Afghanistan v Ireland, World T20 Qualifier final, Dubai March 24, 2012

Stirling whirlwind takes Ireland to title

Ger Siggins
34

Ireland 156 for 5 (Stirling 79, Wilson 32) beat Afghanistan 152 for 7 (Shahzad 77, O'Brien 2-18) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ireland and Afghanistan served up a blistering classic in the final of the World Twenty20 Qualifier in Dubai, putting to rest any fears that the game would be an anti-climax after both teams had already sealed their spot in the World Twenty20 to be held later this year.

The game was adorned by brilliant innings from two pugnacious batsmen, Mohammad Shahzad and Paul Stirling. Shahzad cut loose at the bowling, crashing 77 off 57 balls as he finally found a way to overcome Ireland's grip. Shahzad, the match-winner in this event two years ago, with an unbeaten 65 then, infuriated the Irish attack who responded with long hops that he deposited over the ropes.

Boyd Rankin's first ball was hit for six by Karim Sadiq, but Rankin responded with an angry spell, dismissing Sadiq, who was bowled after the ball crashed into his helmet and rolled onto the stumps. Trent Johnston also got some early stick but had the other opener Javed Ahmadi held at third man.

The middle-order batsmen missed their way, but Shahzad ensured a platform which Gulbodin Naib* built on with two sixes off the last two balls.

Dawlat Zadran bowled William Porterfield first ball, but that had reassuring echoes of the win over England in Bangalore and Irish fans saw it as an omen. Ed Joyce played some gorgeous shots before he chipped to midwicket.

Stirling continued to flay the ball to all parts, making the second-fastest half-century in Twenty20 internationals, off just 17 balls, only behind Yuvraj Singh's 12 balls of mayhem against England in 2007. His 357 runs, at an average of 44.62, was the best of the tournament. He played some audacious shots, notably a front-front hit for six over third man. Ireland had a couple more hiccups, when Kevin O'Brien was out the ball following Stirling's dismissal. Wilson fell for 32 with three runs needed, but Andrew Poynter kept his head and the trophy was secured with seven balls to spare.

Qualifying for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka was the main aim for Ireland here, but with the ICC offices less than 200 metres away, they took the opportunity to show how far they are ahead of their fellow Associates, against whom they have won 30 out of their last 33 games, two of the defeats by four runs. Ireland will be grouped with Australia and West Indies in the World Twenty20 in September.

Ireland are perhaps too strong at their current level but what the ICC needs to be convinced of is if they can compete at the top tier. The recently-articulated ambition of playing Tests can only be achieved with regular wins over Full members.

This campaign started with defeat to seventh-ranked Namibia, but Ireland often start slowly. Needing to win nine games in a row to qualify, they achieved their goal with little drama barring one tight game against Italy.

The campaign needed near-perfect marshalling of resources, with their leading T20 batsman Niall O'Brien suspended beforehand, and allrounders Alex Cusack and John Mooney invalided out.

That meant fringe players needed to step up, and Phil Simmons can have no complaints on that score. Gary Wilson had a brilliant run with the bat and kept wickets tidily, but it was the array of bowling talent that ensured Ireland's passage, even with the loss of Cusack and Mooney.

Johnston and Rankin could always be relied upon to make an early breakthrough, five times taking a first-over wicket. Rankin has improved since joining the England set-up and there are real concerns that he might win a national call-up there. Johnston has spent much of the past year nursing his knee, and the eventual operation left him on crutches for the winter. But he improved as the event progressed and his match-winning dismissal of the two top Namibians yesterday crowned his tournament, likely to be his last at Associate level.

But before that, he has one last hit at the big boys, and will relish taking on the land of his birth (Australia).

