Ireland to Play Four Games Ahead of World Cup Qualifiers
Ireland have confirmed four matches in South Africa as part of their preparation for the World Cup Qualifying competition.
The 15-man squad will spend two weeks based at a preparation camp at Tuks High Performance Centre at the University of Pretoria.
First up for the Boys in Green is a match against a Northerns/Easterns XI on February 15th at Groenkloof Oval. That’s followed by games against The Netherlands on Sunday 18th and Scotland on Tuesday 20th at the same venue.
Their fourth match sees them face Hong Kong on Friday 23rd at Tuks Oval, before leaving for Zimbabwe on the 25th. They will play two warm-up matches against Zimbabwe (27th Feb) and Scotland (1st March) in Bulawayo, before relocating to Harare for the main competition.
Cricket Ireland Performance Director Richard Holdsworth was pleased with the itinerary put in place saying; “In planning for our preparation for this vitally important qualifying tournament, we felt that the conditions, climate and altitude in Pretoria would give us a very appropriate environment and closest to that of Zimbabwe.
“We needed highly competitive cricket during this crucial period, and with excellent collaboration with Scotland, Netherlands and Hong Kong Cricket, we will all benefit.
“Northern and Easterns have supported us well in arranging an additional fixture, whilst the HP Centre at Tuks have been outstanding in arranging suitable practice and training facilities for us,” added Holdsworth.
Ireland Head Coach Graham Ford welcomed the fixtures ahead of the tournament, mindful of the need to hit the ground running in what will be a tough competition.
“We enjoyed an excellent tri-series in Dubai last week where we played four matches and it’s great that we will have six more games before the tournament starts in earnest on March 4th.
“Between now and then there’s a lot of hard work to be put in, but the squad have all bought into it. Everyone is aware of just what is at stake. With just two World Cup places on offer and so many dangerous sides, there is little margin of error. We will leave no stone unturned in our build-up, with the preparation camp a vital part of our plans.”
IRELAND FIXTURES IN SOUTH AFRICA
Thursday 15th: Ireland XI v Northerns/Easterns XI - Groenkloof Oval
Sunday 18th: Ireland XI v Netherlands XI - Groenkloof Oval
Tuesday 20th: Ireland XI v Scotland XI - Groenkloof Oval
Friday 23rd: Ireland XI v Hong Kong XI – Tuks Oval