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Ben White relishing cricket life ahead of Men’s T20 World Cup

Ben White relishing cricket life ahead of Men’s T20 World Cup
Ben White relishing cricket life ahead of Men’s T20 World Cup
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The Ireland Men’s T20 World Cup squad has completed its six-day mandatory quarantine and have been training in exceptional heat for the last three days, but leg-spinner Ben White has found the opportunity enjoyable as the squad prepares for Tuesday’s first warm-up game against Scotland.

White, 23, made his international debut for Ireland in a T20 International against South Africa in July this year. He has claimed three wickets in his four caps to date, but it hasn’t been just the confidence he has displayed on the international arena that booked him a seat on the flight to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, but also his dominant performances in the Inter-Provincial Series for the Northern Knights. White was the leading wicket-taker in the Inter-Provincial T20 Trophy competition this season with 17 wickets at an average of 10.00, with a best of 5-13.

Born in Dublin, White was a member of Phoenix Cricket Club until 2020 when he made the move north to play his club cricket with CSNI in Belfast in an effort to further his domestic and international ambitions. 2021 became his breakthrough season at inter-provincial level, with a subsequent international call-up seen as vindication for his move.

Since arriving in the UAE, White – along with the players and coaches in the Irish touring party - spent six days in hotel quarantine, then has trained at the ICC Academy in late-30 to early-40 degree heat.

Speaking after the third day of training, Ben White said:

“The first three days training have been really enjoyable - dusting off a few post-quarantine cobwebs. It’s been a bit of a shock to the system getting out in the heat, but the facilities have been second-to-none and the lads have really got stuck in during training and I feel it’ll stand to us come game day.”

“I think conditions during the upcoming games will be pretty similar to the last few days - warm and humid in the morning, and then it should burn off and get hot for the afternoon. We anticipate the pitches will be pretty batter-friendly, with some pace and bounce…and fingers crossed something in it for the spinners!”

“Overall we’ve been training with a great intensity ahead of a busy schedule, but we’re all raring to go.”

Ireland Men’s first warm-up game ahead of the T20 World Cup will be starting at 9am (local time or 6am Irish time) on Tuesday against Scotland, before the men in green will play a three-match T20I series against the UAE.

THE SQUAD

A preliminary 18-player squad was recently announced – this will be reduced to 15 for the T20 World Cup tournament, however, the three other players will still travel to the UAE as reserves.

Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Graham Kennedy, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.

Head Coach: Graham Ford