Phil Simmons talks to ICC Europe about Ireland A

Tue, Apr 24, 2012 5:19 PM

As rain clouds rolled over the home of cricket and MCC v Ireland was abandoned by mid afternoon, the first in six matches across the summer, ICC Europe sat down with Ireland Phil Simmons to talk about the Irish A team.

So Phil, a washout, not what you wanted for the first match of the summer?
No, unfortunately the rain came down, but there is nothing you can do, we didn’t get off to the greatest starts at 13-3 when play was stopped, but these things happen and we will look forward to the next match where we can hopefully get some more cricket in.

What preparations had gone into today’s game?
We had about 3 to 4 net sessions in February and March because the senior team took quite a lot of the available time, but these were still very important sessions.

How would you describe the experience level of the squad selected?
There is a great mixture of who can gain experience from these matches, but also develop themselves to move forward and promote themselves to the senior team. Peter Connell and Rory McCann have some great experience having played in the senior team so its maintaining that level and looking to push back on, Stuart Thompson and James Shannon have been named in squads before so trying to develop their talent and match experience further and then Graeme McCarter who has had only one game.

James Shannon, a player ICC Europe knows well through academies, was named as captain, what were your reasons behind this?
We felt he had the passion and skill to succeed as captain and lead from the front. We wanted to get that expression from the rest of the team, to have that passion and we felt James was the ideal candidate to lead on this.

What are you looking to get from the team over the summer?
Well we are playing six games mainly against county second teams which will be great experience for the guys. We want to see a great attitude from the team, but also show an improvement within each game of their skills including their assessment levels and their thinking skills.

Additional Ireland A fixtures for 2012 are as follows:
May: Ireland A v Kent, Ireland A v Gloucestershire
June: Ireland A v Scotland A, Ireland A v Afghanistan (tbc)
July: Ireland A v Durham.

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