Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

More disruptions hit Ireland cricketers' Cup preparations

With less than two weeks notice, Ireland’s first match of the winter, the Intercontinental Cup clash against Afghanistan in Sri Lanka has been brought forward 48 hours.

It is the latest in a series of disruptions in Ireland’s preparations for the four-week trip which also includes the qualifying competition for the World Twenty20, taking place in the UAE from February 9-13.

For the second successive weekend, the Dublin players could not travel to the training session at Bready because of weather conditions and skipper William Porterfield was also stranded in Bristol and unable to join up with the squad.

Indeed only eight players made it to the North West on Saturday and two of them, the Civil Service North duo of Regan West and Nigel Jones, are not in the travelling squad, because of injury and non-selection respectively.

The 13-man squad will meet up in Dublin on Friday night and National Coach Phil Simmons is hopeful of getting good training facilities in Abu Dhabi for their unexpected stay.

Meanwhile, the Ireland Under 19s arrived in New Zealand on Saturday for the World Cup finals, starting on Friday.

After two wins in practice games in Sydney last week, the squad played the first of their official warm-up games overnight against Afghanistan in Christchurch and West Indies tomorrow. Ireland’s group games are against South Africa, Australia and the USA.

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