Paul Stirling-led Ireland seal qualification for 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

Edinburgh, July 27 (IANS) Ireland have sealed their qualification for the 2024 Men’s ICC T20 World Cup, to be held in West Indies and USA, after their game against Germany was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain in the ongoing European Regional Final Qualifiers tournament.

Having won their previous four matches, against Italy, Denmark, Austria, and Jersey, Ireland needed just one more point to mathematically ensure qualification for next year’s mega event. Due to their match against Germany being abandoned, the points were shared, and as a result, Ireland’s passage to the Men’s T20 World Cup was secured.

“While it’s true that we’d rather have achieved qualification on the field today, we’re delighted to have achieved our primary objective of qualifying for next year’s T20 World Cup. We came to Scotland with a clear plan and style of play we wanted to implement, and I think we delivered on that front,” said captain Paul Stirling in a statement issued by Cricket Ireland.

Ireland, with nine points from the ongoing tournament, still have one match left to play in the qualifying tournament, as they are set to face hosts Scotland in Grange Cricket Club on Friday. That game will decide who wins the tournament outright.

One more spot is still up for grabs from the European Qualifiers, with Scotland leading the race and needing just one point to join Ireland in next year’s mega event, comprising 20 teams.

This comes after Ireland missed qualifying for the ten-team 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup, to be played from October 5-November 19, after being unable to enter the Super Six stage of the qualification tournament in Zimbabwe in June-July.

Ireland’s next T20I assignment will be playing three matches against India at home in Malahide on August 18, 20 and 23. India and Ireland played a two-match T20I series in June 2022, with the visitors winning the series 2-0, though the hosts came close to winning.

“So, we’ll celebrate job done this afternoon, but there is a trophy on the line tomorrow and we are keen to continue that winning momentum going into the India T20 series next month,” concluded Stirling.

Meanwhile, Ireland have been fined 10 per cent of their match fee for maintaining a slow over-rate against Australia in the second match of their ICC Women’s Championship series in Dublin on Tuesday, which the hosts lost by 153 runs.

Philip Thompson of the ICC International Panel of Match Referees imposed the sanction after Ireland were ruled to be two overs short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.

In accordance with Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, players are fined five per cent of their match fee for every over if their side fails to bowl in the allotted time.

Captain Laura Delany pled guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction, so there was no need for a formal hearing. On-field umpires Jareth McCready and Paul Reynolds, and third umpire Mark Hawthorne levelled the charge.

–IANS

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