Andrew Balbirnie PC
Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

Last Update on: October 17th, 2022 at 10:53 am

Ireland National Cricket Team captain Andy Balbirnie has said that they just want to play good cricket in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 and excite people with their performances.

Ireland will lock horns with Zimbabwe in their ICC T20 World Cup 2022 opener on Monday, October 27, at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart. In the lead-up to the World Cup, Ireland lost as many as 10 white-ball matches against India, New Zealand and South Africa between June and August. However, they recently registered a 3-2 T20I series win over Afghanistan.

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Hardik Pandya and Andrew Balbirnie, India vs Ireland, IRE vs IND
Hardik Pandya and Andrew Balbirnie (India vs Ireland) (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Speaking ahead of their campaign opener, Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie said that the shift in focus from result to performance has been very helpful for the side.

“I think there’s been a big shift in focus in the performance/result based talk. I think last year we got caught up making sure we got the results rather than focusing on the performance. That shift in mindset has freed up a lot of our players. We played a lot of good cricket this summer without winning.

“But we are pretty happy how we played, we know that if we keep playing this sort of cricket, more often than not we will get the right results. Certainly in a competition like this you need to get wins, but I think our message is loud and clear: we want to play pretty good cricket. Excite people. If we get the results, that’s great. But as long as we are putting in those performances, we will be happy,” he said at a pre-match press conference as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

The players, who get tested positive for Covid-19 during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, will reportedly be allowed to participate in the games and no Covid-driven restrictions have been imposed on the teams. Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie said that not having bio-bubbles and having family around is a big relief for players. He elaborated:

“Qualifying in Oman was such a relief. Australia is the best place to tour in my opinion. Not having bubbles has made a big difference to the guys. To get out and get a coffee, having wives and girlfriends over, that just takes your attention away from cricket. It makes a big difference for the lot of the group. I think last year, just going to the hotel after matches had a damaging effect on a lot of cricketers around the world.

“I think it is a big difference in this World Cup. It is a lot more relaxed. There’s a lot more better feeling within the group. I think we are in a really good place. We haven’t had the prep that we wanted but every team is in the same boat. There’s been a lot of rain in this part of the world.”

I remember it being as probably one of my most memorable games – Andy Balbirnie on the 2015 World Cup win over Zimbabwe in Hobart

Andrew Balbirnie
Photo Credit: )Getty Images)

During the 2015 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Ireland defeated Zimbabwe National Cricket Team in Hobart. While talking about that game, Balbirnie, who top-scored then with 97 runs in his bag, said it is one of the most memorable games of his career. He stated:

“I remember it being as probably one of my most memorable games in an Irish shirt. Getting runs was nice but from a team-win point of view. It was a really high-scoring game on a really good wicket. I imagine it will be pretty similar although it is a different time of the year. I am really looking forward to getting out there tomorrow.

“I was out having dinner with George [Dockrell] and Paul [Stirling] who were there that day. Back then, we didn’t think we’d be back here to play the World Cup.”

Andy Balbirnie further said that there are several young players in the Ireland squad and they are ready to face the World Cup challenge. He stated:

“I think they are pretty tuned-in young guys. We are trying to help the young guys the best we can. These World Cups can be pretty daunting, but the group has played against top opposition before and they’ve embraced that challenge.

“The only thing that can hold us back this week is if they get overawed by it. They played in the World Cup last year. It is nice to see some of the families coming to Hobart in the last 24 hours. It is certainly nice to see some familiar faces around the town.”

Fionn Hand
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Sonanchal Gautam

A Professional Wrestling And Hip-hop Enthusiast, Who Is Focused On Writing Cricket-related Stuff 6 Days A Week.