Dublin, Aug 31 (SocialNews.XYZ) Cricket Ireland on Wednesday announced a 15-player squad led by Laura Delany which will compete in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier, to be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE from September 18-25.
Before the start of the tournament, Ireland will host Scotland for three T20Is from September 5-8. The 15-member squad for Women's T20 World Cup Qualifiers will then fly to Dubai for a preparation camp from September 10-14, including playing a warm-up match against Papua New Guinea on September 13.
"We have had a busy few months of white-ball cricket, playing South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, Netherlands and Scotland coming up shortly - and while each series has held its own importance, the programme has been building towards this qualifier. As a squad, we want to be competing on the highest stage possible, and the T20 World Cup in South Africa is one such occasion that we want to qualify for."
"We last featured in a white ball world cup in November 2018, and so much has changed and progressed in the subsequent years that we feel we are in a far better place today. The introduction of professional contracts, the appointment of a full-time support and coaching staff, investment in training hours, facilities and - of course - qualification for the ICC Women's Championship have dramatically changed the landscape for our women's performance squad."
"Indeed, we go into this qualifier with a much-renewed sense of direction and mindset. Although the squad is still relatively young, it is a highly competitive group that is eager to contribute, excel and impress," said Carrie Archer, Chair of National Women's Selectors.
Ireland are in Group A alongside Bangladesh, USA and Scotland, while Papua New Guinea, Thailand, UAE and Zimbabwe form Group B. Top two teams from both groups qualify for the semi-finals, where the winners of both semi-finals will qualify for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa, set to be held in February 2023.
The group matches will be played between September 18-21, with semi-finals on September 23 and final on September 25. Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium and adjoining Tolerance Oval will be the venues for the qualifying tournament.
"We have a series against Scotland just prior to the tournament and will be looking to build on the progress we have made this summer. As always, to be able to call on the experience of Eimear Richardson is a welcome opportunity, and we are also pleased that several players should be back to full fitness following recent injuries."
"We wish Ed Joyce and his squad well for the Qualifier. I am aware of how much hard work and dedication the coaching and support teams, as well as the players, are putting in behind the scenes and am confident that this will be evident throughout each tournament," added Carrie.
Ireland Squad: Laura Delany (captain), Rachel Delaney, Georgina Dempsey, Amy Hunter, Shauna Kavanagh, Arlene Kelly, Gaby Lewis, Sophie MacMahon, Jane Maguire, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Eimear Richardson, Rebecca Stokell and Mary Waldron.