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Porterfield buoyed by new stars

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William Porterfield

William Porterfield

William Porterfield

Skipper William Porterfield believes the emergence of young players likes Paul Stirling proves that Irish cricket is on the rise.

Stirling underlined his growing reputation with an impressive century in Ireland's five-wicket defeat to Pakistan in Belfast on Monday. It was the 20-year-old's first century against a full-member nation and his second in three games after he blazed a 70-ball 100 in Ireland's final World Cup game against Holland.

"Stirlo is only 20 so he has a bright future," Porterfield said of his Belfast-born opener. "He's come right through the system. He's come through our under-age groups, he's learned all his cricket here and that proves what we can produce and what we are producing."

He added: "We all know what Stirlo can do in the squad, and people around Ireland know what he can do. He's just showcasing his talent now. But also outside him we are getting a lot more depth in our squad."

"We were missing Niall O'Brien and George (Dockrell) in this series, but lads have come in and stepped up to the mark which has been great.

"Hopefully that production line can continue on and moves Irish cricket to where it wants to be."

Where Irish cricket would most like to be at the moment is in a position where their promising stars can aspire to play at a World Cup.

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At present that is not the case after the ICC decided to omit the associate countries from the 2015 tournament.

An ICC chief executives' committee is due to discuss the prospect of over-ruling that decision next month, with Irish officials hopeful a qualification system could be introduced to allow the associates to earn their place.

"We showed in the second game with the way we came back that we have it in us," he said. "We know that's what we have inside us and we just have to do that every day."


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