Ireland Captain Paul Stirling Speaks About Afghanistan Cricket

Ireland Captain Paul Stirling Speaks About Afghanistan Cricket
Ireland Captain Paul Stirling Speaks About Afghanistan Cricket
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Ireland T20I Captain Paul Stirling participated in a press conference ahead of the three-match T20 International series to be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in India.

Asked about the Afghan opponents, he said:

“I think Afghanistan have gone better in the T20 stuff of late, though we know what they bring. They have very good spinners and a batting line-up that really comes hard against us. We know what to expect, we've played them a lot in the recent past and we hope to get off to a good start come Thursday.”

Asked about Afghanistan’s spin attack, he said:

“We've played them a lot over the last few years, so hopefully we can go out there with a positive mindset. At the end of the day they've still got to perform as well, and I think if we play the ball and not the player in this competition then we'll go a lot better.”

“[Rashid Khan] has been the main difference between the two sides in the recent past. Whenever he performs well for them, or we don't play him particularly well, I think that really is a big advantage for Afghanistan, so he'll definitely be one of the bowlers we'll be trying to negate but they've got more than just Rashid Khan, they're a really good outfit.”

Asked about Ireland playing its second Test match, he said:

“We got a taste of it [Test cricket] against Pakistan last year, so we're just hungry to get our first win. We've got this opportunity against Afghanistan in a month's time, but for the minute our focus is on the other two formats, particularly T20 - we'll look forward to the Test match once the one-dayers are finished.”

Asked whether his experience in the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) gave him an insight into his opponents, he said:

“I think [the APL] showed the depth that Afghanistan have got - they showed they've got players who are ready to come in when they have an injury to a first eleven player, or are putting real pressure on the lads who are already there. It was good to get a feeling for who was behind the first eleven - in the Test squad and T20 they have picked a few people who haven't played as many games, so [being involved in the APL] certainly helped from that point of view. But I think with the mainstay of the Afghanistan team we already what they're capable of and I think it is about trying to counteract that.”

A quote from Afghanistan Captain Asghar Afghan is here.

The first T20 International between Afghanistan and Ireland is on Thursday. Afghanistan have won the last seven completed T20 Internationals between the two sides - the last time Ireland prevailed was in 2013 in the Final of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier.

Squads

Afghanistan series - T20 Squad

Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – ODI Squad

William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – Test Squad

William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Tour Schedule

Ireland Men’s tour (Afghanistan series)

21 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
23 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)
24 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd T20I – start time of 6.30pm (local time) or 1pm (GMT)

28 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
2 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
5 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
8 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 4th ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)
10 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 5th ODI – start time of 2.30pm (local time) or 9am (GMT)

15–19 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - Test Match – start time of 10am (local time) or 4.30am (GMT)

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