18 December 2009

Cricket Ireland this morning confirmed details of a quadrangular T20 competition which will take place in Sri Lanka following the conclusion of their Intercontinental Cup clash with Afghanistan.

The tournament will run from January 31 to February 4, and features Ireland, Sri Lanka A, Afghanistan and Canada.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons sees the tournament as ideal preparation for the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in The UAE:
"This will give the squad a good work-out ahead of the UAE leg of the tour. It'll get the players into the mindset of the shorter format of the game. We still haven't played a lot of 20 over cricket, although the experience of playing in the finals in England last year will help us. There are only two places up for grabs for the finals in the West Indies, so it will be difficult for all the teams. There will be a lot of pressure games with so much at stake, but we have a lot of experience in our camp, which is so vital as we showed last year when we won the World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa."
"I and the players want to make it four in a row in terms of qualifying for the major tournaments - when you get a taste of the big time, you want more. The players are still hungry for more success, and for me there would be the added bonus of coaching Ireland in the West Indies. We did fantastically well there in 2007, as that's where we really announced ourselves on the world stage. Ireland has happy memories of the West Indies - it'd be great if we could have a few more in 2010."
Ireland's fixtures in full in the competition are as follows:
Jan 31 Ireland v Sri Lanka A (SSC)
Feb 1 Ireland v Canada (P Sara)
Feb 3 Ireland v Afghanistan (SSC)
Feb 4 T20 Final and 3/4 Play Off (SSC)

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