*March 24, 2012, 21:30 GMT - The report earlier mentioned that Nabi had hit the sixes. It has been corrected.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • johnathonjosephs on March 26, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    Afghanistan really missing out on Hamid Hasan

  • on March 26, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    yes . these teams needs more chances to prove themselves..they are playing only ICC touranaments . icc need give them more matches with test sides

  • Meety on March 26, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    I've said it before, I think the ICC have done well in recent years to improve the quality/clarity of the pathway for non-test nations. I think they learned a bit from Kenya withering on the vine, & Bangladesh being too ripe when coming into the test arena. Surely, for the time being at least, Ireland AND Afghanistan, should be included in the FTP, whereby they get at least 10 games a year against top tier nations? I know that the ICC would probably be a little cautious as it has taken some time for Bangladesh to bear any fruit. However, if you think about it, Bangladesh making the finals only 12 years after test status is not a bad development. Most nations have taken a lot longer to get competitive than that. 12 years is barely even ONE cricket generation. I am pro-test status for Ireland & am close to the same for Aghans. I would have their schedules lined up with the lower performing nations with no 3+ test series, just one offs or against Zim & Banga, 2-test series @ home.

  • Meety on March 26, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    Was going for PNG, but this was the most likely scenario. What really gets up my nose, is that we have a rankings system which places Ireland in T20s ABOVE WIndies & Zimbabwe in 8th place, yet they are not one of the automatic qualifiers. This is plain dumb, why have T20 rankings if they don't line up with qualification for the World Cup? Even Afghanistan as an Affiliate is ranked above Zimbabwe. Not wanting to knock Zimbabwe, we all now the upheavals they have gone thru, but they honestly do not deserve pre-qualifying ahead of Afghanistan & Ireland. The T20 W/Cup qualifications should of had 12 pre-qualified teams & then this tournament would pick the next two best. For the T20 w/cup, my 2nd side I'll be going for is Afghanistan. == == == As for test status for Ireland, I think they are currently better equipped to perform at test level than Bangladesh were 12 yrs ago. Whether that is good enough, dunno. I think they currently would be more consistant than the Bangas were.

  • on March 25, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    Congratulations to Ireland and Afghanistan, two very worthy finalists and qualifiers! They both need only to do what they've already been doing and better things will just keep on coming. Yes progress is very slow but a cricketing culture (and success on the field) cannot simply be implanted, it must be grown, steadily but surely. The continued improvement is there to see, keep it going! On another note i was very pleased to see such a strong Namibian performance, particularly encouraging was that it came from younger players. You could only put this down to their inclusion in the South African domestic competitions, an inclusion which must be applauded and continued. I see them drawing level with Afghanistan and Ireland in the near future. Not much to say about the other teams other than that Kenya seems to have a couple of bright youngsters amongst them and i hope they find a few more, African cricket has quite a bright future, i'd reckon.. cheers

  • JG2704 on March 25, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    Indeed , congratulations to both sides

  • crackers134 on March 25, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Ireland and Afghanistan need to be playing more higher level cricket over all 3 forms of the game. Including Test matches. Now. What is there to lose? They will be better than South Africa and West Indies of the 1930's, Sri Lanka of the early 1980's and Bangladesh of the 2000's. And so what if they aren't?? Grow the game ICC, it's not all about Indian money!!

  • on March 25, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Watch Out Test Playing Nations, Ireland & Afghanistan will give a run for your money in the forthcoming T20 WC.

  • LiamF on March 25, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Congrats to Ireland on winning, I'm Australian but I've been following their fortunes since 2006 (like a lot others I guess) and really hope they are the next Test nation one day. Also congrats to Afghanistan for qualifying once again, was a very entertaining match and they complete deserve another WC chance. A couple of points, Alam's send off of Wilson rather out of line. And I'm glad van Schoor won that award and had a chance to vent his dissapointment at not making the WC in front of the ICC personel. The ICC should be ashamed for reducing the World Cup to 12 teams. Also, I was watching on ESPNStar, do any Irish fans out there know who that lovely blonde girl in crowd they kept focussing on is?!

  • cricket2011 on March 25, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    Thanks for ESPN to watch the game in Online. I am really happy to see the game especially the batting of PAUL STIRLING (NEXT SACHIN TENDULKAR). His shots are classic. If Eoin Morgan plays for IRELAND, IRELAND BECOME 7th or 8th Ranking in International Cricket. Also I congratulate AFGHANISTAN, They are specials. They have cricket blood. Soon they will beat almost all Test Nations. I have request to ICC, please allow them to play with TEST nations.

