Irish starlets are relishing unexpected global bid
Ireland Under-19 coach Ryan Eagleson expects to be able to name a full strength squad for the World Cup in Bangladesh after Cricket Ireland yesterday confirmed their participation in this month's event.
Eagleson heard on Monday afternoon that Australia had pulled out because of safety concerns and Ireland had been invited to take their place in the 16-team tournament, which starts on January 27. But he admitted yesterday that "a lot of leg work" had already been done once rumours they might get into the event through the back door surfaced.
Players had been contacted about their availability and all likely members of the squad and their families had agreed to travel should Ireland be given a third opportunity to take part - having failed in the European qualifier in Scotland last summer and in the global qualifier in Malaysia in October.
In both events they finished runners-up, to the hosts in August and then to Nepal, who will now be their second opponents in Fatullah on January 30. Their opening match, two days earlier, will be against India in Mirpur, with New Zealand the opposition in their final game in Fatullah on February 1.
Announcing Cricket Ireland's decision yesterday, chief executive Warren Deutrom said: "While we are aware of the heightened security risk in the country, all we can do is rely upon expert advice, which tells us that the tournament security plan appears very comprehensive - an estimation supported by the independent assessments we have seen.
"While there are never guarantees, Cricket Ireland felt that, on balance, the mitigation of the risks outweighed the risks themselves, while the cricketing opportunity was too important to turn down. The squad is looking forward to the challenge."