Ireland Women set to begin World Cup Qualifier campaign tomorrow; Laura Delany interview
HARARE, Zimbabwe – On the eve of Ireland Women’s opening match in the ICC Women’s World Cup Global Qualifier, captain Laura Delany talks about the build-up, state of the squad, and her last message to the team ahead of competitive action.
Delany, 28, has been Irish captain since 2016 and recently played her 150th match for Ireland. Her country’s longest-serving captain, the Dublin-born all-rounder was recently named by the ICC as the International Women’s Player of the Month for October for her leadership and performances with bat and ball in last month’s 3-1 series win over Zimbabwe.
Speaking after training at Sunrise Sports Club today, Delany said:
“The Thailand warm-up game was used as a settling in practice match – we batted eleven, but gave all of our bowlers a run through and all 15 players in the squad had an opportunity to field and begin to re-acclimatise to conditions. It gave particularly our bowlers the opportunity to increase their workloads, so while the result wasn’t what we wanted, it wasn’t the focus for us that day – it was more about getting our processes right and giving everyone an opportunity early on.”
“The second game was a really good game against Pakistan – we would have liked 20-30 more runs. We dropped a few chances early on, but our bowlers bowled really well and attacked the stumps. The main thing was that it was an intensely competitive game, which is just what we were looking for ahead of our first game against West Indies tomorrow.”
“My message for the squad is that this is a brilliant opportunity for us to show the world what we can do. We had a great series against Zimbabwe last month, and had some great performances in a few T20 series in the summer. We will be coming up against a few sides we haven’t played in a long time, but for the younger players it will be their first time up against the likes of West Indies and Sri Lanka. The players just need to focus on their processes and make sure we deliver on the field what we have been working on in training – then, if we do, the outcome will take care of itself. Enjoy it, focus on processes and work together as a team – if we do that, we can pull off a few results.”
“It goes without saying that we are going to play our strongest batting and bowling line-up in every game – however, the personnel may change from match-to-match depending on who we are playing against and the wickets we’ll play on.”
All fixtures in the Qualifier tournament will be livestreamed through www.icc.tv.
The ICC Women’s World Cup Global Qualifier
Ireland Women’s squad
Laura Delany (captain), Georgina Dempsey, Amy Hunter, Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Louise Little, Sophie MacMahon, Jane Maguire, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Eimear Richardson, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron. Head coach: Ed Joyce.
In addition, as part of Covid-19 protocols, the following players have been named as reserves:
• Travelling reserve: Sarah Forbes
• Non-travelling reserves: Alana Dalzell and Kate McEvoy
The schedule was recently announced for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Global Qualifier, with an official warm-up match against Pakistan. In addition, Cricket Ireland has arranged a further warm-up match against Thailand.
For the tournament proper, nine teams will compete for three places at the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup, set to be held in New Zealand (the tenth team, Papua New Guinea, withdrew this week and will not be replaced in the draw).
The Qualifier groups are:
• Group A: West Indies, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands
• Group B: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Zimbabwe, USA
As a consequence of the Papua New Guinea withdrawal, the playing schedule has been amended from previous advice. Ireland Women’s playing schedule is:
• 16 November: Ireland Women v Thailand Women (warm-up match, Old Georgians Sports Club; start 9.30am)
• 19 November: Ireland Women v Pakistan Women (warm-up match, Harare Sports Club; start 9.30am)
• 23 November: Ireland Women v West Indies Women (World Cup Qualifier Match 1, Old Hararians Sports Club; start 9.30am)
• 25 November: Ireland Women v Netherlands Women (World Cup Qualifier Match 2, Old Hararians Sports Club; start 9.30am)
• 29 November: Ireland Women v Sri Lanka Women (World Cup Qualifier Match 3, Sunrise Cricket Club; start 9.30am)
* All times referenced are local to Zimbabwe
The top three teams from each group go to the Super 6 stage, with group stage points carrying over to the next phase. From there, the top three after the Super 6 stage will qualify for the Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 being held in New Zealand next year, along with the hosts, Australia, England, South Africa and India, who have directly qualified for the event.
As a bonus, the top five teams will also qualify for the next edition of the ICC Women’s Championship, which is expanding from eight teams to 10.
The ICC will livestream the matches on ICC.tv, as well as livescoring and providing a range of digital content.
If successful, this will be the first time that Ireland Women have played in a 50-over Cricket World Cup since 2005.