Dubai, 20 August (IANS) Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie has said there is always pressure to play or lead Ireland, especially in an ICC event. The T20 World Cup in Oman and the UAE in October-November will be the 30-year-old’s first major event since taken over as skipper for Ireland in white ball formats since 2020.
“Whether you play or lead, there will always be pressure. Captain – this is the first time I’m turning it into an ICC event, so I’m very excited about it and excited to see how the guys adapt to it, “Balbirnie said in an interaction with the ICC.
“Pride is also, it is not every day that you get to lead your team into a World Cup. We have a lot of cricket to play in advance, but I think that once we are on the plane on the way out, it will definitely sink in that we are going to do something very special, ”Balbirnie added.
Balbirnie made his international debut in 2010, shortly after leading Ireland in the U-19 World Cup. But it was only from the World Cup in cricket 2015 onwards that he established himself on the senior team.
He took part in all six matches of Ireland’s World Cup campaign, scoring 236 races with two half-centuries averaging 39.33.
“The 2015 World Cup was probably the first time I joined the Irish team as a fixture. Going to a place like Australia and having family and friends there was probably still the highlight of my career or one of the highlights. ”
He feels that the young people in the current group will enjoy the experience of participating in the T20 World Cup.
“Being able to go to another T20 World Cup, albeit a delayed World Cup, is very exciting for the group. There are a lot of players who have not experienced it, so I know they are excited. Hopefully we can produce some pretty good cricket and first and foremost get out of our group. ”
Ireland are placed in a strong group in the first round along with 2014 champions Sri Lanka, the Netherlands and Namibia. Two teams from both groups advance to the Super 12 phase.
Balbirnie recognize that Ireland will have to put their best foot forward in every match. But he is excited about the match against the Netherlands, who defeated them 2-1 in the ODIs in June.
“From a neutral (perspective), the Dutch game is a big game. We play them a lot. They beat us recently in a 50-over series and they are a team we know pretty well. Of course, Sri Lanka will probably go in as favorites, but we have to make good performances against all three teams and we will have to be the best to get out of that group. ”
“In my opinion, it’s probably the tougher group, but hopefully our guys can take the opportunity and get out of the group. I think Holland is a game we will definitely target as potentially the biggest game for us in that group, ”Balbirnie concluded.
Ireland open their campaign against the Netherlands on 18 October in Abu Dhabi.
nr / akm