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Gaby Lewis speaks to the media after training in 36-degree heat in Stellenbosch today

Ireland Women are set to take on some of the world’s best over the next two weeks in the ICC Women’s T20  World Cup in South Africa. After coming through a qualifying tournament in Abu Dhabi last September, as well as two excellent performances in recent warm-up games, confidence is high in the Irish camp.  

The victory over the world champions Australia on Wednesday has given the squad a huge boost heading into the competition, which for Ireland begins on Monday with a clash against near neighbours England.

Gaby Lewis was speaking at training earlier today:

It's 35 degrees today. How's the squad coping with the conditions?

“It’s actually nice to get a run-around. We played a bit of football early on, which got us going and then we've had a really good net session, so yeah it's really nice to get outside. We had a day off yesterday, so it's great to get back to training today.”

England first up on Monday. A tough opponent, but the last two games must have given you some confidence?

“Yeah, we've got great confidence from the last two games. We obviously had the win against Australia, which was massive for us. But look, it's only the start for us in this tournament, so we're ready to go for England on Monday and we're really excited to get going in in the first group game.”

How are you finding batting conditions out here?

“It's really nice. We've been at a few venues. We were at Stellenbosch Oval for the first two warm-up games, and it's been really good. We've really enjoyed it. Nice flat pitches, and a nice flat outfield as well, so it's been really good. We're really enjoying it. So we’re all set and ready to go on Monday.”

It's been five years. What's it mean to be back on the World Cup stage?

“Ah, it’s brilliant. We obviously missed out on the last one, so I think we're really cherishing this opportunity to be back. And yeah, we won't let the opportunity pass us by. We're ready to take it on and we can't wait to get going and hopefully get a few wins under our belt.”

© Cricket Ireland