Simmons looking for Irish to show character as they look to square Bangladesh Series
Fri, Jul 20, 2012 3:42 PM
Cricket Ireland coach Phil Simmons is looking for his players to show character when they take on Bangladesh in the second game of their RSA Twenty20 Series at Stormont today.
Simmons missed the first game of the series due to a family bereavement, but is back at the helm and convinced Ireland can level the contest.
"I've spoken with Pete Johnston (assistant coach) and the players about what went wrong and hopefully the fans will see a much different Ireland performance this time. I suppose we are notoriously poor starters but always seem to finish well. There's no doubt we didn't play well in all disciplines of the game and we'll be out to rectify that today.
"I'll take a look at the conditions before selecting the final line-up but it may well be a case of making a few changes. It won't be a case of wholesale changes though. These guys are proven players over a long period of time and they don't suddenly become bad players after just one performance.
"The manner of the defeat has certainly hurt the players but they have the character and the ability to bounce back. That has become the trademark of this Ireland side in recent years -we always fight back in adversity, and with the backing of the Belfast crowd I'm confident we can go on and win the Series."
Ireland wicket-keeper Gary Wilson top scored for Ireland with an unbeaten 41 in the 71 run loss, and he too is confident Ireland can turn it around: "There's no question we didn't do ourselves justice in the opening game. Bangladesh certainly played well, with Shakib Al Hasan showing us just why he's the number one ranked all-rounder in world cricket, and Elias Sunny had such a fantastic spell (claiming 5-13), but we were well below par."
Wilson is of course embarking on a charity cycle ride around Ireland in October along with Ireland captain William Porterfield, and a special raffle will be held at the game to help raise funds for his cause.
"There are some fantastic prizes on offer in the ballot, with a bat signed by the England and Ireland teams, a stay for two at the Bush Hotel in Coleraine and a meal for two at the James Street South restaurant. There are also tickets for Leinster and Ulster matches on offer. Some of the Ulster players are attending the game this evening, and Paul Marshall will be making the draw for the prizes immediately after the game. There's bound to be a great atmosphere at the game, and T20 cricket is fantastic entertainment for all the family."
Cricket Ireland have organised drink and food outlets, with a live DJ, cheerleaders, and of course guaranteed action on the pitch as Ireland look to square the series.