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Schoolboy memories inspire Dockrell

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Ireland cricket

Ireland cricket

Ireland cricket

George Dockrell was an awestruck schoolboy when Ireland competed at their first World Cup, but now the spinner is ready to play a leading role at the tournament just four years later.

Dockrell, 18, is one of the brightest prospects in Irish cricket and his slow left-armers will be crucial to the team's prospects on the slow tracks of Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

"In 2007 I was 14 years old and I remember coming home from school to watch the games, trying to get enough time off from my schoolwork to tune in," Dockrell said."It was brilliant watching things like the St Patrick's Day win over Pakistan, I have some great memories of that game."

He will line up against Bangladesh in Ireland's Group B opener in Mirpur on Friday alongside the likes of Trent Johnston, William Porterfield and Boyd Rankin - all of whom featured in the famous victory over Pakistan that saw the Irish qualify for the knockout phases in 2007.

Dockrell added: "Those guys were big heroes of mine and I would never have thought I would be playing alongside them at the next World Cup.

"They were definite idols of mine with what they were doing - flying the flag for Ireland at a World Cup. Now that's something I want to do and I hope we can replicate what they did last time."

Dockrell, who is on the books of Somerset in the LV= County Championship, has limited match experience of the sub-continent but has twice visited India for training camps and is eager to make his mark.

He acknowledges that much of the expectation on tracks like Friday's at the Shere Bangla National Stadium will be placed on his shoulders as the side's premier slow bowler and is eager to embrace that.

"It's going to be tough for pace bowlers on these wickets, they don't offer too much so the spinners are going to be important," he said. "A lot of games here I will be getting my full 10 overs but I don't see that as a burden, it's more of an opportunity.

"I look forward to getting the chance to play a big part in the big games. I relish the challenge of being a main bowler for us and putting in some good performances."

PA