  • johnathonjosephs on March 26, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    Afghanistan really missing out on Hamid Hasan

  • on March 26, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    yes . these teams needs more chances to prove themselves..they are playing only ICC touranaments . icc need give them more matches with test sides

  • Meety on March 26, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    I've said it before, I think the ICC have done well in recent years to improve the quality/clarity of the pathway for non-test nations. I think they learned a bit from Kenya withering on the vine, & Bangladesh being too ripe when coming into the test arena. Surely, for the time being at least, Ireland AND Afghanistan, should be included in the FTP, whereby they get at least 10 games a year against top tier nations? I know that the ICC would probably be a little cautious as it has taken some time for Bangladesh to bear any fruit. However, if you think about it, Bangladesh making the finals only 12 years after test status is not a bad development. Most nations have taken a lot longer to get competitive than that. 12 years is barely even ONE cricket generation. I am pro-test status for Ireland & am close to the same for Aghans. I would have their schedules lined up with the lower performing nations with no 3+ test series, just one offs or against Zim & Banga, 2-test series @ home.

  • Meety on March 26, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    Was going for PNG, but this was the most likely scenario. What really gets up my nose, is that we have a rankings system which places Ireland in T20s ABOVE WIndies & Zimbabwe in 8th place, yet they are not one of the automatic qualifiers. This is plain dumb, why have T20 rankings if they don't line up with qualification for the World Cup? Even Afghanistan as an Affiliate is ranked above Zimbabwe. Not wanting to knock Zimbabwe, we all now the upheavals they have gone thru, but they honestly do not deserve pre-qualifying ahead of Afghanistan & Ireland. The T20 W/Cup qualifications should of had 12 pre-qualified teams & then this tournament would pick the next two best. For the T20 w/cup, my 2nd side I'll be going for is Afghanistan. == == == As for test status for Ireland, I think they are currently better equipped to perform at test level than Bangladesh were 12 yrs ago. Whether that is good enough, dunno. I think they currently would be more consistant than the Bangas were.

  • on March 25, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    Congratulations to Ireland and Afghanistan, two very worthy finalists and qualifiers! They both need only to do what they've already been doing and better things will just keep on coming. Yes progress is very slow but a cricketing culture (and success on the field) cannot simply be implanted, it must be grown, steadily but surely. The continued improvement is there to see, keep it going! On another note i was very pleased to see such a strong Namibian performance, particularly encouraging was that it came from younger players. You could only put this down to their inclusion in the South African domestic competitions, an inclusion which must be applauded and continued. I see them drawing level with Afghanistan and Ireland in the near future. Not much to say about the other teams other than that Kenya seems to have a couple of bright youngsters amongst them and i hope they find a few more, African cricket has quite a bright future, i'd reckon.. cheers

  • JG2704 on March 25, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    Indeed , congratulations to both sides

  • crackers134 on March 25, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Ireland and Afghanistan need to be playing more higher level cricket over all 3 forms of the game. Including Test matches. Now. What is there to lose? They will be better than South Africa and West Indies of the 1930's, Sri Lanka of the early 1980's and Bangladesh of the 2000's. And so what if they aren't?? Grow the game ICC, it's not all about Indian money!!

  • on March 25, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Watch Out Test Playing Nations, Ireland & Afghanistan will give a run for your money in the forthcoming T20 WC.

  • LiamF on March 25, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Congrats to Ireland on winning, I'm Australian but I've been following their fortunes since 2006 (like a lot others I guess) and really hope they are the next Test nation one day. Also congrats to Afghanistan for qualifying once again, was a very entertaining match and they complete deserve another WC chance. A couple of points, Alam's send off of Wilson rather out of line. And I'm glad van Schoor won that award and had a chance to vent his dissapointment at not making the WC in front of the ICC personel. The ICC should be ashamed for reducing the World Cup to 12 teams. Also, I was watching on ESPNStar, do any Irish fans out there know who that lovely blonde girl in crowd they kept focussing on is?!

  • cricket2011 on March 25, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    Thanks for ESPN to watch the game in Online. I am really happy to see the game especially the batting of PAUL STIRLING (NEXT SACHIN TENDULKAR). His shots are classic. If Eoin Morgan plays for IRELAND, IRELAND BECOME 7th or 8th Ranking in International Cricket. Also I congratulate AFGHANISTAN, They are specials. They have cricket blood. Soon they will beat almost all Test Nations. I have request to ICC, please allow them to play with TEST nations.

