Ireland news February 26, 2010

Ireland target wins in Bangladesh fixtures

Cricinfo staff
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Ireland are targeting victories in their two ODIs against Bangladesh this summer - at Stormont on July 15 and 16 - as a chance to gain valuable ranking points and as an important benchmark for the side as they attempt to assert their readiness to step up to cricket's top level.

"For the last three years or so, we have targeted matches against the lower-ranked full members as the most important means of measuring our progress and determining our readiness to step up to the elite level," said Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland's chief executive.

"All our players will be aware of the perception that strong results against Test-playing countries create, and will be keen to maximise home advantage to good effect in the year that we are applying to move higher in the international firmament."

Ireland coach Phil Simmons sees the games as a chance to test his side ahead of the World Cup in 2011, where they will meet Bangladesh in the group stage at Dhaka. "It's great that we have a chance to play them on home soil," he said. "We lost to them badly in 2008 in Bangladesh but on our home turf I'd be confident of doing well.

"We have beaten them in both the 2007 World Cup and in the World Twenty20 last year, so I don't think there's much to choose from between the two teams. It's a great opportunity for us to gain valuable ranking points."