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Euro T20 Slam is an opportunity missed: Wilson

 

Crucial: Gary Wilson has eye on World Cup Qualifiers
Crucial: Gary Wilson has eye on World Cup Qualifiers

By Ian Callender

GaryWilson was on the golf course when he heard that his hopes of a $40,000 pay day at the Euro T20 Slam had been ended - at least for this year.

Wilson has still been given no reason for the cancellation of the three-week tournament, so did not want to comment on the decision, but Ireland's T20 captain was looking at the bigger picture when he suggested the host players from Netherlands, Scotland and Ireland lost out as much as the foreign stars like Rashid Khan, who turned down a contract with the Caribbean Premier League to take part in the Slam.

"It would have been three weeks' cricket against quality opposition, with quality players from around the world that would have given our lads great opportunity," said Wilson.

"Hopefully, as promised, it goes ahead next year.

"For now, though, most importantly we need match preparation for the T20 World Cup Qualifiers in October.

"They are the most important games in the calendar this year. We don't just want to qualify for the finals, we will be going there to win the competition, that is the mentality.

"The Lord's Test was great, the flagship event, but this tournament is more important."

And Wilson is excited by the squad who will be heading to the UAE.

"I genuinely do believe this is a talented squad. If you look back to 2013 (when Ireland completed a clean sweep in Associate cricket) we had a very experienced side, but talent-wise this squad, with new players like Andy Balbirnie, Mark Adair and Shane Getkate, plus Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien still around, would rival that one," he added.

"But something you can't buy, especially in qualifying tournaments, is experience.

"Whenever you get down to the wire, sometimes that experience gets you through, so what we lack in experience this time we more than make up in talent and, hopefully, guys can keep cool heads."

Wilson was speaking at Bready after the latest double wash-out in this year's rain-ruined inter-provincial series.

Overnight rain put paid to the first game of the long weekend between Northern Knights and Leinster Lightning, and more rain in the afternoon ended any chance for the second game between North West Warriors and Munster Reds.

"It's really disappointing," said the Knights skipper.

"Although it probably strengthened our position at the top of the table (one more win or two washouts today will assure the NCU side the title) we need to finalise our 15 for the Qualifiers and these games would have helped us, especially with the Slam no longer taking place.

"But it was so wet out there. Everyone wants to play cricket but you want to be playing proper cricket, not slipping and sliding, and that would definitely have been the case today so credit to the umpires. Hopefully we get some cricket in the next couple of days."

There was play in Oak Hill yesterday and Ireland Under-17s beat Scotland to win the Celtic Cup with a comfortable 68 runs victory in the final T20 game.

Instonians' Oliver Metcalfe, who joins up with Munster Reds today for their final two games at the T20 Festival, will arrive in form after scoring 73 from just 50 balls in Ireland's impressive 174-4.

It was the Irish boys' third win in the four-match series, having won the hastily arranged first T20 game on Thursday afternoon, after Scotland's quick victory in the second 50-over game, by 54 runs.

SCORES - Oak Hill: Ireland U17s 174-4 (20 overs, O Metcalfe 73, T Tector 31, S Lynch 28; S Fischer Keogh 3-37) Scotland U17s 106-8 (C McDonnell 3-20, J Forbes 2-19). Ireland U17s won by 68 runs.

LEINSTER LIGHTNING

J Tector c Rock b Adair 3

G Delany c Rock b McCarter 0

A Balbirnie b Mulder 41

L Tucker c Wilson b Adair 1

S Singh lbw b Getkate 44

K O'Brien c Wilson b Getkate 0

G Dockrell c C-Dow b Getkate 1

T Kane b Mulder 10

B McCarthy c Wilson b Mulder 3

J Little lbw b Cameron-Dow 4

P Chase not out 1

Extras (4b 2w) 6

Total (35.3 overs) 114

Fall: 1-3 2-3 3-4 4-75 5-75 6-80 7-104 8-107 9-112

Bowling: G McCarter 10-0-33-1, M Adair 7-1-19-2, S Getkate 6-1-19-3, J McCollum 3-0-12-0, J Cameron-Dow 7-0-22-1, J Mulder 2.3-0-5-3

NORTHERN KNIGHTS

J McCollum c Tucker b Chase 7

M Adair c Delany b Chase 27

M Ellison b McCarthy 8

H Tector not out 35

G Wilson not out 35

Extras (2lb 1w) 3

Total (3 wkts, 21.5 overs) 115

Did not bat: G Thompson, S Getkate, N Rock J Mulder, G McCarter, J Cameron-Dow

Fall: 1-12 2-41 3-44

Bowling: P Chase 7-0-36-2, T Kane 6-0-29-0, B McCarthy 5-0-20-1, G Dockrell 3-0-19-0, G Delany 0.5-0-9-0

Northern Knights won by 7 wickets

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