  • RankPace on March 25, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    Good. So now we have Afghanistan and Ireland in the T20 world cup. Both are exciting teams. They will not make it easy for thier opponents.

  • on March 25, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    Who will be the Tiger of Afghanistan Dawlat Zadran Or Hamid Hassin , give you idea about this two player, this is the survey of this to Tiger .

  • RandyOZ on March 25, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    Well done to both teams. Looking forward to seeing how they stack up in the world T20.

  • Ajayvs on March 25, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    Saw the match on ESPN3, i must say the match was of pretty good quality. I'm a fan of Ahmed Shazad after seeing the match, i must say he is quite a charecter. Guys like Paul stirling, Boyd Rankin, Daulat Zardan etc are of very good quality. Watch out other teams playing in SrinLanka, it might not be a cake walk for you..

  • sifatulfat on March 25, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    very upset time for afghanistan they start the batting very well and specialy shehzad mohamadiiiiiiiiiii bat extremley well the ICC bring very wicked umpairs that they dont know by LBW or Run out ICC must bring Simon Taufel and Steve Smith wich were available in Afg VS Nimebia . Afghanistan start the firt over very etrimley and got the first ball wicket and then Nowoz mangal bring Mirwais Ashraf the captain must bring the fast bowlers bets luck in the future for Afghanistan in Srilanka we will fight with India and England.

  • avirup011 on March 25, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Congratulations Ireland.. They should play test cricket if not, then there should 1 or 2 odi series against test teams for top 4 associates. Stirling is big talent; Sachin of Ireland. Ipl franchises asked for 5 foreigners and bcci can make a rule to play 4+1 overseas players rule where 1 should be from associates; That will help them and cricket can grow in their countries; which indeed make the brand IPL big and more popular in worldwide. BCCI PLZ THINK..

  • AfghanIdeal on March 25, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    Good to see Ireland and Afghanistan qualified for world cup....I hope that they will give tough time to other teams...

    Someone cant believe that AFGHANISTAN is at NO.8 in World T20 Ranking.......Go AFGHANISTAN Goooo...

  • Perdes on March 25, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    Ireland deserved this victory because they were at their best in all three domains: bowling, fielding, and batting. They didn't miss half a chance. They took all catches and restricted several boundaries with their amazing fielding. A note for Afghanistan: please work out on the fielding, kick out Karim Sadeq (Tawakal Shah) and Mirwais Ashraf (100% out of form), and give chances to Shabir Noori, Noor Ali, and some other youths. Afghanistan could have easily won this title if they had taken the catches and restricted boundaries. A Question to Nawroz Mangal: Who told you to bring Mirwais Ashraf to open the bowling attack?

  • on March 25, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    Stirling is definitely a man to watch out for. The way he has played in this tournament is beyond words. The way he devastated the bowlers against the important match against Canada was amazing. Now after this knock against Afghanistan he has proved himself even better.

  • on March 25, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    Well, though Afghanistan had lost their 3 senior players in Hamid Hassan, Shapoor Zadran and Noor Ali, but the young players played a wonderful cricket in this tournament and the goal of qualifying World T20 has been achieved. Dawlat Zadran is another outstanding unearthed talent in Afghanistan and had Hamid and Shapoor played with him in this tournament, the result would have been completely different. But anyway congratss to Ireland, they are a great team. The two best team made it the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

  • on March 25, 2012, 1:28 GMT

    Mohamad Shahzad, Paul Stirling, Kevin O'Brien. Virender Sehwag, Jesse Ryder, and Lucas should re-assure Samit Patel that the media is making too much fuss about apparent fitness 9read: physical girth) as an issue. What they can deliver is what matters.

  • on March 25, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    Stirling will be a sterling import for England. That is what I will call "geographical diversification" of imports. Now, there is excessive sourcing from just one country -- South Africa. Anyway, England had tried out imports from Ireland in the past too. Ed Joyce who played for Ireland yesterday, himself was imported and exported back by England only recently.

