Ireland news December 18, 2009

Ireland to play T20 quadrangular in Sri Lanka

Cricinfo staff

Ireland will play a quadrangular Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka, involving Sri Lanka A, Afghanistan and Canada, as part of their preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 qualifier in the UAE in February.

Ireland will travel to Sri Lanka after the completion of their Intercontinental Cup match against Afghanistan and the four-team tournament will be held from January 31 to February 4,

"This will give the squad a good work-out ahead of the UAE leg of the tour. It'll get the players into the mindset of the shorter format of the game," Phil Simmons, the Ireland coach, said. "We still haven't played a lot of 20-over cricket, although the experience of playing in the finals in England last year will help us. There are only two places up for grabs for the finals in the West Indies, so it will be difficult for all the teams. There will be a lot of pressure games with so much at stake, but we have a lot of experience in our camp, which is so vital as we showed last year when we won the World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa."

"I and the players want to make it four in a row in terms of qualifying for the major tournaments - when you get a taste of the big time, you want more. The players are still hungry for more success, and for me there would be the added bonus of coaching Ireland in the West Indies. We did fantastically well there in 2007, as that's where we really announced ourselves on the world stage. Ireland has happy memories of the West Indies - it'd be great if we could have a few more in 2010."