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Irish step it up for next challenge


Simply the best: Gary Wilson is impressed by the facilities

Simply the best: Gary Wilson is impressed by the facilities


Simply the best: Gary Wilson is impressed by the facilities

The Ireland squad were forced indoors as they resumed training ahead of their second World Cup Group B game against UAE next Wednesday.

After a two-day break on the Gold Coast, the players were due to train at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane yesterday but the ground and surrounds were flooded after 24 hours of continuous rain in Queensland.

But in indoor facilities, described by Ireland wicket-keeper batsman Gary Wilson as "the best in the world", they spent more than three hours getting back up to speed after their opening victory against the West Indies.

"Training indoors is never ideal but here they are as good as anywhere in the world," Wilson said.

"It's something we can only aspire to having back home with a gym and a 25 metres swimming pool.

"But there's nothing you can do about the weather - even though it's not something we expected in Australia - so it was just a question of making the most of it and at least we've still got a few days before the match, so we will definitely get a few hits outside before Wednesday.

"We have had a few days off, everybody was buzzing and we're all looking forward to the game.

"With the weather this week, it's maybe just as well we have got this long break, it will give the ground time to recover because, no disrespect to the UAE, we believe we are a better side and if we do everything right on the day we should come out on top," he added.

The groundsman at The Gabba said yesterday that he was not expecting any play today in Australia's game against Bangladesh, after the rains, and if it was not even possible for a 20 overs match - the minimum duration in the World Cup - it would be a huge disappointment for the Brisbane public who have been complaining about the matches they have been given.

Rather than New Zealand, Sri Lanka or even England providing the opposition for Australia, it is 'only' Bangladesh and the home fans are unlikely to be flocking to watch Ireland v UAE or Pakistan v Zimbabwe.

Pakistan were involved in the other game overnight, against West Indies in Christchurch, with each team hoping to bounce back from opening defeats.

Another loss for inconsistent and unpredictable Pakistan would probably be best for Ireland as they play them in their final group game in Adelaide on March 15, when a quarter-final place could be at stake.

Belfast Telegraph