Ireland ‘desperate’ to reach Super 12 – Graham Ford

Sri Lanka v Ireland - ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 20: Players of Ireland huddle ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Ireland at Sheikh Zayed stadium on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Michael Steele-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

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Ireland Men’s national cricket team Head Coach Graham Ford has said that his side are “desperate” to reach the next stage of the T20 World Cup – the Super 12.

Ireland are currently competing in the group stage of the competition, in which the top two teams from both groups will enter the Super 12 with those teams that had already qualified.

The loss to Sri Lanka on Wednesday means that Ireland must beat Namibia if they are to be part of the Super 12 after the African nation beat the Netherlands on the same day.

The winner will progress to the next round to meet New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the highest-ranked side in Group B (currently Scotland).

At a press conference last night, Head Coach Graham Ford said: I think for us, we come to the tournament with a slightly different view to some of the bugger countries, in that we are gaining and learning with every single outing – trying to make as much progress in our cricket as possible.

“So, every game is important as far as that is concerned – to try and make those little improvements here and there and to sharpen our skills, and adapt to the extra pace in the pitches.

“Win or lose, we are gaining and we are learning, so that’s a big plus for us – but quite obviously we are desperate to go through to the next phase of the tournament as well.

“Despite the loss [yesterday] we are still alive and still in the competition, and that’s the important thing.”

Captain Andrew Balbirnie also spoke on the 70-run defeat to Sri Lanka and noted that the team will have to adapt if they want to play top-level cricket on a consistent basis.

The captain said: “We don’t get wickets like this, or get pace like this too often back home, but the more we go up the levels and if we go through to next week it’s only going to get quicker and we need to find ways to cope with that pretty quickly.”

Ireland face Namibia in a ‘winner-takes-all’ clash at 11 am on Friday, October 22 – the match coverage in Ireland/UK is on Sky Sports from 10.30 am.

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