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Ireland v Netherlands, Group B, World Cup 2011, Kolkata

Ireland ready for the big guys - Simmons

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 17, 2011

Comments: 9 | Text size: A | A

William Porterfield pulls to the fine leg boundary, Ireland v South Africa, Group B, World Cup, Kolkata, March 15, 2011
'Ireland are ready to take on the big guys' © Getty Images

Ireland ought to play more often against the bigger teams because they've won their respect given how they've performed in this World Cup, coach Phil Simmons has said. Ireland failed to qualify for the quarter-finals, but beat England and challenged Bangladesh, India and West Indies in the run-up to their final game of the tournament, against Netherlands on Friday in Kolkata.

"We need to play more games against big guys because they all have respect for us now," Simmons said. "We can play against big guys. We now no longer play to compete only, but to win. I think the biggest improvement is that we come looking to win the game (against bigger sides) and planning how to win the game."

The disappointing feature of Ireland's performance, Simmons said, was the fact that they didn't finish off matches despite pushing some of the top teams close. Though they overcame England in a thrilling finish, they lost narrowly to Bangladesh in Mirpur and faltered in what was shaping up to be a fighting chase against West Indies. More experience of playing against the bigger teams was the key to improvement, according to Simmons.

"It's disappointing that we put ourselves in a position to win, but could not follow up. I think it shows that we need more games at this level to get us ready against big guys." Simmons admitted his team still had a long way to go to achieve Test status, but deserved to compete more often in the limited-overs formats. "We have been asking the ICC that we need more games. We are nowhere near Tests, but we sure can play one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches."

Ireland captain William Porterfield said the team's batsmen need to step up. "In some of the games we put ourselves into winning positions. It would have been wonderful if we had a couple of wins under our belts," he said. "We need to improve on a couple of areas in our batting. We have lost wickets in clusters in some of the matches, something we can't afford to do against big teams."

Porterfield's Netherlands counterpart, Peter Borren, said the game was significant as his team is yet to register a win in the competition. "Motivation is not difficult for us because we obviously have not had a win and hope to end on a high note," he said. "Ireland has done well in the tournament and has been competitive, but if we go out there and win tomorrow, we will be making a statement."


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Posted by Cricket Fan on (March 20, 2011, 5:28 GMT)

I don't compare with Bangladesh. I say all associates are ready to play with full members. But they didn't get any chance. Ireland and Afghanistan are two teams entirely different from other Associate members. They are ready for fight with any country. Good luck Ireland.

Posted by Sumeet on (March 18, 2011, 12:57 GMT)

Totally agree with Simmons. Just thinking about Bangladesh who came into International scene in 1999 and still not recognized as a big team in this arena. But If Ireland gets this much time .. I am sure they will prove their worth in this level. Hats of to these Irish boys, and best of luch for them for their bright future.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 18, 2011, 11:41 GMT)

I fully agree with Phil Simmons, Ireland as a team has improved since the previous world cup with very limited exposure to the bigger unions. My personal feeling would be for the bigger Test playing unions to arrange through the ICC more One day game's with the A-Teams of the bigger Test playing unions. The A-Teams of the bigger unions are forever playing against each other. Why not include the Associates in some of these matches and tri series competitions. This will give the associates much more exposure against more experienced players.

Posted by Chris on (March 18, 2011, 10:47 GMT)

Hate to draw comparisons to football but maybe the ICC should formalise two leagues with promotion and relegation between league 1 and league 2. Teams in the lower league would play off against each other to qualify for all knockout competitions as they do now - sort of!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 18, 2011, 10:27 GMT)

Yes , they deserve to play against big test playing nations .... I really liked their performance in this world cup. I am watching their matches keenly . They have put very good performance. Although they didn't qualify for QF but they certainly won respect not from opponents but also from spectators also.

Posted by Senthil on (March 17, 2011, 20:41 GMT)

I think it's fair, Please give more chances to Ireland to play with ICC Full members more often not only in the World cup, we want a Competitive ODI games, I m really bored with India playing against Sri Lanka every other day and England Playing against Australia in every other day. Give this Associate teams a Fair chance with 3 Match ODI Series or 2 Associate teams with 1 Test Team every 6 month, This 3 match ODI Series and Tri Series no Harm to them nor to the Big Boys always Play against other big Boys risking their Players against Injury. ICC need to Think, Don't cut the Teams to 10 to WC, Keep it 12 but let the Associates Play with Big Boys often not only in the World Cup all of Sudden.

Posted by Ian on (March 17, 2011, 20:02 GMT)

Good luck, Ireland. I really hope to see more of you guys, hopefully in Test matches!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 17, 2011, 19:18 GMT)

The next step for Cricket Ireland would be to establish a first class setup and have them compete with English counties. Also the ICC should ensure that teams touring England also tour Ireland and play matches against them. Irish cricket has improved tremendously. They are definitely in another level as compared to the other lower ranked teams (including Bangladesh and Zimbabwe).

Posted by Roland on (March 17, 2011, 18:46 GMT)

Totally Agree with Phil Simmons.

Ireland plays good entertaining cricket and their efforts should be rewarded.

They should be admitted to play 1 day cricket at least with the "top" teams. I'm sure they will beat quite a few of them on a regular basis.

For what its worth to the Irish team and their fans.....I think you have done a fantastic job and I love your style of cricket.

I'm looking forward to seeing you play again.

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