Ireland handed hectic schedule for 2015 World Cup
Supporters may target later games due to expense of following team in Pool B
Ireland will play their final Pool B game against Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval. Photograph: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images
Ireland will have to travel around the world for sport and then some after the draw for the 2015 World Cup came up with a hectic schedule for Australia and New Zealand for Phil Simmons’s side.
Ireland have been drawn in Pool B alongside defending champions India, with their six scheduled games involving over 45,000 kilometres of travel, with 10,000 of those coming once they land in New Zealand for an opening match against the West Indies in Nelson on February 16th.
If it proves a test for the players, then Ireland’s loyal band of supporters have been dealt an awful hand, twice having to cross the Tasman Sea for games, while the many Irish living in the major Australian cities of Perth, Melbourne and Sydney will have to travel to see their side in action.
With 15 days covering Ireland’s opening two pool fixtures, supporters are likely to look at the option of travelling to Australia at the start of March for the final four pool games, starting with the meeting with South Africa in Canberra on March 3rd.
Even still, they will face at least two flights, with Ireland taking on Zimbabwe in the Tasmanian capital of Hobart before their second trip to New Zealand to take on India in Hamilton on the north island.
With Ireland’s second game in Brisbane on February 25th coming against the fourth and final qualifier from the non Full Member countries, Ireland will hopefully have a win under their belts when the Blarney Army arrive.
Ireland will also target Zimbabwe, who are ranked just one place higher, as a second victory, while aiming for another giant killing act along the way in a bid to make the quarter-finals.
And with Pakistan to come in the final pool game at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday March 15th, Ireland might fancy a little bit of history repeating itself.
The Irish women’s team have their last chance to earn a place at a world finals for the first time since 2005 when they face the Netherlands in the third-place play-off at the ICC Women;s World Twenty20 qualifier at Claremont Road this afternoon (2.0pm).
Ireland have never been beaten by the Dutch in seven attempts, but will require their batting line-up to fire as a unit after being saved by some fine individual performances so far in the tournament.
Ireland coach Jeremy Bray doesn’t believe that two heavy defeats against the full-timers of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, who play today’s final at 10.0am at the same ground, will affect his players going into the biggest game of their careers.
“Those games are gone, it’s a new game and we really have to make sure that we’re better than them on the day.”