Bangladesh V Ireland - ODI Series Preview

Ireland will travel to Bangladesh to play three One Day International matches later this month. It will be interesting to see how close the matches are between these two sides, it is a possibility that it might show that Bangladesh are not good enough to have full International status, which has recently been publicised after a whitewashing thanks to the South Africans. This will really be the key emphasis of the series, as Ireland look to improve as a cricketing nation, whereas Bangladesh are fighting to prove that the ICC should continue to keep their international status. The squad depart for Bangladesh on March 15, and will play the 3 ODI's on March 18, 20 and 22. In their only previous meeting, which was at the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, Ireland overcame Bangladesh to ease to a comfortable 74-run victory. Newly signed Gloucestershire opener William Porterfield top scored with a brilliant 85, with Kevin O’Brien accumulating a well made 45. Bowling wise, David Langford-Smith was the pick taking 2-27. Ireland have named young talented batsman Paul Stirling in the side. The 17 year old recently played in the under 19 World Cup in Malaysia and will look for an impressive start to his international career. Stirling is included in the side as a like for like swap with left handed opener Jeremy Bray, who was ruled out of the tour with a shoulder injury. Other new faces in the squad are left arm seamer Phil Eaglestone from Strabane, and fellow left arm bowler Reinhardt Strydom of North County. Bangladesh are yet to name their squad for the Ireland series, but it is likely to include players such as Mohammad Ashraful, Tamim Iqbal and Shahadat Hossain, who will be looking to show off their talents against a weaker opponent than they are used to. They definitely have the potential to perform at the top level, but it is a case of making the most out of their talents on a regular basis to move Bangladesh forward as a cricketing country. They will no doubt continue to use their younger players in the international squad and might possibly bring in some new faces to give them a taste of international cricket. One thing is for sure that Bangladesh will be feeling the pressure for this series as they definitely have to prove that they can beat Ireland comfortably for them to justify their status. Ireland will be going into the series with nothing to lose, and will benefit from this exciting three match series that will, I am sure, be followed with interest from many cricket lovers around. Pierce Morley-Barnes © Cricket World 2008