  • on March 25, 2012, 1:12 GMT

    this is the 1st defeat for afghanistan in icc world t20 qualifier.all the best to both the teams.

  • on March 24, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    Well done boys ... I hope its not the last time we will see Rankin and Stirling in Ireland's green but I am worried that the lure of the 3 Lions might be too much ....

    Afghanistan are what we thought they were - very talented and under appreciated - well done to them.

    And Namibia - fantastic performance. I hope you get more international fixtures - your consistent performance in this tournament is worthy of more exposure.

  • on March 24, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    I am Indian and Love watching Irish Players play!!! Particularly Paul Stirling, Kevin O'Brien, George Dockrell!!! Well, in addition, They have technically correct players like William Porterfield, Niall O'Brien and A Sportive One such as Trent Jhonston!!! Come to Bowling, They have got Boyd Ranking in addition to Allrounders such as Alex Cusack and Wicket Keeper Batsman, Gary Wilson!!! I hope and Wish Ireland Goes into Super8's by beating Aus or WI

  • on March 24, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    By Oppressing Talented sides from being competing with the so called Top sides , ICC And other Cricket boards are trying to keep the main Income with their respective boards.I believe these sides , if provided chance to play with Top level Teams ,can overthrown the richest cricketing boards and they don't want that to happen.Also another point that only way ICC can grow the Cricket as an International sports is by promoting the These teams and Cricket in their Countries .I know ,many Team in USA and there are so many professional Cricket Teams and Professional T20 Tournaments happening in all over United states and ICC is not really taking advantage of the vast revenue sources availabe in USA , ITA , CAN , NLD etc.Other factors are people here love to hangout with a glass of Beer in Parks through out summer and since they enjoy base ball , so the transformation to cricket is fairly simple for them. And also there is a mobile company called 'Cricket' in USA A potential Sponsor for game.

  • on March 24, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    Poor Aghan! You guys lost like us in front of ur supporters! Anyway, good luck for the future!

  • funkyandy on March 24, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    BIG CONGRATS TO THE BOYS - what a final to win, a cracking game!! Both teams proved they have the tools and drive to take on any team. Mr Siggins' line on "(Ireland's) recently-articulated ambition of playing Tests can only be achieved with regular wins over Full members" is a bit off the mark. We only play a handful of matches against test opposition - and we've won a few of those!! Bangladesh, Zim, NZ and West Indies would be too scared to give us a proper series.

  • KukaSekhon on March 24, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    They are professional cricketers and should be given status to play all 3 formats. Ireland is quite good and Afghanistan is getting better by the day. Allow them to play full cricket

  • on March 24, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    Congratulations to Ireland, and commiserations to Afghanistan, I also really feel sorry for the other losing teams especially Namibia who made the tournament a very exciting event to watch and follow. I urge ICC to increase the number of teams that can qualify for a global event to at least four slots because there are more talented teams, especially in the shorter format, these days such as Namibia, Scotland, Netherlands. This will give them hope that in turn will enable them to play even better avoiding players playing with extra pressure which forces them to play with no hope; yielding mistakes. Also, the likes of Afghanistan and Ireland should be given the chance to play against test nations regularly, WHERE IS THE ICC ? I am still puzzled. WHY wasn't Afghanistan allowed to play in Asia cup? It is an embarrassment for ICC. PLEASE Mr. Lorgat and the ICC I urge you to increase the qualification slots to four (after all it is world cup). GoooO OOON AFGHANISTAN; TheRisingStars. PEACE.

  • on March 24, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    This man has come of age; Stirling... a series like this has really done a lot for him and Ireland. the past 12 days has moved him into the league of the likes of Jessie Ryder, Shewag, Kieswetter and the many T20 specialists... Looking forward to some real action in Sri Lanka.

  • mowgliworld on March 24, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    It was not Nabi who hit two 6's in last over, it was Gulbodin Naib. PLEASE BE CAREFUL and CORRECT in reporting, Mr. Gur Soggins

  • on March 24, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    i really believe that Ireland and Afghanistan deserve more chances than they get now i mean look at them they are real fighters and got loads of potential ... if they do not get matches with top sides how come they improve the level of cricket they play ?????????? cricket have no future if it does not get popular all around the world people are getting bored seen same old country's on and on ......ICC open your eyes crowds are getting smaller and smaller these days

  • frozendilemma on March 24, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    Good God what a player Stirling is...Congrats to Ireland...Congrats to Afghanistan and Congrats to Van Schoor....

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • frozendilemma on March 24, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    Good God what a player Stirling is...Congrats to Ireland...Congrats to Afghanistan and Congrats to Van Schoor....

  • on March 24, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    i really believe that Ireland and Afghanistan deserve more chances than they get now i mean look at them they are real fighters and got loads of potential ... if they do not get matches with top sides how come they improve the level of cricket they play ?????????? cricket have no future if it does not get popular all around the world people are getting bored seen same old country's on and on ......ICC open your eyes crowds are getting smaller and smaller these days

  • mowgliworld on March 24, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    It was not Nabi who hit two 6's in last over, it was Gulbodin Naib. PLEASE BE CAREFUL and CORRECT in reporting, Mr. Gur Soggins

  • on March 24, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    This man has come of age; Stirling... a series like this has really done a lot for him and Ireland. the past 12 days has moved him into the league of the likes of Jessie Ryder, Shewag, Kieswetter and the many T20 specialists... Looking forward to some real action in Sri Lanka.

  • on March 24, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    Congratulations to Ireland, and commiserations to Afghanistan, I also really feel sorry for the other losing teams especially Namibia who made the tournament a very exciting event to watch and follow. I urge ICC to increase the number of teams that can qualify for a global event to at least four slots because there are more talented teams, especially in the shorter format, these days such as Namibia, Scotland, Netherlands. This will give them hope that in turn will enable them to play even better avoiding players playing with extra pressure which forces them to play with no hope; yielding mistakes. Also, the likes of Afghanistan and Ireland should be given the chance to play against test nations regularly, WHERE IS THE ICC ? I am still puzzled. WHY wasn't Afghanistan allowed to play in Asia cup? It is an embarrassment for ICC. PLEASE Mr. Lorgat and the ICC I urge you to increase the qualification slots to four (after all it is world cup). GoooO OOON AFGHANISTAN; TheRisingStars. PEACE.

  • KukaSekhon on March 24, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    They are professional cricketers and should be given status to play all 3 formats. Ireland is quite good and Afghanistan is getting better by the day. Allow them to play full cricket

  • funkyandy on March 24, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    BIG CONGRATS TO THE BOYS - what a final to win, a cracking game!! Both teams proved they have the tools and drive to take on any team. Mr Siggins' line on "(Ireland's) recently-articulated ambition of playing Tests can only be achieved with regular wins over Full members" is a bit off the mark. We only play a handful of matches against test opposition - and we've won a few of those!! Bangladesh, Zim, NZ and West Indies would be too scared to give us a proper series.

  • on March 24, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    Poor Aghan! You guys lost like us in front of ur supporters! Anyway, good luck for the future!

  • on March 24, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    By Oppressing Talented sides from being competing with the so called Top sides , ICC And other Cricket boards are trying to keep the main Income with their respective boards.I believe these sides , if provided chance to play with Top level Teams ,can overthrown the richest cricketing boards and they don't want that to happen.Also another point that only way ICC can grow the Cricket as an International sports is by promoting the These teams and Cricket in their Countries .I know ,many Team in USA and there are so many professional Cricket Teams and Professional T20 Tournaments happening in all over United states and ICC is not really taking advantage of the vast revenue sources availabe in USA , ITA , CAN , NLD etc.Other factors are people here love to hangout with a glass of Beer in Parks through out summer and since they enjoy base ball , so the transformation to cricket is fairly simple for them. And also there is a mobile company called 'Cricket' in USA A potential Sponsor for game.

  • on March 24, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    I am Indian and Love watching Irish Players play!!! Particularly Paul Stirling, Kevin O'Brien, George Dockrell!!! Well, in addition, They have technically correct players like William Porterfield, Niall O'Brien and A Sportive One such as Trent Jhonston!!! Come to Bowling, They have got Boyd Ranking in addition to Allrounders such as Alex Cusack and Wicket Keeper Batsman, Gary Wilson!!! I hope and Wish Ireland Goes into Super8's by beating Aus or WI