Porterfield brimming with confidence
Tue, Mar 6, 2012 11:02 AM
Ireland captain William Porterfield is confident his side can build on the recent good form to be one of the two sides to qualify from the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2012 scheduled to be held in UAE from 13-24 March.
The tournament will see 16 teams from across ICC's five regions competing for the remaining two places at the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 which will be staged from 18 September to 7 October in Colombo, Hambantota and Pallekele.
Ireland is placed in Group B of the competition. The side is presently training in Port Elizabeth, South Africa after finishing a tour of Kenya which also featured three Twenty20 Internationals.
"We were in Kenya for the Intercontinental Cup and after those matches we played three T20 games and won all three. The camp in Port Elizabeth has been about fine tuning our Twenty20 skills. The past few weeks have been a good reminder about our abilities. We are confident that we have covered all aspects of our game," said Porterfield.
On the Kenya tour Ireland also became only the 11th side and first Associate Member to enter the Reliance ICC Twenty20 Rankings Championship table after completing the criterion of having played in eight or more T20I matches since August 2009.
Porterfield believes this is a positive development going into the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier."It is great to be on the table. We had been working towards that, now if we maintain our momentum then it will help us to qualify. We need to continue to play good consistent cricket. It will be a tight competition but we are confident. All teams have dangerous match winners, so it is going to be hard to pick the qualifiers," added Porterfield.
The recent Twenty20 International series between Pakistan and England held in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been a great pointer for all the 16 teams in the Qualifier. Porterfield believes his side has the personnel to build on the pointers gained from the Pakistan v England series.
"We are a happy squad with competition for spots. We have quite a few all-rounders which gives us lot more options with the ball. We have good spinners who can exploit the slow pitches in Dubai because they will be hard to get away. There could potentially be low-scoring games as during the Pakistan-England series. So putting runs on the board will make any side competitive," reckoned Porterfield.
Ireland had qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 2010 through a similar global qualifier held in UAE. However, Porterfield believes his side has made rapid gains in terms of experience and exposure in the Twenty20 format since then.
"We have played a lot more cricket against the major teams and have shown that we belong. In addition our lads have played a lot of Twenty20 cricket for counties in England. So all that experience is going to help the side in the tournament," opined Porterfield.
Ireland will be based in Port Elizabeth till 8 March before flying out for the competition. Porterfield believes a place in the ICC World Twenty20 2012 will be a step in the right direction for Ireland cricket.
"It will be massive because that's where we want to be competing with the best teams. It is part of our long-term goals. So all our effort will be channelised towards achieving that dream," concluded Porterfield.