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News

T20 World Cup exit prompts 'serious questions' of Ireland's operations

Review will focus on the quality of preparation, selection policies, coaching structures and the quality of the facilities available in Ireland

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
29-Oct-2021
Ireland were the only full member team to be eliminated at the first-round of the World Cup  •  ICC via Getty

Ireland were the only full member team to be eliminated at the first-round of the World Cup  •  ICC via Getty

Ireland's early exit from the men's T20 World Cup has prompted their board to ask "serious questions of our operations" at the launch of a post-mortem into their struggles in the tournament.
After thrashing Netherlands in their opening game of the initial group stage, Ireland were heavily beaten by Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi and then threw away a bright start to go down to Namibia in Sharjah, missing out on the Super 12s as a result.
Andy Balbirnie, their captain, insisted after the Namibia defeat that Ireland were "moving in the right direction" and highlighted the youth of their squad but, as the only full-member nation eliminated at the first-round of the World Cup, questions have been asked about the roles of several key figures in their set-up.
Cricket Ireland's board held a meeting on Wednesday and has launched a review into the team's performance, which will focus on the quality of preparation before the tournament, selection policies, coaching structures and the quality of the facilities available in Ireland.
The training facilities will come under particular scrutiny. Ireland's players have been unable to use the turf pitches at the national high performance centre in 2019 due to their poor quality, and while they are due to be in use by mid-summer, players have been left to rely on club facilities around the country in order to train.
"The board of Cricket Ireland - in line with what could be reasonably described as the general mood of the Irish cricket community - expressed our disappointment at the timing and nature of the World Cup exit last Friday," Ross McCollum, the board's chair said.
"Whilst there were no doubts expressed about the attitude, commitment and hard work of players, coaching staff and administrators, the board has directed that the normal planned post-event review should happen as quickly as possible and include all elements pertaining to tournament preparation and performance - such as event performance and cricket operations supporting the international set-up - and, where appropriate, take any remedial action.
"What happened last week… has given us the pretext to step back at this point in time to ask serious questions of our operations ahead of a very busy few years. With the next round of World Cup Super League matches coming up in January, and the qualifying tournament for the next Men's T20 World Cup scheduled for February, we believe that the review should be conducted swiftly without compromising rigour.
"The board has always been very supportive of the men's senior international squad, and has often prioritised their resources to support their progression. However, the review will look into how effectively and efficiently those resources are being used, as well as ensuring Cricket Ireland has in place - or will put into place - the appropriate structural and support programmes to enable our international teams to succeed on the world stage over coming years."

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98