Published Tuesday, 04 March 2014
Toggle font size

It's a fitting date for Ireland to get their fourth successive ICC World Twenty-20 appearance under-way.

Zimbabwe will be the opposition on none other than Saint Patrick's Day - as the Irish attempt another eye-catching performance on the world cricket stage, this time in Bangladesh.

The squad have been at a pre-tournament, fine-tuning camp in Dubai.

Along with them Kevin O'Brien, brother Niall and William Porterfield, the now veterans of the famous World Cup of 2007.

And the paralels are there to see with the class of 2014.

Back in 2007, the Irish drew with the Zimbabweans, before the result that somewhat defined their tournament two days later - the win over Pakistan.

"Paddy's Day has been kind to us in the past and I hope it's a good omen for when we play Zimbabwe in the first match - that's a massive game for both teams," O'Brien told

One different dimension this time is the new format of the World Twenty20.

Eight top-ranked sides will be joined in the second round by two of the smaller cricketing nations - that'll be a battle amongst eight teams.

"I don't subscribe to the view that it's not good to have to go through what some see as another qualifying hurdle," he said.

"In the last two World T20s we have played only one completed game, and suffered two wash-outs.

"This way, if we win the group we'll have played three matches as well as two warm-ups in Bangladesh which would give us a serious advantage in terms of acclimatisation against Full Members and the chance of getting them cold before they adapt.

"We had a great experience in the West Indies and it's a measure of how far the team has come in seven years that we and the fans are disappointed because we could not quite claim a series win against the World T20 champions.

"We've put in a lot of hard work in the West Indies and will continue that preparation in Dubai where we have two practice matches scheduled against Worcestershire and Hong Kong."

On March 12th comes the Irish's first warm-up match when they take on Nepal before Bangladesh comes in the first 'real' battle two days afterwards.

The Zimbabwe match will be of key importance on March 17th, then it's UAE on the 19th and the culmination of the group stage on the 21st against the Dutch.

And if group progression is achieved come tests such as Sri Lanka and England lying in-wait.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
No comments. Be the first to comment.
Email address*:    
House Rules:  
Your Comment:  
[All comments are moderated and will not appear immediately. Your name, location and comment will be displayed on this page if your post passes moderation.]
Chris Brennan
Chris Brennan

Chris Brennan is a cross-platform sports journalist with UTV.

As well as featuring on UTV Live and contributing to, Chris can be heard regularly on U105, fronting the station's sports coverage.

Chris started his career part-time, whilst still at school, with the Down Recorder newspaper in Downpatrick and then began freelancing when at college and university.

It was at this stage that he moved into broadcasting and began freelancing for UTV in 2004.

Chris is a graduate of Queen's University Belfast, where he graduated in Modern History and Politics.

Apart from his huge appetite for all sport - but especially football - his other interests include history and travel.

By Date:
<January 2015
By Blogger:
By Theme: