BRACEWELL FACES KIWIS
Ireland boss comes up against his native New Zealand in Tri-Series
DUBLIN in two years and their prospects will be enhanced if they can win one of their games against the fourth-ranked Kiwis and both encounters against Ireland.
That scenario would actually promote them to sixth in the ODI standings — the top eight at the end of September this year qualify for England 2019.
The Tigers have already enjoyed match action in Ireland with a facile 199-run victory against a second-string Ireland Wolves XI in Belfast on Wednesday, with Sabbir Rahman retiring after reaching a century and Tamim Iqbal hitting 86 in a huge total of 394 for seven.
While Bangladesh, who have already had a week’s training camp in England, have their full Champions Trophy squad in Ireland, the New Zealanders have no fewer than seven players unavailable because of Indian Premier League commitments.
The squad is captained, for the first time, by Tom Latham and two uncapped players are included, Central Districts fast bowler Seth Rance and Northern Districts all-rounder Scott Kuggeleijn.
Neil Wagner is set to play his first ODI, five years after his international debut, while also brought into the one-day squad are fast bowler Hamish Bennett, batsmen Henry Nicholls and Colin Munro and all-rounder George Worker.
“I have worked hard the last few times on consistency and skills and change-ups and a few different deliveries,” Wagner told the ESPN Cricinfo website.
New Zealand still have plenty of experience in their squad with Ross Taylor and Luke Ronchi plus proven performers in Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodi.
Ireland, now on the verge of Test status, have had an underwhelming two years since Bracewell took over as coach and they were beaten 2-0 by England last week.
But the squad will be desperate to prove that their performance at Lord’s, when they scored 243 on Sunday, is a better reflection of their standing than their firstever ODI in England when they were shot out for just 126 in Bristol last Friday.
Ireland have in-form batsmen in Paul Stirling and captain William Porterfield but bowling again looks to be their Achilles heel. AFP over the next eight years under the changes, with more flowing to minor Test nations and associate members like Ireland and Afghanistan.
India resisted naming their Champions Trophy squad in protest, missing a key deadline and threatening to pull out of the tournament in England, but relented and named a side this week.
The new financial plan and governance structure will be ratified at the ICC’s annual conference in June. AFP
Ireland meet Bangladesh in the opener of the Tri-Series at Malahide, Dublin, today.