Ian Callender: John obviously you're out of the Tournament. Is it a case of the qualifiers not lying, we're just not very good at Twnety20 Cricket anymore, or other teams have caught up with us?
John Bracewell: Well I think it's a combination of all three things to be honest. I think that given the current climate of International Cricket that's available on the World Stage, a lot of the Associate Teams are concentrating fully and only on Twenty20 Cricket. And therefore the gap, as I've said before, is narrowing quite rapidly. But I think the gap is narrowing quite rapidly on all Twenty20 Cricket.
I think that there's a good chance that somebody like Afghanistan, for example, who've got power and pace and spin, one of the emerging nations, could upset Zimbabwe today, a major nation, and go through, and could do quite well. So it's a good thing for Associate Cricket, that it is, the gap is narrowing.
Unfortunately probably it's going to get wider in the other forms of the game, given that there's no pathway through, or very little pathway through for a lot of the Associates to Full Status.
Ian Callender: And are you saying we've lost our focus in Twenty20 Cricket?
John Bracewell: No I don't think we've lost our focus at all. But we're focussing on three things with limited resources. But equally other sides are singly focussed. And there's a difference. I think our guys are absolutely devastated. I couldn't question the work ethic that they've put in. The effort that they've put in, in studying what we've got to do, and then trying to implement that. So you know they're without fault with their own personal preparation, to try and succeed at this tournament.
Ian Callender: Your selection yesterday, to leave out Craig Young, just a question of bowling experience was it? John Bracewell: Not at all. It was question of the fact that they don't have hessian under their covers. You've had 24 hours of flats sitting on it. And the wicket was cold and tacky when we started the game, and was obviously going to spin, with that. And that showed in the three overs that we bowled spin, there was spin and bounce available on that wicket. And I think we made the right choice for that shortened form of the game.
Ian Callender: But to leave Young out as opposed to Rankin or Murtagh?
John Bracewell: I think that Rankin and Murtagh are seasoned performers. And it just came down to we had 12 guys that we picked, and we decided to go with the side that we thought was the strongest on the day.
Ian Callender: Looking forward now, will some of these players have played their last Twenty20 International? Obviously it's going to be a while before our next one, are we focussing now on the year 2020
John Bracewell: Look tomorrow is an International. And it's one that some of our guys have got a few wounds about, in terms of plying The Netherlands. So they're looking forward to playing that game as a Full International, regardless of whether we're in the Tournament or not. And we have to have that attitude. Because you know beggars can't be choosers, we've got to take whatever games that we can to improve our cricket, and take them seriously. So we will pick what we think is the side that will win the match on the day.
Lisa Hardy: Disappointing to go out of the Tournament at this stage. What is the feeling in the camp today?
John Bracewell: Well it's the same as last night, devastation. And with any Associate Cricket, rain, it's rained for 150 years in Cricket. And that's stuffed up games and Tournaments, and things like that. So you know we don't hold that, and we're not looking for excuses. We haven't played well enough to get through. We know that. And that's the devastation. We haven't played to our potential, and to our skill levels. And we'll address that, as a Unit and as a Country, and try and fix that hole.
Lisa Hardy: Were you disappointed with your fielding last night?
John Bracewell: Well you're always disappointed when you miss chances. But I'm never going to criticise a side that's trying too hard. You know that then comes down to the psychological stuff, being able to get enough of those pressure situations where you don't react by over keenness. I think we were so keen, and so desperate to win last night, that it affected us to a certain extent, and we tried to get run outs that weren't on. We tried miracle stuff. Boyd Rankin, if that had have been one of the catches, it would have been one of the catches of the tournament, because no one big enough to have actually got that far. So you can't criticise that sort of thing.
All of a sudden we're playing on a wicket that bounced. Niall O'Brien is an outstanding Keeper, one of the best Keepers in this Tournament. Got a ball to bounce, caught him on the edge, unlucky, that's one of those things. You know not everything runs smoothly. But I wouldn't knock our side for trying. And they tried, probably too hard last night.
Lisa Hardy: And looking forward to tomorrow, how do you motivate the side?
John Bracewell: Well we motivate them by the fact that it's an International. It's a Full International, in the same way I'm sure that The Netherlands will. They come few and far between, between now and what 2019 perhaps, 2020, we don't even know what the landscape is going to be. But both ourselves and The Netherlands will treat it as a Full International, which it is. Separate from the competition itself, and both of us need to improve and work on our rankings.
Lisa Hardy: And so where do you go from here, where does T20 in Ireland go from here?
John Bracewell: T20 in Ireland, well we've got to fill our fixture list, and that's a beg and borrow sort of situation. It's a barter situation. In order to get people to stop over and play games against us on the way, for us to go to places to give people warm up competitions, those sorts of things. That's for the big boys in ties to negotiate, and we need to play a lot more cricket, we know that.
All Associate Teams need to play a lot more Cricket. We need to up the intensity of that Cricket. We recognise that and we want that. So it's about going to the negotiating table, and begging for matches.
Lisa Hardy: Is it almost sort of an injustice that you haven't been able to show, you know really showcase what you guys are made of?
John Bracewell: I think that's the same for all Associate Teams. That's two Tournaments now that I've been involved with with the Associates. And I felt bitterly for those who didn't qualify for this Tournament, from the qualification stage. I thought it was one of the cruellest things I've seen, because you got people who, their whole financial budget was based on qualifying. And their survival, go down almost in tears at not qualifying.
And then to come here and go through the same process. It's a very cruel system that's in place. And it's not growing the World of Cricket, it's shrinking it.
Lisa Hardy: Are there any positives you can take from this?
John Bracewell: Getting a chance to play at any competition is a positive. Being involved in any competition. Rubbing shoulders with some of the great players. Having some of the great players turn up and want to work with your team, like Chaminda Vaas. There's a massive positive for our Group.
Bangladesh are one of the Emerging Nations. They travelled the same path we want to travel. And you can see how rapidly they're progressing with that opportunity to progress, and we want to follow in that path. And so there's huge amount of positives to be taken from anything. I'm a bit of a glass half full guy.
Ian Callender: Is it a question of looking for Twenty20 Specialists John? Have we got them back home?
John Bracewell: Well you know that's a very American ideal, you know, they can go and buy a player and spend €100 million on it. I'm a bit of a realist in regards, and I come from an old fashioned background, where we used to darn our socks and patch our pants and have six lawnmowers to make one work, and that fits with that Irish Cricket Society. We've actually got to fix what we've got, because we can't just go throw people out.
So it's more of a cure, and it's more of a fix mentality. The depth we've got is the depth we've got. And you can't discard anybody, and I think that's a good thing. And it's a challenge for Coaches. But that's why we coach. You know I'm not a manager in that regards. I'm a Cricket Coach. And being part of this Irish Cause, is about getting guys right on the night, and getting right for long term. So em no it's not about going finding specialists, it's about evolving the guys we've got, and involving the next generation to take over from them, and challenge them.