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Waqar backs Ireland in World Cup battle

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis says there should be a place for the top two Associates in the World Cup finals.

Ahead of today’s first one-day international against Ireland at Stormont (10.45am), the former Pakistan opening bowler backed worldwide opinion and called for a qualifying tournament.

“There were too many teams at the last World Cup, but it is all about consistency and Ireland competed well and since (their first World Cup in) 2007 have gone from strength to strength,” said Waqar.

“So maybe two teams (from a qualifying tournament) should be given a chance.”

Pakistan will play their strongest available side in today’s ODI although captain Misbah-ul-Haq admitted he is worried by the conditions.

He said: “We have just flown in from 35 degrees in the West Indies and that could be a problem.”

Tomorrow’s NCU fixtures: Ulster Bank Challenge Cup second round (12.00): Carrickfergus v Bangor, Instonians v Lisburn, Lurgan v Woodvale, Millpark v North Down, Muckamore v Cliftonville, Waringstown v Derriaghy.

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