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Cricket World Cup: Ireland team guide

Ireland celebrate beating Pakistan
Ireland's victory against Pakistan was overshadowed by other events in 2007

Outside of the 10 Test-playing nations, Ireland are by far the strongest of the Associate nations involved in the competition.

Although Eoin Morgan has switched allegiance to England, Ireland boast seven players with first-class county experience.

And the return of Ed Joyce, who returns to Ireland colours after he was given special dispensation to change his allegiance from England, will give the men in green an extra fillip in their second World Cup.

With at least three winnable matches on offer in Group B, Ireland remain the strongest of the Associate nations and the most likely to progress to the quarter-finals.

WORLD CUP RECORD

Outside of Bangladesh, Ireland have only ever beaten one Test-playing nation in a one-day international.

Unfortunately, a moment to saviour in their cricket history instantly evaporated when Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer sadly passed away just hours after his side's three-wicket Duckworth-Lewis adjusted defeat by Ireland in Jamaica at the 2007 World Cup.

That victory, in their first appearance at in the 50-over competition, propelled them into the Super Eights stage, where they beat Bangladesh but none of the six other Test-playing nations.

THE SKIPPER
William Porterfield

Captain William Porterfield is another solid left-hander who caught the eye during the 2007 World Cup - his match-winning 85 ensured Ireland beat Bangladesh as well as earning him a contract with Gloucestershire.

Although unspectacular in comparison with Joyce or Eoin Morgan, Porterfield has the canny knack of turning 50s into hundreds - he has more hundreds (five) than half-centuries (four).

His captaincy is assured and will mix up his bowling options at every available option.

KEY MAN
Ed Joyce

Ed Joyce's ambitions to play at the highest level never fully materialised when, after switching allegiances from Ireland to England, his career stalled after 17 one-day internationals.

Now back in Ireland colours five years after playing his last match for his country of birth, Joyce forms the rock for which Ireland's batting will revolve around.

A laconic left-hander in the mould of David Gower, Joyce can be destructive if he is in the mood. His extensive county experience with Middlesex and Surrey will be invaluable too.

Also keep an eye out for the big-hitting Kevin O'Brien.

PROSPECTS

The two-group format has not helped Ireland's prospects of progressing to the quarter-finals, but they will be targeting Bangladesh, Netherlands and the West Indies in Group B as winnable matches.

A place in the quarter-finals is realistic - but the likes of Joyce, the O'Brien brothers and Andrew White have the ability to turn matches with a devastating innings.

Anything more than the last eight might be wishful thinking, but Ireland are intent on turning heads and winning over the administrators for a place as the 11th Test-playing nation.

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (capt), Andre Botha, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien (wk), Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Albert van der Merwe, Gary Wilson (wk), Andrew White.



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see also
Cricket World Cup 2011 squads
19 Jan 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket


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