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The ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 Qualifier is all set to be played in Zimbabwe from June 18th to July 9th. It will witness 10 teams vying for two slots in the World Cup 2023.
The teams, striving to qualify, have already started departing for Zimbabwe, and Ireland is one of them. The 15-player squad led by Andrew Balbirnie reached the destination on 9th June with one big aim – qualifying for the World Cup 2023.
Prior to departure, leg-spinner Ben White showed his optimism to compete in the main event in October despite having to battle with some intense teams like West Indies and Sri Lanka in the Qualifier. He urged,
“We’re just looking forward to get over there to play some intense cricket. We’ll be playing some of the world’s best teams in Sri Lanka and West Indies – but, hopefully, we can play our best and come away with World Cup qualification and be heading to India in October.
“Last time we were in Zimbabwe it was summer-time, so we expect conditions to be different – maybe not as sunny, but dry. The schedule is pretty intense, so there won’t be much personal time, but there may be a bit of X-box played and hopefully we can get out to a safari or two, but it’s going to be busy.”
Although Ireland were not up to the mark in their World Cup Super League journey, Gareth Delany is hoping for good in the upcoming weeks. Defining the team’s next approach, he said,
“Our main aim is to qualify for a World Cup, that would be fantastic. It’s definitely going to be a competitive tournament, but we can take great confidence from the World Cup Super League – there were perhaps 5 or so games in that competition where we could have got across the line, but didn’t.
Hopefully, we can be a little more clinical over the next few weeks. 50-over cricket is a roller-coaster – it usually has plenty of ups and downs during a match, so for a player it’s a lot more exciting to play at times that a T20.
“With a squad of 15 at a long tournament, you would hope to play a bit – but as a squad member, all you can do is be as prepared as best you can for when you get called up to play.”
Andrew Balbirnie (capt) (Pembroke), Mark Adair (CIYMS), Curtis Campher (YMCA), Gareth Delany (Leinster), George Dockrell (Phoenix), Graham Hume (Waringstown), Josh Little (Pembroke), Andy McBrine (Donemana), Barry McCarthy (Pembroke), PJ Moor (Clontarf), Paul Stirling (North Down), Harry Tector (YMCA), Lorcan Tucker (Pembroke), Ben White (Phoenix), Craig Young (Bready).
Coaching and support staff
With Nathan Hauritz unavailable, Cobus Pienaar has been brought in as a consultant coach to support the squad’s preparations ahead of the tournament. Pienaar is a South African-born former first-class cricketer turned coach, who played briefly for Waringstown in 2016.
The management team:
- Head Coach: Heinrich Malan
- Batting and Wicketkeeping Coach: Gary Wilson
- Fast Bowling Coach: Ryan Eagleson
- Coach Consultant: Cobus Pienaar
- Physiotherapist: Mark Rausa
- Strength & Conditioning: Brendan Conner
- Performance Analyst: Scott Irvine
- Team Operations Manager: Chris Siddell
The qualifier event
The 10 teams taking part in the qualifier are split into two groups of five teams. Each team will face the other in their group once and the top three from each group will advance to the Super Six Stage. In this stage, they will meet the teams they did not play against in the Super Six Stage.
The top two teams after the Super Six Stage will play the final and both will progress to the World Cup 2023 qualification, featuring in October 2023.
- West Indies
- United States
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
IRELAND MEN’S FIXTURES FOR WORLD CUP 2023 QUALIFIER
- 13 June: Ireland v USA, Bulawayo Athletic Club (start 9am local time)
- 15 June: Ireland v Netherlands, Queen’s Sports Club (start 9am local time)
Group A matches:
- 19 June: Ireland v Oman, Bulawayo Athletic Club (start 9am local time)
- 21 June: Ireland v Scotland, Queen’s Sports Club (start 9am local time)
- 25 June: Sri Lanka v Ireland, Queen’s Sports Club (start 9am local time)
- 27 June: Ireland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club (start 9am local time)
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