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Cricket World Cup: Andrew White column

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Tournament dates: 19 February-2 April Venues: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Coverage: Highlights on BBC TV (see listings), Red Button & BBC Sport website at 2200 GMT every day (UK users only); Live Test Match Special commentary (BBC 5 live sports extra, online, some games also on BBC Radio 4 LW) and live text commentary on England matches and selected others; Live on Sky Sports

Andrew White celebrates run out
White celebrates running out Raqibul Hasan but Bangladesh win by 27 runs

By Andrew White
Ireland all-rounder

What an occasion, what an atmosphere but ultimately what a disappointment.

Unfortunately, the latter of these is the overriding emotion after our opening fixture of the World Cup against Bangladesh.

We knew that the game was going to be well supported by the locals not only because of the demand for tickets by those on the streets but from every knock on our bedroom door by the hotel staff.

Tickets were like gold dust and us players had the best seat in the house. Bangladesh fans support their team in the most passionate and vocal manner, the like I have never seen before at a sporting fixture.

We went into the game full of confidence because of our thorough preparation and because of positive results against Bangladesh in past ICC events.

They are a team which tries to kill off the opposition with a plethora of spin bowling and in their own backyard, in Dhaka, are a major threat to any team in the world.

Bangladesh cricket team celebrate

Co-hosts Bangladesh edge past Ireland

Tamim Iqbal burst out of the blocks, belligerently hitting 44 off 43 balls, and with the score at 50 for no wicket after five overs we were staring down the barrel.

However, as has so often been the case with recent Irish sides, we came back into the game through excellent bowling and fielding (an area where we want to be among the best three sides in the competition).

George Dockrell, who at merely 18 years old has already over 30 appearances for Ireland, gave a performance that belied his years. He's a young man with a great temperament for the big occasion and deserving of the plaudits he receives.

The target of 206 that we were set for victory was something we were pleased with and provided us with a huge opportunity to get our tournament off to the perfect start.

It wasn't to be as we lost wickets at regular intervals, eventually falling some 27 runs short, but the scenes that followed were simply incredible and had to be seen to be believed.

Hundreds of thousands of people came out of their homes and on to the streets of Dhaka to celebrate. Our coach journey crawled through the streets as police tried to keep them at bay.

They were climbing lamp posts, sitting on barbed-wire fences, standing on the roofs of cars and buses and some not fussed about getting a baton around the kneecaps by the police. Pure joy was evident!

Throughout my 12-year Ireland career there have been many ups and downs but to lose a game we could, and should, have won ranks as one of the hardest defeats to take.

The magnitude of the defeat is, of course, increased tenfold with it being a World Cup. There is enough experience in this squad to know exactly where we went wrong and it's now imperative that we take positives from defeat and carry them with us.

Andrew White takes catch
Ireland beat Bangladesh at the 2007 World Cup

We have just arrived in Bangalore for our next two group games, where we will be joined by a large contingent of loyal supporters, among them will be wives, girlfriends and family, who are so supportive and willingly provide an environment in which we can concentrate on trying to achieve our goals.

On Wednesday, we take on England at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and sporting tradition dictates that meetings between the two nations, no matter what the sport, are a great occasion and one where the result is taken seriously by all concerned.

We are yet to beat England despite falling just short on several occasions - two runs was the difference at Stormont in 2009 and rain prevented us from a taking advantage of a glorious opportunity at the Twenty 20 World Cup in Guyana last year.

If we play the positive brand of cricket that has been a hallmark of this side for a number of years then hopefully that will put us in a winning position, and one that this time we take full advantage of. Time will tell.

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see also
Co-hosts Bangladesh edge past Ireland
26 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Hosts Bangladesh edge past Irish
25 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Porterfield laments Irish batting
25 Feb 11 |  Cricket
World Cup guide: Ireland
14 Feb 11 |  Ireland
Cricket World Cup Ten to Tackle
16 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Ireland beat Zimbabwe in warm-up
15 Feb 11 |  Ireland
Cricket World Cup 2011 squads
19 Jan 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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