CRICKET: Ireland accept invitation to play in ICC U19 Cricket World Cup

William Porterfield played at the U19 World Cup in 2004
William Porterfield played at the U19 World Cup in 2004

Cricket Ireland has confirmed that it has accepted the International Cricket Council invitation to participate in this month’s ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Bangladesh ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Bangladesh.

The competition will be staged from January 27 until February 14, with 16 teams – including England and Scotland – playing in 48 matches across seven venues.

“Firstly, we are grateful to ICC for extending the invitation to us to participate in the tournament,” said Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom. “Given the circumstances of the invitation, however, it was important that we used the brief time we had to investigate the safety and security situation in Bangladesh.

“While we are fully aware of the heightened security risk in the country, all we can do is rely upon expert advice, which tells us that the tournament security plan appears very comprehensive – an estimation supported by the independent assessments we have seen. Of course, we shall continue to monitor events and maintain regular contact with ICC in case the situation changes.

“We are most grateful, in particular, to ICC and ECB for sharing their security intelligence with us, which has helped us considerably to reach a determination and to share appropriate information with squad members and their families.

“Of course, squad preparation and logistics are equally pressing matters, but we are trying to work around these as effectively as possible given the short timeframes.

“While there are never guarantees, Cricket Ireland felt that – on balance – the mitigation of the risks outweighed the risks themselves, while the cricketing opportunity was too important to turn down in spite of the lack of squad preparation.

“The squad is greatly looking forward to the challenge. As our men’s and women’s squads discovered during the World T20 2014, Bangladeshi people are incredibly welcoming and passionate about their cricket, so I’m certain our U19’s will look forward enormously to playing there.”

The 16 teams will play in the 48-match tournament across seven venues from January 27 until February 14.

Ireland will replace Australia in Group D and will play its matches against India (in Mirpur on 28 January), Nepal (in Fatullah on 30 January) and New Zealand (in Fatullah on 1 February).

If Ireland finishes inside the top two in Group D, then it will play in the Super League, while it will feature in the Plate Championship if it ends up third or fourth in its group.

Ireland have played in seven previous ICC U19 World Cup tournaments – South Africa (1998), Sri Lanka (2000 and 2006), Bangladesh (2004), Malaysia (2008), New Zealand (2010), and most recently Australia (2012).

The Ireland squad that played in the 2004 competition in Bangladesh produced no fewer than seven senior internationals, including current squad members William Porterfield, Gary Wilson, Kevin O’Brien and Boyd Rankin. The others were Greg Thompson, Gary Kidd and Eoin Morgan.