Porterfield impressed with improvement
Imran Khan (Digicel)
Ireland captain, William Porterfield, has credited his team’s participation in the Digicel-sponsored Jamaica Cricket Festival – which is currently taking place in Jamaica – for the improvements that his players have been exhibiting over the past few days.
With the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament just a couple of weeks away, Porterfield is grateful for the much-needed match practice after his team had gone a couple of months without any action due to adverse weather in Ireland.
“We have certainly grown stronger since we got here,” Porterfield said. “I am pleased with what I am seeing from the guys. A lot of them are getting some good runs under their belts and while it would have been nice to see some of those good starts with the bat turned into centuries and so forth, it’s important that we are all getting some time out in the middle.”
The skipper was particularly pleased with the promise being shown by young batsman Paul Stirling and 18 year-old left arm spinner George Dockrell throughout the series, and labeled the pair as bright prospects for Irish cricket.
“I think we have a few young guys who are proving that they have a role to play and that they can develop into very good players,” Porterfield stated. “We have Paul Stirling who is a young and promising batsman. With a little more technical work, I believe that he is going to be a fantastic player. He has all the shots and a lot of flair and he is a very exciting young player for us at the moment.”
“Dockrell, our young left arm spinner, has also been doing well and I think he too has a bright future in cricket,” said Porterfield.
But things aren’t exactly perfect for the Irish, and the captain is fully aware that there are a number of issues that need to be ironed out before the start of the ICC World Twenty20, which gets underway across the Caribbean from April 30th and runs until May 16th.
On the opening day Ireland face the West Indies in Group D and they have been using the Jamaica Cricket Festival – which also involves the West Indies, Canada and Jamaica – to sharpen their skills and get a closer look at the Windies.
“We were a little disappointed with the start in our first couple of games, but that was expected coming off our winter back home and having to do most of our training indoors,” Porterfield explained. “But the mood is pretty good amongst all the guys and we are excited about coming to Sabina Park to play the West Indies.”
“We just want to see some of the batsmen get more runs under their belts and get more time in the middle. You obviously play cricket to win and if we are going to target anything, it would be to perform well. If we do this, then we will be in with a chance to beat the West Indies,” Porterfield added.
Ireland and the West Indies will close out the Jamaica Cricket Festival with a One Day International on Thursday and two Twenty20s on Saturday (April 17th) and Sunday (April 18th). All matches will be played at Sabina Park in Kingston.