournament is being held as a standalone edition and not in parallel with the men’s event – an important step in the progression of the women’s game.

Ireland, who are ranked 10th in the world, are making their third World Cup appearance after featuring in the 2014 and 2016 tournaments respectively. The Women’s Cricket Team will hope to draw inspiration from the heroics of the Irish Women’s Hockey Team as they are huge underdogs in Group B.

Ireland secured qualification to the T20 World Cup after topping their group at the World Cup Qualifier Tournament and then beating Papa New Guinea in the semi-finals.

The Girls in Green face a daunting task as they have been drawn alongside Australia, New Zealand, India and Pakistan. Australia are three-time World Cup winners whilst India were runners-up in the last tournament. The top two teams from Group A and Group B will qualify for the semi-finals.

A lack of international game time for several players has been highlighted as a massive disadvantage heading into the competition. Prior to recent warm-up games, the last T20 international played was against New Zealand in June – almost two years after their previous one.

That said Cricket in Ireland continues to take steps forward as the Irish government recently announced an injection of €40,000 of funding specifically for the women’s team ahead of the T20 World Cup. To add to this, Devenish Nutrition have also sponsored the development scholarship for four Irish players to head over to Australia and gain valuable experience.

Many pundits are writing off Ireland’s hopes but the Girls in Green will be quietly confident of their chances in creating an upset. The squad is scattered with genuine match-winners and is balanced with a superb blend of both youthful exuberance and experience.

One of the key players for Ireland is sure to be Kim Garth. Her reputation has soared since her debut in the Women’s Big Bash in Australia. This year Garth won the Women’s Big Bash League with Sydney Sixers and has cemented her place at the top of the Ireland batting order. In 2016, Garth became the first – and only – Irish player to have been picked by the ICC in a World XI side.

Another young talent for Ireland is Gaby Lewis, who at the age of 17 already has played over 50 internationals for the country. Lewis is an all-rounder who became the first player born after the year 2000 to make an international debut. Lewis made her debut for Ireland at just 13 years and 166 days – against Australia.

Cricket Ireland’s Female Player of the Year, Laura Delany, will captain the Irish squad over in the Caribbean. Ireland will be looking to Delany to lead this young and exciting Irish team with her aggressive and creative style of play.

There are several exciting players in the Irish squad who will all need to be at their best if Ireland are to cause any sort of upset at the World Cup. The team began preparations by flying over to Spain for a four-day warm weather training camp at the European Cricket Performance Centre

Ireland played two warm up games –losing to Bangladesh before comprehensively beating Sri Lanka. The tournament starts on Sunday for Ireland as they face a formidable Australian side. Regardless of what happens, another tournament against high-class opposition will certainly be invaluable experience for these budding stars.

The beauty of T20 cricket is that any match can be turned on its head and swayed after a single jaw-dropping innings, a searing spell or an unexpected collapse. Ireland now have players who can take a game away from opponents with one outstanding performance. It’s something not to be missed!

Ireland squad: Laura Delany (c), Kim Garth, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Gaby Lewis, Lara Maritz, Ciara Metcalfe, Lucy O’Reilly, Celeste Raack, Eimear Richardson, Clare Shillington, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron

Check out where you can watch the action below:

• Australia Women v Ireland Women
• Match starts 8pm (Irish Time)
• Sky Sports Mix (19:30) or Sky Sports Cricket (19:30)
• Pakistan Women v Ireland Women
• Match starts 8pm (Irish Time)
• Sky Sports Cricket (19:30) or Sky Sports Mix (19:30 or Sky Sports Main Event (19:30)
• India Women v Ireland Women
• Match starts 3pm (Irish Time)
• Sky Sports Cricket (14:30) or Sky Sports Mix (14:30) or Sky Sports Main Event (15:00)
• New Zealand Women v Ireland Women
• Match starts 8pm (Irish Time)
• Sky Sports Mix (19:30) or Sky Sports Cricket (19:30)

HerSport Editor

Her Sport is a media platform centred on bringing the latest Irish and international women’s sports news. Her Sport aims to empower women in sport, inspire more female participation, increase opportunity and level the playing field for future generations. Our objective is to create real and tangible change.

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