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Like all countries who have qualified for the T20 World Cup later this year, Ireland are beginning their preparations in earnest.
Starting with a two-match series against India, Andy Balbirnie’s men will then face New Zealand as they continue to target the major tournament which takes place in Australia from October.
As an emerging cricket team, the Irish are unlikely to win the trophy, but they will be looking to cause a few upsets along the way. Ireland have claimed some major scalps in recent years, but, with a number of key players having retired, what can we expect from the 2022 squad?
Following the two home games against India in June, Ireland’s men’s national team will welcome New Zealand. There are three One Day Internationals plus three T20is taking place as the Black Caps head across the Irish Sea following their test series with England.
In August, South Africa are the visitors for two T20 internationals and then it’s the turn of Afghanistan. A side packed with quality players, including the world class leg spinner Rashid Khan, will undertake five T20 internationals between the 9th and the 17th of August.
It’s a packed calendar and one that will really test Ireland’s credentials. When Afghanistan depart, we will get a better idea as to what to expect at the World Cup.
Ireland’s Chances Rated
The more experienced T20 teams lead the betting for the global tournament. It’s no great surprise to see Indian sportsbooks getting behind the home nation, but most bookmakers around the world have India, England and Australia listed as joint favourites.
The chasing pack is led by New Zealand while Pakistan and South Africa are also expected to challenge. As for Ireland, they are down among the rank outsiders. The team will firstly have to progress beyond a tough initial section that includes Scotland and the West Indies. If they make it through, the Super 12s provides the main part of the tournament.
Ireland’s odds would shorten if they qualify for that Super 12 stage. The figures in question are supplied by sources linked to Asiabet and they will be constantly monitored as the action develops. Any readers interested in following the World Cup can also access breaking news stories.
Asiabet also publish reviews of each of their sportsbooks and there is potential to get directly involved. All of the bookmakers referenced will be willing to take on new customers subject to eligibility requirements and a registration form.
Sign up is quick and secure and many outlets have a generous welcome package in place. Funds to cover the opening bet can be added via a number of deposit methods while customer services are on hand to assist.
Once playing regularly, account holders can also expect to see in-play options, mobile betting via an app and a range of other sports.
It’s a logical site to follow during the cricket World Cup but who are the men who can change Ireland’s fortunes?
Many of the squad members involved in the series with India are likely to be on the plane to Australia later this year. Andy Balbirnie is in charge and he is an important batter too. The skipper has made no fewer than seven ODI centuries and he has a highest score in the T20i format of 83.
Along with Balbirnie, the experienced Paul Stirling will be responsible for getting the Irish team off to a fast start. Stirling has three centuries in the shortest format and one of those came for Ireland as he smashed 115 from 75 balls against Zimbabwe in 2021.
The rising star of Irish cricket is 22-year-old Harry Tector. He’s a developing player but is starting to score consistently in all three formats.
A mixture of quality pace and spin will be needed to succeed Down Under. George Dockrell’s left arm spinners can keep the run rate down in the middle overs while the pace of Craig Young and Barry McCarthy will look to pick up early wickets.
Those are the key men, but everyone will need to be at the top of their game if Ireland are to make any inroads at the 2022 World Cup.