ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
World Cup 2011
Porterfield backs Ireland to surprise again
February 11, 2011
England, South Africa, co-hosts India and the West Indies are favourites to qualify from Group B but captain Porterfield backs his side to spring a surprise.
"I think we have a great chance of getting out of our group," he said. "We'll be pretty well prepared come our first match group match (against Bangladesh) on 25 February."
Ireland faced a similarly unlikely task in their maiden World Cup four years ago before recording a memorable win on St Patrick's Day over Pakistan to reach the Super Eights.
Porterfield was part of that side and, on the eve of his team's first warm-up game, against New Zealand in Nagpur, believes his team can do it again.
"The top four out of seven get there [to the quarter-finals] and then there is the knockout stage where anything can happen. Obviously, we'll be looking to get used to the conditions, but we were out in India before Christmas and we've already been together a couple of weeks."
Porterfield, who recently signed for Warwickshire after playing County cricket with Gloucestershire, ranks the current squad as better than the one which delivered the shock success in 2007.
Jeremy Bray and Dave Langford-Smith have retired, while star-batsman Eoin Morgan transferred his allegiance to England, but the 2011 squad includes young talents such as Paul Stirling and George Dockrell and is boosted by the return of Ed Joyce, who played for England in the 2007 tournament.
13 of the 15-man squad are professional players, significantly more than the largely amateur squad of 2007. Seven have county deals and while six more are contracted by Cricket Ireland, meaning only Nigel Jones and Andrew White hold day jobs.
"That has been a big strength of the last couple of years," added Porterfield. "We have been able to improve our games by playing day in, day out. The professional set-up is where we've really moved on. We have got players who can fit any occasion we come up against and I think we have a well-balanced squad going into this tournament."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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