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Joyce's worry after World Cup qualifier is shelved

 

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The Women's World Cup qualifying tournament, scheduled for Sri Lanka in July, is the latest global event to be postponed. (stock photo)

The Women's World Cup qualifying tournament, scheduled for Sri Lanka in July, is the latest global event to be postponed. (stock photo)

The Women's World Cup qualifying tournament, scheduled for Sri Lanka in July, is the latest global event to be postponed. (stock photo)

The Women's World Cup qualifying tournament, scheduled for Sri Lanka in July, is the latest global event to be postponed.

With most of the world still in lockdown and 10 teams, including Ireland, due to take part, the announcement yesterday by the International Cricket Council came as no surprise to Irish women's head coach Ed Joyce.

However, the new worry for Joyce is that there will not be enough lead-in time to allow him and the players to prepare for such an important tournament.

"The chance to qualify for a World Cup is always a big moment in a player's career and I know - before lockdown - the performance squad were well positioned with some in Ireland and others playing club cricket during the Irish winter in Australia," said Joyce.

"We had a lead-in programme in place for the qualifier before the pandemic but (although) we have continued fitness programmes and held numerous team learning sessions via video conferencing over the last two months, there is no substitute to getting out and playing, so we're all eager to get out and play when conditions permit.

"The fixture schedule ahead is certainly going to be a busy one for all cricket nations given the postponements and we'll need to develop a preparation programme in the lead-up to the tournament, so we hope the ICC can give ample notification of the new dates."

The Ireland squad have not played any games this year, with their intended tour to Thailand in April cancelled and their schedule of fixtures ahead of travelling to Sri Lanka for the tournament from July 3-19 put on hold.

Belfast Telegraph