Friday, June 14, 2024

Paul Stirling frustrated by lack of access to New York pitch ahead of T20 World Cup opener against India

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Paul Stirling confirmed that all 15 Ireland players are ‘fit and firing’ for the start of the T20 World Cup in the US. Photo: Sportsfile

Paul Stirling is frustrated that Ireland will not get a chance to view the New York venue for their first T20 World Cup match before they take on India in Group A on Wednesday.

The pop-up Nassau County International Stadium will be as new to the Ireland squad as it will be to the 35,000 mostly Indian fans who will pack it to its capacity.

“We haven’t actually seen the ground and it doesn’t look like we’re going to before the game, so we’ve got to keep everyone waiting on the selection front until we’ve seen the pitch,” skipper Stirling said.

“We’re down to 12 or 13 but you can’t make those sort of calls until you get to the day and seeing what the conditions are in front of us.”

Anyone who has watched Ireland’s impressive preparations over the past few weeks will know nine of the squad are inked in to start, with the final two places to be decided between seamers Barry McCarthy and Craig Young, and leg-spinner Ben White.

The drop-in pitch – supplied and transported from Australia – was bowler-friendly in today’s first match at the venue between South Africa and Sri Lanka, and a similar surface could prove a leveller against the tournament favourites.

Stirling confirmed that all 15 Ireland players are “fit and firing” with further games to come against Canada, at the same venue on Friday, and the USA and Pakistan in Florida next week.

IRELAND (from): Paul Stirling (c), Andrew Balbirnie, Lorcan Tucker (w/k), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Josh Little, Ben White, Craig Young.

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